Nicola spent her childhood years immersed in classical music. Piano, flute and oboe, played in bands and orchestras, and sang in choirs. Then one day, after hitch-hiking cross country and joining a spiritual community, she picked up a guitar and wrote a song. She was hooked.
Over the past 15 years ago she picked up the fiddle and ukulele, and her last CD is all ukulele songs. She was in the all-girl old time-y/ bluegrass/original band, The Honeysuckle Possums for 8 years, and now is performing her own music.
Nicola taught various classes, songwriting, ukulele and fiddle for 20 years at Santa Barbara City College. She now teaches her own private classes and workshops online.
If you are interested in the classes or the musical journey of Nicola, please join the email list by filling in the sign up form in the side bar over there –>. As a email subscriber, you get to hear new songs first, and updates about events and general inspirations, depending on what you sign up for.
Here’s reviews of the various CDs…
‘Courage to Love’ Review (latest CD)
“With her 6th album, Courage To Love, Nicola Gordon once again creates one-of-a-kind gems of alternative folk – with lyricism that moves effortlessly between poetic, playful and profound.
Expect the unexpected when you listen to Nicola Gordon’s original folk music. Playing a
virtuoso ukulele with deceptive simplicity and intriguing chords, Nicola serves up songs that are characterized by spontaneity, unflinching honesty and vulnerability… with a mercurial voice that takes you from plainspoken truths to angelic flights of melody.
But the virtues of this album do not stop there. Exquisitely produced by Robinson Eikenberry, the album features some of the finest musicians on the West Coast (or any coast, for that matter). Playing upright bass, as well as bowed bass on some songs, is David Piltch (bassist to K.D. Lang and others). Gabe Witcher (of the Punch Brothers) adds his bewitching fiddle to many tracks and Nicola’s multi-talented friend and singer-songwriter Rebecca Troon (of The Honeysuckle Possums). -Jackie Morris and the Bard Chord, February, 2014
‘Love Games’ + ‘So Many Gifts’ (4th and 5th CDs) the poetry of Hafiz, as translated by Daniel Landinsky, from the book, the Gift, altered a bit and put to music. Some of the songs are available at CDBaby (no physical CDs left).
2 cranes fly by (3rd CD)
Do not miss or underestimate this magical CD from Nicola Gordon (2 cranes). The songs, all original, are variously pointed, soothing, sharp, funny, profound, profane and simply beautiful. Melodies and multi-layered lyrics are finely woven and memorable. At least 3 (More Love, Unlikely Angel, Keeps Comin’ Back) could become classics of the poetic folk/ rock genre. The song sequence on the CD progresses from emotional nakedness to a spiritual peace that reminds us why we all need more songs like this.
—Ann Bennett, SB.
Nicola Gordon’s latest CD “2 cranes” is a delicious collection of intelligent heartfelt songs. Detailed images backed up by real emotional clout make this release a standout and repeated listenings a joy. Beautifully performed, expertly produced and harmonies to die for. A rare gift indeed! I’ll take it! –Rich Phillips, SB.
Nicola’s many talents never fail to surprise and delight. More than ever, her third C.D. features her voice and heart covering a wide and true range, spanning the octaves on perfect key and touching on topics from whimsical to mystic, ironic to profound.
To enjoy Nicola’s music is to feel uplifted in the presence of a true original, and to find oneself deeply moved by the melodies of her pure and loving spirit, and her remarkable gifts of lyric and tune.
“I really enjoyed your concert, even though I’m in a bit of an off place, going through some changes as the boys from CSNY used to call it. But the more I hear of your music, the more I hear connections with those heart things I deal with, that we all deal with…love keeps coming back…haven’t talked to you in a long time…I’ll always love you. Al l the good strong happy sad real stuff. It’s good to share that with you, or rather I guess because of you, because it’s from you… Keep it up, you’re doing great.” –Jim Lawrence, SB
Chaos Reigns (2nd CD)
“You are a very talented songwriter, I loved all your songs, especially “Not in Nashville,” and Enough, and that sing along song (sorry I don’t remember the title but the “tricky” one!) and also loved the Wide Load song. My roommate cracked up when I mentioned some of the lyrics!
You have a wonderful energy about you and of course it only adds to your performance. It’s very rare to see a performer who not only entertains but also makes the audience feel very welcomed and comfortable. Your listeners come from all walks of life, very eclectic crowd…I love that!” — Wende Allyn, Thousand Oaks, CA
Turning (1st CD)
“Moved to tears several times-hearing your voice, your words, your music this first time. The terrain of your songs has been a sweet, layered gift to me this evening. What rich poetry you offer. Thanks so much.” —Forrest Franken, SB, CA