Chaos Infinatum. On the radio she heard how they are finding deep secrets of the universe by studying the absurd, chaotic and nonsensical. Nicola can relate. She likes holding paradox and complexity in a firm but gentle way. The music on Nicola's 2nd CD tends to dance around the edges of simple and experimental. Call it contemporary folk; baulking against normal, still swimming in the acoustic pool, and blustering into it's own sense of being. Nicola plays guitar, slide guitar and dulcimer with ease, simple arrangements with a pure clear voice and a transparent honesty. With bass, drums, guitar, some harmonies backing her up, there is a melodic and playful quality that carries us though even the darkest moments. Paradox and opposition keeps weaving through Nicola's keen observation. 'Chaos Reigns' dances with a philosophical eye on order and chaos, all with a personal view and a sense of humor, "Every time I walk by that joint, they've clipped the green, green grass each blade to a point..." then, "every time I walk into my room, looks like the bomb has dropped, hurricanes, monsoon; piles here, piles there, just step over the books and papers and underwear..." In the song 'The Pyramids of Egypt,' we are immediately brought up front and center with the dark history between men and women, "tie my hands, tear my dress, bind my feet, I'll get out of this mess." through to the embrace and vision, "if you only knew how I feel for you today, if every raindrop falling could get the message to you someway, the pyramids of Egypt ain't got nothing on me, the mystery of forgiveness, winds like the great mother river between you and me..." The stories go on, personal yet universal, dark and luminous, with the lyrical moaning of slide here and there, sweet simple songs and rich images of an examined life. Nicola was raised on Joan Baez and peace marches. Her mom loved folk music intensely and got her masters in researching folk music, but couldn't carry a tune. Many people say Nicola's voice sounds alot like Baez'-perhaps early childhood programming? Some of Nicola's own favorites include Joni Mitchell with her fluid voice and amazing lyrics, Ani di Franco, with her rawness and a commitment to outing of emotion. Dave Matthews is another of her idols, with his poetry, intricate rhythms and amazing guitar sound. Kelly Joe Phelps initially inspired her slide playing. She saw him play one night and her whole reality shifted. She said, his slide playing is beyond words but what got her the most was his use of space, how he held and cherished each moment in full presence. Meanwhile, Kelly Joe got her hooked on the sweet sonic voice of the sliding guitar string. Nicola Gordon's second CD is real, life affirming and candid. She expands into new levels of songwriting and guitar playing while holding the integrity of her passion for creative expression and willingness to share it openly with others.
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