Kevin Gordon’s been waiting for a long time to get his song “Saint on a Chain” out — since roughly 2004, when he started writing it after a conversation with a friend back in his native Monroe, La. And the Nashville-based songwriter/poet/performer has also been waiting a long time to make a music video — like, his entire career.
Patience and serendipity made both happen for Gordon’s upcoming ninth album, Tilt and Shine, which comes out July 27. The video, which premieres exclusively below, was directed by Zack Richard and stars actor/musician Ben de la Cour (“Down That Road”) and his wife Collins in an impressionistic but complementary presentation of “Saint on a Chain’s” story about a man grappling with a proverbial world o’ troubles.
“I came away really happy with it,” Gordon tells Billboard about his first video experience. “I thought Zack did a great job because I didn’t want something that was strictly a dry adaptation to the narrative of the lyric; I wanted it to reflect some of the — I hate this word — poetic quality of the lyric, focusing on images as much as the story in which those images are found. As a creative person myself, it was really interesting watching (Richard) work and talk through ideas with him and see how it turned into this piece of work.”
Gordon doesn’t necessarily mind if viewers walk away mistaking the ripped de la Cour for him (Gordon does appear in some short performance sequences), but he felt the video benefitted from having a married couple play that same role. “They just worked together really well. Obviously being married people there was a shared intimacy there already that didn’t require much acting, but I still was kind of amazed at how well they did. Ben’s one of my favorite songwriters in this town — or anywhere, really — so I’m glad it world out they could do it.”
With a video under his belt finally, Gordon also predicts that it won’t be another nine albums before we see him take the visual route again. “I think it’s important — probably more important than I had acknowledged in the past,” says Gordon, who will celebrate Tilt and Shine‘s release with a release-day show at Nashville’s City Winery and is planning a fall tour to promote the set. “I’m intrigued with the process now — not that I wasn’t before, but after sort of getting my hands dirty on this one and watching Zack do his thing, it sparked an interest in me. It kind of makes sense. I would say most of my songs are very visual in terms of relying on images, so it seems like kind of a natural fit that we’ll be doing more of in the future.”