John Gordon

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Combining instrumental and engineering skills, John Gordon has piled up a haystack of recording credits, much of the work under the auspices of his own studio. Many listeners will know him as the guitarist…
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Combining instrumental and engineering skills, John Gordon has piled up a haystack of recording credits, much of the work under the auspices of his own studio. Many listeners will know him as the guitarist on Suzanne Vega's haunting "Luka." Gordon began as a session guitarist and during the late '70s was a member of a power pop band, Tycoon, investing in a pair of sides for Arista, since reissued. Gordon worked for Madonna prior to his collaboration for Vega. Coming from such a background it is no surprise that his name, presented as either John or Jon, has subsequently been associated with many female vocalists, including Mary Travers, Christine Lavin, and Patti Scialfa.

By 1987 he had expanded his musical role, offering services as a producer, composer, arranger, and engineer in his personal facility, with the resulting client list impressively diverse. In the manner of great studio guitarists such as Tommy Tedesco, Gordon brings in sonic possibilities from all over the string family, at times playing in an easygoing but moving manner that recalls his early days in country & western bar bands. He has cut tracks on mandolin and steel guitar; he even has credits on the mighty tiple, a small axe with lots of strings that most people think is something people do with cocktails.