A central figure in the rockabilly revival of the late ’70s and early ’80s, Robert Gordon coexisted with punk and New Wave. He shared in its effort to overthrow the silly extravagances of rock and reconnect with the urgency and pith of rock ‘n’ roll. In fact, he started out as a kind of aboriginal New York punk in the band Tuff Darts, but his heart was after something else. His self-reinvention materialized in 1977, with the auspices of a genuine rock ‘n’ roll cat right in the album title: Robert Gordon with Link Wray.
Gordon’s music and look strictly forbade contemporary influence. He was/is a retro fundamentalist, a curator and interpreter who follows the old way: the separation of writer and performer. Gordon has claimed only a handful of co-writing credits throughout his prolific 40-year career, but few people know the old repertoire like this fellow does.
When Colony in Woodstock booked Robert Gordon, I imagine there was very little doubt or even conversation about whom to lock down as the support act: Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones, of course – the mid-Hudson Valley’s own ardent rockabilly aficionados. Hope is no purist. She writes her own tunes and pillages styles far outside the boundaries of trad rockabilly; but this is a hell of a bill.
Robert Gordon and Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones perform at Colony at 22 Rock City Road in Woodstock on Saturday, November 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 on the day of the show. For more information, visit www.colonywoodstock.com.