Bentley’s Bandstand: May 2022 – By Bill Bentley

There are certain singers who are totally able to take on any style of music and make it theirs. For them, music is a challenge and they are there to face it. Kyra Gordon is like that. The Berkeley-based woman appeared in the stage production about Janis Joplin, “Love, Janis,” and sings jazz, blues, country, rock and whatever else comes before her. Her new album, SOUL OF A SHOWGIRL has an equally wide range. She mixes love songs with ones inspired by rock & roll’s raucous roots, a track inspired by singer-songwriter Powell St. John, who wrote songs for the 13th Floor Elevators in the 1960s before co-founding San Francisco’s Mother Earth), titled “Laredo Slim.” It also features Mother Earth’s Tracy Nelson on vocals, and is as beautiful a musical portrait of someone’s life ever committed to song. It’s like St. John, who passed away last summer, is standing right before us. SOUL OF A SHOWGIRL has the spirit of someone who has set out on a grand adventure, ready for whatever happens and up for action. There are no fences around Kyra Gordon’s music, which means she mixes in a vagabond variety that is continually winning. Songs flow throughout the album in a way that pulls the listener all the way in, and then delivers such a wide-range of influences that there’s almost no way not to be won over. This is someone who is going places, and whether she’s hitchhiking or flying on a private plane will not matter, because wherever she goes Kyra Gordon will be sitting strong with a soul that could take her anywhere. Go with her.

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