Wednesday, August 26, 2015


The Boot has premiered Kevin Gordon’s new song “Goodnight Brownie Ford,” partly about his real-life meeting of the cowboy singer in Louisiana, part biography, and partly a fever dream:

The song comes from Gordon’s new album ‘Long Gone Time,’ out September 4 on Crowville Media. He says, “’Goodnight Brownie Ford’ was one of the first songs I wrote for the new record--it went through many, many revisions. I remember taking 30 different demo versions on the road with me once--I'm still amazed that that alone didn't kill off the song completely.”

Born in 1904 outside of Gum Springs, OK and part American Indian, Thomas Edison “Brownie” Ford was a National Heritage Fellow and experienced rodeo cowboy, rambler, and singer.

Gordon recalls, “Meeting Mr. Ford was special at the time, but only grew more meaningful to me as time went on. I met him right before I moved to Nashville. He had a deep distrust of the music business, part of a stubborn provincialism that made him the elder trickster that he was. When writing the song, I also thought about him as a marker of a generation, now mostly gone--of people who were not only close to music, but also close to the land, whose ties to both were based on plain necessity and love.”

On the almost six-minute song at an unhurried pace, Gordon paints a vivid picture of Ford:

“‘Declared me dead twice,’ he said
‘But I never was that far gone
Yeah that saddle bronc dragged me to the gates of heaven
I couldn’t stay down long
Dying ain’t what living’s for
So I snuck out that hospital ward’
Goodnight Brownie Ford…

As the fire flared and died
From his cigarette
And he looked me in the eye to ask
A riddle with his next breath--
All the free advice I could afford
Got in his car and closed the door
Goodnight Brownie Ford”

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