Carter County native Dreyden Gordon is taking his current performance hiatus is stride as he awaits chances to greet his audience with a new recording of traditional bluegrass songs titled “Echoes of Tradition.”
“I turn 16 later this week,” said Gordon, who is also sometimes called by his honorary tile reflecting his status as a Kentucky Colonel.
Gordon’s introduction to bluegrass came at an early age when he met the late Melvin Goins during one of his many performances at the Rattlesnake Ridge Community Center.
“I started at the age of two. Melvin Goins pulled me on stage to dance with him. I kinda clogged around a little,” he said with a laugh.
His first turn as a vocalist happened a few years later.
“I started singing n stage at seven … It was at the Mountain Arts Center – with Melvin again. I sang Rocky Top,” he said.
At 11, Gordon picked up a “no-namer” guitar and taught himself to play. He’s since traded up to a Martin HD-28, with a 1968 Martin D-18 as his backup instrument. That first guitar now hangs on a wall, bearing approximately 50 autographs of bluegrass music legends, Gordon said, explaining he had the guitar signed as he met musicians while playing an average of 100 shows a year across an eight-state range.
“I go from Pennsylvania to southern Tennessee … Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia,” he said, later adding he usually travels with his dad and driver, Zach Gordon. “I’ve made a lot of friends.”
He often performs gospel songs during his live shows, as well as serving as a youth pastor at Three Pines Freewill Baptist in Olive Hill.
“Yes! I do a lot of gospel and thank the Lord for letting me travel down the road and spread the word,” he said.
Gordon has shared stages with many of the bluegrass world’s most recognized names including Dr. Ralph Stanley, Larry Sparks, Marty Rabon, Larry Cordle, Don Rigsby and Joe Mullins. Ralph Stanley II and Jeannie Seely provided personal notes of encouragement on Echoes of Tradition.
“I’ve been watching this young man for several years now, and every time I see him, he gets better and better. I highly recommend you take this album home!” – Ralph Stanley II
Gordon called upon a few of those friends for the recording of Echoes of Tradition with Chris Davis on mandolin and fiddle, Jim Flannery on banjo, and Jason Hale on bass while he provided the guitar and vocals on each of the album’s eight tracks.
Available on CD and by download on the major music sites, Gordon said he sells Echoes of Tradition for $15. He plans to sell CDs at his live shows, although for now “I’ve got cancellations through August,” he said.
For more information or to place an order, contact Dreydon Gordon on his Facebook page.
Story and Photos by TIM PRESTON
Carter County Post