The course of every songwriter’s life is evolutionary. Before they are even aware of exactly who and what they are, songwriters are touched by someone else’s music. It can be a chord, a tempo, a beat, a line, a chorus, a song or an entire album, but something resonates inside the not-yet songwriter, when he first hears something that grabs his attention and captures his imagination.
The process of discovery continues as the soon-to-be songwriter searches for more music that he can relate to. Although that quest usually crosses over a multitude of musical genres, as often as not, the soon-to-be songwriter finds himself identifying more and more with one genre.
It is a subconscious desire of all humans to understand themselves and the world we live in. Songwriters have a conscious desire to explain what they understand about themselves and the world they live in, through music. That’s what differentiates those who create music, from those who appreciate music mostly passively.
When the wannabe songwriter first feels irresistibly compelled to act on the Inspiration that has been provided by bona fide songwriters, he makes the transition into a songwriter.
Then the songwriter begins the lifelong process of becoming a better and better songwriter and that’s where we find Mr. Gordie Tentrees.
Gordie is a roots musician. It’s what he does. It’s what he is. Roots music is, by definition, without pretense. Roots music is grounded in the real lives of real people, some ordinary, some extraordinary. Truly great roots musicians are capable of drawing from their enormous libraries of personal experience and creating music that not only entertains but also enlightens. You cannot write good roots music unless you have lived your life with your eyes and your mind wide open. In order to make great roots music, a songwriter has to explore, experience, analyze and understand.
Gordie Tentrees is a Yukoner. People who do not approach life with a, “let’s do it,” attitude do not last long in the Yukon. Gordie Tentrees is one of the most, “let’s fuckin’ do it!” people you will ever meet.
To run the risk of offending some by resorting to a somewhat hackneyed Cliché, Gordie lives it large. And now he’s making music about what he thinks, knows and feels.
Gordie Tentrees writes big, bold tunes that underscore the fact that he is a hard man. But he also demonstrates that he too is a perfect example of the duality of man by writing tunes that make emotionally overwrought girls swoon and hard men uncomfortable.
Whether or not Gordie Tentrees goes down in the annals of roots music as a man who made a difference, only time will tell. The odds are stacked against him but that has been true of every single person who now has a place at the table inside the roots pantheon. And you should never underestimate what can be accomplished by one very determined man, aided by an able gang of co-conspirators.
Gordie Tentrees has as much potential as any up-and-comer in roots music today. He continues to grow as a thoughtful songwriter who has an instinctive ability to make music that kicks like a cornered hillbilly and bites like a Yukon winter night.
On Thursday, March 3, the assembled glitterati of the Canadian music industry will have an opportunity to judge for themselves whether or not this hard man of the Yukon has what it takes to go the distance.
The Gordie Tentrees band is sandwiched between _____ and ______ in a roots showcase that is guaranteed to have you eyEing the whisky selection and thinking that maybe, just maybe, there is life outside Trawna.