Lanark Label 2014
Review by David Bowling
Robert Gordon has been playing his brand of rockabilly for close to four decades. He is a throwback who models his music after such rock and roll icons as Gene Vincent, Jack Scott, Billy Lee Riley, and Eddie Cochran.
Gordon’s last album, It’s Now Or Never, was an Elvis Presley tribute album, with long time musical cohort Chris Spedding. It was brilliant in places but overall had an uneven quality due primarily to some of the song choices. His new release, I’m Coming Home, does not suffer from that problem as he has selected 12 old rock and blues tracks and transformed them into modern day classics.
His basic backing band of guitarist Quinten Jones, bassist Rob Stoner, and drummer Dave Ferrara is a tight and energetic unit. Marshall Crenshaw lends a hand on several tracks, which brings an extra layer of sound to his music. Through it all, his booming baritone dominates the album. It is a voice made for rockabilly and has lost none of its tone and clarity with the passing of time.
Dorsey Burnette’s “It’s Late,” Dale Hawkins “Heaven,” Merle Kilgore’s “Little Pig,” and the old “Little Richard tune “Lucille” are given scintillating performances as he and his band rev up their engines. “Under Your Spell Again” and “Mountain Of Love” continue the forceful attack but a pedal steel guitar and fiddle plus a slower tempo move the tracks in a country direction.
The heart of the album is two old Johnny Horton tunes. The title track is a straight ahead rocker, while “Honky Tonk Man” has a precision that changes the tempo of the album’s flow.
Robert Gordon has been a road warrior for decades who has never given in to the musical trends of the day. I’m Coming Home presents the heart and soul of his music and shows that rockabilly is still alive and well.