Dear Friends,

You couldn’t have told me 5 weeks ago that a new passion would enter my life but I have one. It calls to me now every day, when I draw a glass of water at my kitchen sink, when I look out at our little pond, or when I feel the drops of clean water on my face in the shower. I see the faces. They are beautiful faces a world away from me living in the village of “Kasarani” Kenya. I met these people in my mind during a chance conversation with my neighbor Vic Hamer, also a resident of Sparta, Illinois. He told me of his work with George Hutchings, “The Shoeman,” from St. Louis, Missouri, and the times he has accompanied George to help the people in Kenya. George collects used shoes and turns them into water! The shoes that we consider useless are refurbished and sold in countries where they are so needed with the small profits used to drill wells in Kenya. As it turns out “The Shoeman” has nearly secured the funds and preparing to leave for Kenya in January 2012 with the
hopes of drilling 13 wells.

In the meantime Vic learned of a 14th well that is desperately needed. Again during a chance conversation, Vic met a young girl named Ruth Manyara who is schooling at SIU University in Carbondale, Illinois. As Vic and Ruth visited she told him of her dream. Ruth is from the village of Kijabe (which does have a well) where her father is a pastor. With great trials, her father also pastors the village of Kasarani (an hour travel away) where he has an orphanage and provides a water and feeding center for up to 250 children once a day. Kasarani is in dire need of a well and the people have prayed fervently 3 years for this miracle.

This miracle could be a reality if the funds for the 14th well in Kasarani can be raised by January, when Mr. Hutchings, along with the entire drill rig and volunteers plan to leave for their mission. The extra needed funds would run approximately $15,000. In this area of Kenya they must drill through granite, sometimes down 120 feet, and the drill bits for such a task can cost $4500 each.

As my neighbor Vic told me of his quest to raise this extra money, it became clear to me that I was being given a chance to do something beyond myself. That evening, my husband Gary, (along with our son Noah) agreed that we should step forward with our gift of music to dig this well. Likewise our good friends Mel Besher and Adam Yount, both from Missouri, agreed to share their talents.

We quickly rented the Varsity Center for the Arts in Carbondale and put the posters and tickets to print. The Varsity seats 150 and with the silent auction we are in the highest hopes of raising $5000, which is still quite short of our goal. I implore you to spread the word to help us fill the seats and request that you would extend this letter to your friends, churches or employers who would want to sponsor the effort. Any donations are tax deductible and we are in need of items for the silent auction.

Our top auction item so far is a gift from “Charlie Daniels,” an autographed collectible fiddle. Mark your calendars for a wonderful evening of music with us and dig a little deeper in the well.

Peace, Love and Water, Roberta Gordon

Saturday, September 24, 2011
Varsity Center for the Arts
418 South Main, Carbondale, Illinois
Showtime 8 PM Door Opens 6:30 PM
Tickets sold at : Alligator Music
166 West Broadway
Sparta, Illinois
Advance tickets $25 At the Door $30
Anyone who would like to sponsor or donate an auction Item can contact me directly.
For more information about “The Shoeman” visit

With great enthusiasm Inside Out Recording Studio began recordings for Adam Yount on May 16th. Adam is an astoundingly unique singer songwriter blasting out of the Missouri Ozarks. His guitar prowess and lyrics are rooted in hip tradition. His lyrics seem simple, about common things, but are indeed profound. He is being toasted as Missouri’s answer to Steve Earle.

Adam’s works are being produced by Mel Besher, co-produced by Gary Gordon, and the cast for the sessions include Mel Besher, Robert Bowlin, Mark Stoffel, Gary Gordon, Roberta Gordon and Curtis Jay Hiner.

With release date in July, Adam Yount will change some things with his music.

Roberta and Stacey Hicks attended a “Widespread Panic” concert with all the canned goods that they could carry. “Panic” played three consecutive concerts nights at the Ryman with food for the Nashville pantries being part of the requested admission. Noah had made special arrangements for Mom and Stacey to meet the band at the exclusive pre-show live radio performance at Nashville”s Lightening 100 FM. They were the only chicks invited! Later when Noah was declared the hero he humbly replied ” No, I’m just a guy that loves his Mom.”

Track # 3
The beautiful curious sound in places is an acoustic guitar with a string bender installed. Not just an average guitar but the one and only, very first guitar with the “Parsons / White B Bender.” Meridian Green was visiting The Gordons and had it along while sessions where in progress. Meridian became a close friend through the years that Alligator Music offered the Bender installations. We actually became friends because of our contact with Meredian for the Stringbender installs. Her and her husband at the time, Gene Parsons (drummer for The Byrds) owned the patent, provided and installed the benders for us at the store.

Welcome to The Gordons’ brand new website! A long while in the making, we’re proud to unveil it to the world at last. We hope you’ll check in often for updates and exciting news. Sign up for our newsletter for all the updates on concerts and new music.

Gordon Wilfong began picking with us in 1974 and kept busy with us into 1978. We remained friends and continued to pick over the years. He passed away from cancer on Monday, August 24, 2009.

Gordon was like a brother to Roberta and I. He was a source of inspiration. He had an amazing knowledge of bluegrass and huge repertoire. Kenny Baker called several times hoping to get Gordon to work with Bill Monroe. He stuck with us. We were close and we’ll miss him.