Although Robert Gordon's show includes a few covers of classic 1950s rockabilly, his heartfelt love of the music, baritone voice and overall authenticity clearly separate him from poseurs and revivalists who perform note-for-note re-creations of the genre. Gordon realized long ago that wearing an oldies straitjacket wasn't for him. Gordon is the genuine article, exuding rockabilly from the tip of his pompadour to the soles of his shoes, and he honors rather than mirrors the memory of such influences as Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran.
Gordon got his start at age 15 playing around his hometown in the Washington, D.C., area. After relocating to New York City in 1970, he spent time playing in one of the city's first punk bands but had his head turned around after hearing some Sun-era Elvis Presley. He can be credited with getting rockabilly back onto the Billboard charts in the late 1970s when he cut his best-known pair of albums at the end of that decade with Link Wray. The second of those, Fresh Fish Special, included "Fire," a track given to Gordon by his most famous fan, Bruce Springsteen. Other top-notch songwriters such as Marshall Crenshaw have also written songs especially for him, and Gordon's songs or performances have been in such movies as Natural Born Killers, The Loveless and Blank Generation, the chronicle of the birth of New York City punk.
All the hepcats and kitties are heading down to the hop on Main Street, so while black slacks and a pink Cadillac are optional, it's not too early to get into Halloween spirit by breaking out your best retro duds. Brylcreem, ducktails, leather jackets, switchblades, packs of cigs rolled up in white T-shirt sleeves, penny loafers, saddle shoes, poodle skirts Get the picture?
Robert Gordon with The Hollisters
Continental Club, 3700 Main Street
Saturday, October 26; 713-529-9899
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Mike Barfield kicks off the festivities by fronting three-fourths of the original Hollisters -- including guitar player Eric Danheim, who's in town from his home in Seattle.