Austin singer-songwriter Colin Gilmore is building his reputation the old-fashioned way:
hard work and imagination. He and his new wife's idea of the perfect honeymoon was a
tour of Japan, where he played eight cities in 10 days, complete with a different backing
band at each gig. He has recently toured the west coast, played the Old Town Art Fair in
Chicago, and played an online interactive concert at Mike Nesmith's Videoranch. The
Flatlanders included Gilmore's song "The Way We Are" on their latest album Hills and
Valleys. It was the album's number one selling song on iTunes for three weeks.
Gilmore is now recording an album that is set to be released in early 2010, which Lloyd
Maines is co-producing. He recently toured with Alejandro Escovedo in the Pacific
Northwest and with the Flatlanders in California. He played to an enthusiastic crowd at
the Chicago Country Music Fest in October 2009.
Gilmore's self-described blend of "West Texas rock, with a
country/punk/psychedelic/pop edge," is also earning him a fan base – and airplay – in
California. He made more than 15,000 new fans at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
in San Francisco. He shared the bill there and toured the country with another Texas
favorite: his father, Jimmie Dale Gilmore.
"I'm happy to be his son but I don't capitalize on his name" says Gilmore. "Fans won't
stick around for music that doesn't speak to them. You have to earn that on your own."
Gilmore was raised in the musically rich town of Lubbock, where he was influenced by
family friends Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, Terry Allen, the late Jesse Taylor and especially
his mother, Debbie Fields. You can hear Buddy Holly's impact (and that of other Texas
troubadours) in Gilmore's "Laughing Hard or Crying?" But that aforementioned edge
was sharpened by other influences: the Clash, the Pogues, the Sex Pistols, Johnny Cash,
and Leonard Cohen.
A more recent influence is Bay Area producer Scott Mathews, an industry legend whose
resume includes the names Clapton, Jagger, Richards, Orbison, Costello, Hiatt, Santana,
Ramone, and Wilson. Gilmore sent Matthews his first recording, the EP Four of No Kind,
which led to the two co-writing and recording three songs. Both eagerly anticipate their
next collaboration. (Raves Matthews: "The world doesn't need yet another singer-
songwriter – it needs Colin Gilmore. In my world, he's the one.")
Gilmore has also co-written with Nashville's Jon Tiven, who produced B.B. King and has
written hits for Robert Cray and Buddy Guy. They wrote "Raindrops in July" in homage
to Gilmore's uncle Allen and Johnny Cash, who happened to die on the same day. Willie
Nelson's A&R rep thought it would be perfect for him. (Are you listening, Willie?)
"I'm not set on instant success," says Gilmore. "I'm in it for the long haul. I'm fortunate I
got to hear from a very early age what real, heartfelt, good music was."
Fortunately for us, Colin is now busy making his own.