A&E » Arts

Gordo giving it all he’s got



Who: Gordo

Where: The Crystal Lounge

When: Saturday, Nov. 23

Whoever said hanging around a bar was bad for you? In Gord Rutherford’s case, it was one of the best things he ever did. You see, Gordo’s tale starts out much like a lot of newly-located locals – the Toronto native packed up his corporate life eight years ago and moved west to Whistler.

Gordo brought along his trusty old guitar, for he always loved playing the blues and folk pop, but it was nothing more than a home-based hobby. While in Whistler, he hung out at Citta’s, where a buddy worked behind the bar. Gordo would often come to watch their Wednesday night live music lineup and wonder "What must it be like?"

As good fortune would have it, one night a singer cancelled and there was nobody to fill the void. That’s when Gordo was called to the rescue.

"I was in shock. I had never done it before, never got up on stage, I couldn’t believe it," said Gordo.

He was a huge hit and ended up playing pretty solidly on the Whistler scene for three straight years.

The crowning glory of Gordo’s new-found career path was hosting Whistler’s New Year’s Eve 2000 celebrations.

"I had a 45 minute performance where people sang along and held their lighters high. It was incredible. I swear I must be the only solo performer who’s created a mosh pit playing a Crosby, Stills and Nash tune," he said.

When he came off stage the organizer told him he’d just played in front of 25,000 people. His smile still rings from ear to ear over that tale.

Saturday night’s gig at the Crystal Lounge marks Gordo’s return after a 12 month hiatus and he’s "stoked" to be back in the village.

"I took time off from playing guitar and also working a corporate job in Vancouver to start a family and build a house in Pemberton," Gordo explained of his absence. "But I’m back, now the babies are born and the house, well, barely finished. I just couldn’t stay from playing away any longer."

Gordo is bringing an army of a hundred songs and a buddy along this Saturday. A guy called "Homey" who plays bongo drums "to help turn things up a notch," he promised.

Gordo’s show will cover all the songs you respect and even a few B-sides.

"I’ll reach into the ’30s and play some of the old blues ballads from the greats like Robert Johnson. I’ll then settle into the ’60s and ’70s with the likes of Neil Young and Bob Dylan, and then swing into some more contemporary stuff with the Tragically Hip and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. How’s that sound?"

Sounds pretty good to me, Gordo, but when’s the album coming out?

"Funny you say that – probably next year, after the winter of course!"