James Gordon decided last year that eight years on city council was enough and that he would step away to return to his first love, music. Of course, Gordon never really left music to take part in local politics; all the while he was on council he was still touring and still releasing new music as a city councillor, but can he now quit politics so easily? We’re going to find out…
Before his successful elections to Guelph City Council in 2014 and 2018, and even before his first political run as the local NDP candidate in 2011, Gordon was an accomplished singer, songwriter, producer, and instrumentalist. He was also a successful activist and community organizer; he co-founded the Hillside Festival, the Canadian Songwriters’ Festival, the Guelph Civic League, the Guelph Arts Platform, and Wellington Water Watchers.
Last May, Gordon announced that his formal career in politics was at an end. He wanted to make more space on council for a new generation of leadership, which meant embracing his musical career again, the Other James Gordon as it were, and this week he’s having an official launch for not just one, but two different books. So is this the official relaunch of Gordon the musician. It could be, but has he really been able to leave politics behind?
On this week’s podcast, we’ll learn if Gordon still feels compelled to keep an eye on council business, and how it feels like to be on the outside again after all those years on the inside. He will also talk about picking up where he left off with his music, being on the road again, and how he’s been able to cope with the changes to the music business in the age of streaming. Plus, Gordon will talk about his new activist work abroad, and whether he’s done with politics for good.
So let’s talk to the other James Gordon on this week’s Guelph Politicast!
You can find links to Gordon’s music and other projects, as well as a list of upcoming tour dates on his website. Gordon will be holding his double book launch tonight at the Bookshelf Cinema starting at 7 pm, tickets are $10 at the door. If you’d like to learn more about the efforts to build a health clinic in Ciruko in the Democratic Republic of Congo there’s a GoFundMe page where you can learn more.
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Photo By Trina Koster.