After gaining solid footing at the Tempest Lounge’s Thursday open-mic nights, singer/songwriter Peggy Gordon has stepped out even further into the local music arena with her first wide-release CD “Gone to Montreal.” Mixed, mastered and produced by Chris Tussing and Flat Hat Productions, the sound quality of this CD is top-notch, and it matches the material perfectly. Between her songwriting and her inspired singing, Gordon has a gift for music; there is no doubt about that.
Every song on this CD is strong. From soft ballads to the more rockin’ and funkier stuff, Gordon is a maestro. It is hard to believe this is her first CD for the masses (her first one was given to family and friends only). Maybe her music packs such a wallop because she is not a starry-eyed youth just getting going, but rather a woman of obvious depth who has been through the highs and lows of life such that she has the arsenal to express it artistically. Whatever the reason, it works.
All the songs on “Gone to Montreal” were written and performed by Gordon. A bunch of her talented friends, who are also well known musicians and performers in our area, came on board to help her out: Leah Tussing on background vocals and banjo (Tussing also contributed vocals to Kim Archer’s new CD “My Friend”) with additional background vocals by Christine Ritchie. Tussing’s dad Chris Tussing is on drums (and he is also a longtime drummer for Kim Archer Band) and background vocals; Art Ross is on keyboards, harmonica and banjo; Marvin Shields, Jr. plays bass, with Dominique Stone also contributing bass and keyboards; mandolin is courtesy of Craig Garcia; noted music artist Nick Sandy plays accordion and Seattle-based rock and blues man Chris Hyde plays rhythm and lead guitar. All these players make for a rich soundtrack for Gordon’s deserving music.
Opening track “You Were Never Mine” kicks the CD off with an upbeat, catchy melody and Gordon and Tussing’s voices blending beautifully in harmony. This is a song you may find yourself whistling or humming long after the CD stops playing.
“Lay With You Tonight” is a major date night song when pure romance is on the menu.
“Juliet’s Fool” talks about a pretty, green-eyed girl who will not say no tonight but will tomorrow.
The title track is a “see ya ‘round” letter to a lover put to music. In fact, the artwork on the back of the CD is the letter itself written in cursive and signed, “Love, Peggy.”
Bonus track “Skanky Ho” ends the CD with sass and soul. Kim Archer adds her killer rhythm guitar and bluesy voice. “I ain’t messin’ around with you no more/ baby you one skanky ho.”
A little Jack Johnson, a little Colbie Caillat…Gordon is in good company with her mad skills at the mic. See her perform live at her CD release party to celebrate “Gone to Montreal” March 23 at the Tempest Lounge (913 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way), 7-10 p.m. (all ages until 9:30), with special performances by guests Mike Coucoules, Tiarra Davison and Black Dog.