New Tune : Rod Gator : For Louisiana

Photo credit: David McClister

Ever been on a first date?

Guessin' you have.

And if you're reading this blog, there's a fairly good chance you popped the dreaded question:

"What kind of music do you like?"

And after asking that, there's a pretty good chance that the person on the other side of the table replied with some variety of...

"Oh, you know, I listen to everything."

At that point, I typically like to mosey over to the jukebox and spin up something from Albert Ayler's discography, you know, just to test the other person's meddle before the artichoke dip arrives.

This strategy, inevitably, leads to a lot of first dates.

That said, there's also a pretty good chance that the current object of your desires added a brief caveat, say...

"except country."

Why do people feel the need to say that?

Regardless, that brings me to Rod Gator, a strapping young fella from the Bayou State, whose new single, "For Louisiana," is definitely worth 3:18 of your life.

Stylistically, it would be tempting to group Gator in with the vintage of Steve Earle that trotted out Guitar Town way back in the day, but if you want to sit at the adult table, the sadly-underrated Robert Earl Keen might be a better comparison.

Now, that's all well and good, but if you want to help yourself to a couple sips of Uncle Dick's High Life, you can do that one better by namechecking the legendary Joe Ely. Keep in mind, I'm not in the habit of tossing around the the title "legendary" all willy-nilly like, but if you were hand-picked by the Clash as the opener for UK dates of the London Calling tour and sang backup (not to mention provided Spanish translation of the lyrics) on "Should I Stay Or Should I Go," well, it's safe to say that adjective has been earned in the heat of battle.

I've helped you out about as much as I can at this point.

Gator will be dropping the For Louisiana LP on September 17th courtesy of Blue Élan Records, followed by a handful of shows well below the Mason-Dixon line. The record is especially intriguing, as it was co-produced by Will Walden along with Adrian Quesada, of Black Pumas fame, so I'm guessing it'll be worth checking out.

Of course, you're wondering about Mr. Gator's name, as you are well aware that one's name can heavily influence, if not flat-out pre-determine, one's career path. For example, it's hard to imagine Bob Rock or Chris Moneymaker in anything but their chosen professions, and thus you might assume that Rod Gator's career choices were limited to country music star, bounty hunter or, perhaps, drag racer. That would be a great story, but sadly, it's not the case, as Gator was born Rod Melancon.

Disappointing, but fair enough. After all, one might not be particularly inclined to go see an unknown band featuring Eugene O'Connor and John Madansky, but change their names to Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz (and toss in Stiv Bators) and, yes madam, that might be worth the cover charge.


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