Gordon is a singer/songwriter living in Chicago, IL, USA. He writes pop songs which he sings, and he’s often known to accompany himself on guitar. He plays frequent solo gigs around the Chicago area, particularly at landmark venues such as Schubas and Uncommon Ground, and you can find him most middays playing in one of the city’s few underground El stops.
Gordon is originally from Austin, TX, where his parents and sister still live. He started playing violin at age 5, and played seriously into college. But he found it infuriating. Not only was the instrument stunningly hard to master, but he usually found himself losing first chair to kids half his age. He reasoned that these absurdly gifted few were the ones actually destined for a career in music. So, heading up to New England for college, he focused on becoming a psychologist. He met his lovely and amazing future wife. He sang college a capella. He wrote a thesis on the role of cognitive discounting in heuristic decision-making.
Then came the crisis. While working in the outpatient wing on the children’s floor of the New York State Psychiatric Institute in Manhattan, he realized that as much as he wanted to be a shrink, he had been hiding something from himself. He really just wanted to play music.
So he started a band. The band was called Fooled By April, named after a line in one of his favorite Stevie Wonder tunes. Gradually the band settled in Boston, and eventually started to build a following. They played frequently in New York City and would often hop in the van and tour around the country, eventually dragging their old green minivan to some of the world’s most esteemed music festivals, including CMJ and SXSW. The band never became famous and never got signed, but FXA did play many hundreds of shows and sold several songs to Sony, MTV and ABC/Disney, allowing the guys to pay off their staggering debts and even walk away from the experience with a tiny bit left in the bank. They figured this last piece was success beyond their wildest dreams, since most of their friends who had been signed to major label deals had yet to achieve this feat.
In 2005, Gordon and his college sweetheart finally decided to get married, and to kick off this new phase of their lives they wanted a change of scenery. So they moved to London. Inexplicably, Gordon was hired to manage a research center at the London School of Economics. On his lunch hours he played his songs to the tourists and street performers crowding Covent Garden, and in the evenings he would often play gigs at the legendary 12 Bar Club in Soho. Free from the pressures of blinding debt, major label near-misses and rock star ambitions, Gordon remembered what it was like to write a song and actually like it. He met musicians from all over the world playing different styles â€” rock, jazz, classical â€” and collaborated in ways he’d never anticipated. Musically, London rejuvenated him.
Now in Chicago, Gordon is eager to share his music with the city, whether in the clubs or out on the streets. After all, Chicago’s rich musical tradition isn’t just that great musicians have lived and played there, it’s that people went out to hear it and support it.