James Gordon Endomusia

On his 17th solo recording, James Gordon demonstrates why he has gained such an ardent following in his prolific, 20-plus-year career. The Guelph resident possesses a rare gift as a songwriter in that his narratives are at once vividly crafted tales and conversational anecdotes, whose cast of characters and scenarios are easily accessible to their listeners. Jaunty, on-the-road ditties such as "Small Town Prairie Gigs,” the mournful tale of "Randal Dooley” and the lovely "Carlyle Lake” are truly evocative songs that recall the meticulous writing of a young Gordon Lightfoot. Long-time fans have observed an increasingly political bent to Gordon’s writing in the past few years and he maintains that trend on this record, checking in with the self-explanatory "Weapons Of Mass Instruction,” and the biting war satire, "Friendly Fire.” As if the songwriting wasn’t enough, Gordon is also responsible for Endomusia’s remarkable production. Featuring a slew of Guelph talent, including Jeff Bird (Cowboy Junkies), Stephen Fearing (Blackie & the Rodeo Kings), and Gordon’s talented young sons, Evan (Mud Puddles) and Geordie (the Barmitzvah Brothers), the record sounds stunning from beginning to end, as Gordon wonderfully balances all of the assembled talent’s contributions on each song. All in all, Endomusia will delight long-time Gordon fans while engaging new ones. (Borealis)