It's all about the stories and songs, the words and the songwriting. Born in Wollongong, NSW, singer, guitarist, percussionist and trumpeter, Andy was 10 years old when he first started to play music. His mother was a trained singer and they sang together constantly as he grew up. His father's mother was a music teacher, his mother's father was a musical jack of all trades who found his expression on the banjo and the spoons. His older cousin played saxaphone in the band, Tarquin, and going to gigs seemed to be an integral part of existence to him. It was only natural that Andy would end up travelling the world playing for a living himself.
Under the direction of an enthusiastic music teacher Andy and three other friends formed a band whilst in High School called Mistaken Identity. They played around Wollongong and up and down the south coast. Their parents had to drive them to gigs as they were too young themselves. Of course they weren't meant to be in pubs either but that didn't stop the band playing them regularly.
After leaving school Andy moved to Sydney to work at EMI's recording facility, Studios 301. For ten years he soaked up every influence he could and worked with so many great musicians. He became friends with Russell Kilbey and played on an album by Russell and Ed Clayton-Jones, Turkeyneck Lasso. John Kilbey became a close friend and asked Andy to do some sound engineering and playing on his solo album, The Penny Drops, Good Fortunes. You can hear one of Andy's songs, "Under a Lid", on the nothing short of fantastic follow up album by John Kilbey, Nothing More Than Something To Wear, JLK, Karmic Hit Records. Around this time Andy met Matt Clyde and Jeremy Butterworth. A lasting friendship was formed out of which came the band, Luminous. They recorded an EP which is no longer available. It was maybe a case of "what could have been".
Andy played other people's songs on some lovingly crafted albums over the years, Jeremy Flies...A Tribute To Nick Drake, Um and Ah Records, playing the haunting "Fruit Tree", Jeremy Flies Vol 2...A Tribute To Nick Drake, Acoustic Lounge Records, playing the song "Clothes Of Sand", Stars In My Belly-A Tribute To Jeff Buckley, Acoustic Lounge Records, playing an un-released song of Jeff's called "All Flowers In Time (Bend Towards The Sun)" and on Remote Memory - A Tribute To Elliott Smith, Um and Ah Records, playing "Everything Reminds Me Of Her".
Andy has released five solo albums to date: 2009's Life Got In The Way, 2013's The Reverent Jorfy and The Reverent Jorfy - Live, 2014's Black Sea and in 2015 a song cycle based on the initial contact between Australia's First Peoples and the British, titled New Albion. Mary Gautier meets Buddy Miller is how his music could be described. He is not afraid to note the pain in the world around him but also to acknowledge the beauty and the heart. Andy lives with his love in the beautiful Kangaroo Valley writing his songs on the porch of the house they built together, off the grid, on solar power.
Other reviews are available
on the interweb
here is a selection.
“Andy Gordon’s new album, New Albion, benefits in equal measure from his songwriter’s craft as well as (Syd) Green’s ‘MonoNest sound’. Gordon has constructed a series of songs conceptually linked around the early settlement of Sydney – and the interaction with the Indigenous Australians of the region – and Green, through sound-shaping and his usual simpatico meshing with Gordon’s songs, has given them the perfect setting and atmosphere. The result is very real and very beautiful. The songs have a depth brought about by Gordon’s respectful research, they also have a breadth which comes purely from Gordon’s big-hearted song craft”.
John Hardaker, (The Orange Press).
“Operating in the netherworld between ethereal and rootsy country-folk music and the dreamy and hypnotic realm that Neil Young’s Dead Man inhabits, Gordon’s New Albion requires time and attention to discover the subtlety and grace which make up some of the album’s finest qualities”.
Doubtful Sounds, 20 Favourite AUS and NZ Americana Albums (Post To Wire).
“Black Sea feels like friendly company. His moody voice fills space and leaks into the ears of the listener like the sweet words of a trusted friend. One who understands and repeats your words back in his eloquent style. Listeners will hold onto Black Sea once they hear it, wishing that the too short six songs would somehow become twelve. Comforting and stylistically vast, misery will like Black Sea for company and so will several other emotions”.
Sarah Pritchard, (Alternative Media Group).
"...uniformly strong, he may have invented a whole new genre: architectural acoustic"
Jeff Apter, (Sydney Morning Herald).
“...woody, warm performances, a sublime collection of acoustic flavoured songs that all seem wise beyond their years – sympathetically recorded and produced by Syd Green, a producer who always seems to get it so right”.
John Hardaker, (MegaphoneOz).