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“If they could see you through my eyes, they'd know where the real beauty lies. Deep inside your heart, who you really are; if they could see you through my eyes.”Read More...
If you look at the credits of a Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson or Martina McBride album anxious to find the name of the great piano player who adds so much musical flavor to those top-selling records, the name is Gordon Mote, an accomplished musician, master prankster and devoted Christian. If there was an award on Nashville’s famed Music Row for Mr. Congeniality, Gordon would be the recipient.
His prowess on the keyboards has earned him a reputation as one of Nashville’s top session musicians and most sought-after concert pianists. With the release of his new project, Don’t Let Me Miss the Glory, Gordon steps from the shadows of Music Row’s busiest studios and into the bright spotlight.
“I feel like the songs are strong,” Gordon says of his latest effort. “I feel like it’s a very encouraging album. I feel like it marries a lot of genres. If you love music, I think you’ll enjoy this record.”
Gordon’s passion for music is contagious. He’s an insightful songwriter who knows the value of a strong lyric, and he possesses a voice that resonates with warmth and conviction. As a pianist, he’s one of the best-known musicians in the industry. He’s performed on stage with Lee Greenwood, Trisha Yearwood, Tanya Tucker, Bill Gaither and Grand Ole Opry legend Porter Wagoner among others. In the studio, a “who’s who of country and Christian artists” have benefited from Gordon’s gifts, among them Rascal Flatts, Randy Travis, The Martins, Mark Lowry, Trace Adkins, The Gaither Vocal Band and Kenny Chesney.
Gordon could make a very comfortable living strictly as a studio musician without having to venture out on a bus and leave his family for the rigors of the road. Just what made him decide to pursue a career as a recording artist? “I didn’t decide that, God decided,” he says candidly. “I was happy as could be…was a worship leader at my church and was home on the weekends and loving life. Grateful for my studio career and playing on a bunch of big ole records, I thought I had the tiger by the tail.”
However, when a Christian gets comfortable with the status quo, that’s often when God calls them out of their comfort zone. In fact, this is not the first time God has given Gordon a friendly shove. There have been other times in his life and career when God opened a door and guided him through it.
Born in Gadsden, Ala., Gordon, who has been blind since birth, surprised his parents by playing the piano when he was only three years old. His family moved to Talladega when he was six, and sports and music became the two passions that dominated his youth. An honor student and captain of his high school marching band, Gordon earned a full scholarship to Alabama’s Jacksonville State University.
While attending college in Jacksonville, a friend set up a meeting for Gordon with famed Muscle Shoals musician/producer Jimmy Johnson, an Alabama icon who has worked with Bob Seger, the Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan. “I played some of my songs for him and he said, ‘Son, you’re really good, but you’re in the wrong place,’” Gordon recalls. “He said, ‘You need to go to Nashville and go to Belmont. You need to be in a place where everybody is better than you, where they’ll just knock you off your feet. You’re the best there is where you are; but in a year, you’ll be better than them.’ He didn’t just tell me that; he set it up for me to get an audition for a scholarship.”
Though he was comfortable being a big fish in a small pond, Gordon made the move to Nashville and began attending Belmont University. During finals a professor told him Lee Greenwood was looking to hire a piano player who could also sing for his band. Gordon didn’t think he had a chance at the gig; but much to his surprise two days after graduation, Gordon found himself on the road as the new piano player in Greenwood’s band.
Three years later when Greenwood came off the road and moved to Sevierville, Tenn., to open his own theater, Gordon opted to remain in Nashville. He began steadily building his resume as a studio musician and life was good. He recorded a couple of instrumental projects that were extremely well-received, landing a Dove Award nomination.
However, his session work remained his bread and butter—a great way to remain at home with his family and make a good living. When he was approached about recording another album, he politely said no. “I said, ‘Man, thank you so much for thinking of me, but I’m not interested. I’m here with my wife and kids and I don’t need a job. I have a job,” Gordon recalls telling record executive Bob Rodgers. “About nine or 10 months later, I was out on my porch, listening to a Braves game and just feeling so down. I had nothing to feel down about. I was working a lot. My kids were healthy and everything was great between me and my wife, but I just felt so empty.
“Finally I just said, ‘God, if this really is what you want me to do, I’ll do it; but you know in my heart I have no desire to do this. I need you to give me the passion to minister.’ Once I said yes, I have never had passion for something like this ministry. It’s pretty unbelievable. I thought you had to be perfect. You don’t have to be perfect; you just have to be willing.”
That willingness led to the recording There’s No Place That Love Can’t Reach, which garnered notice for his singing and songwriting skills, and gained the attention of music lovers nationwide, including legendary Gospel music icon Bill Gaither. Shortly after the release of Gordon’s debut RSI recording, he received an invitation from Gaither to join him on several concert events. By the Spring of 2006, Gordon had become a permanent fixture on the highly successful, long-running Gaither Homecoming Tour. Since joining the Tour and becoming pianist for the multi-talented Gaither Vocal Band, Gordon has gained the respect and admiration of fans nationwide.
In the summer of 2007 Gordon toured as a special guest with his Homecoming Tour mates, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound during the popular quartet’s Get Away Jordan Summer Tour. Gordon and Signature Sounds delighted fans in 18 cities during the three-month tour, and enjoyed sold-out concerts in several cities nationwide.
To say that Gordon has enjoyed whirlwind success throughout the past two years would be somewhat of an understatement. This passionate Alabama football fan now performs in excess of 145 concerts a year, in addition to being one of Nashville’s most sought-after studio musicians. Gordon is the first to attest that he is fulfilling his lifelong dream, but he remains a focused, dedicated family man, who admits his favorite thing about traveling is returning home to his family. He and wife, Kimberly have been married for 15 years. The two have three children, 11-year-old Samantha, eight-year-old Parker and a brand new baby, Ashton Graham, born on September 24, 2007.
During the Fall of 2006, Gordon began work on yet another recording. Much time and energy was placed in selecting just the right songs for this new recording. The end result is a delightful collection that, as one reviewer commented, “puts him (Gordon) in the forefront as one of Gospel music’s finest talents.” Gordon’s servant’s heart and passion for sharing the Gospel infuse every track on his new release, Don’t Let Me Miss the Glory (Spring Hill Music Group/RSI Music Group). The project hits the streets on October 23rd and serves as a perfect showcase for Gordon’s versatility as an artist.
Like two of his musical heroes--Floyd Cramer and Hargus “Pig” Robbins, whose piano playing helped define so many country music hits--Gordon is a gifted musician with a well-honed sense of how to deliver a song. In fact, he has been nominated in recent years for Musician of the Year at the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards. However, his gifts extend beyond the keyboard to songwriting, producing and performing. All facets of his extraordinary talent converge on Don’t Let Me Miss the Glory.
“I think the thing that I’ve learned more than anything is just to be true to who you are because it’s your name that’s on the album and it’s your name that’s on the bus,” says Gordon. “If you don’t really believe in what you’re singing, you can’t do it with passion.”
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- Mercy Walked In (Don't Let Me Miss The Glory Album Version) - 2,600 plays
- I Can't Even Walk (Without You Holding My Hand) (Don't Let Me Miss The Glory Album Version) - 2,053 plays
- Sweet Forgiveness (Homecoming Picnic Album Version) - 1,006 plays
- Don't Let Me Miss The Glory (Don't Let Me Miss The Glory Album Version) - 667 plays
- When I Lift Up My Head - 612 plays
- Hold Me Up - 554 plays
- Wounded Hands - 397 plays
- Mercy Walked In - 1,004 plays
- Everything Is Beautiful - 373 plays
- I Surrender All - 637 plays