Everything on this page was written, recorded, and performed by myself (unless otherwise noted) in my home studio—Womb With a View—which is detailed on the Gear page. These songs may not be synchronized to other media, broadcast, or resold without my permission. All songs © Gordon Highland (BMI) except where noted. Lyrics available here.
This is the first album I’ve made commercially available, released in fall 2015. It was a total DIY production crafted over the course of nine months, with me writing, producing, performing, and mixing every track in my home studio, whose songs form a loose theme: the fall and rise of a musician.
Guitar and organ feature prominently, though it’s less self-indulgent than much of my earlier material. Just good ole catchy, melodic hard rock. A little hedonism, regret, and nostalgia en route to reinvention.
The amazing cover illustration is courtesy of Boden Steiner.
Visit the official Finding the Light page for purchase links (CD, download, streaming), digital booklet with lyrics, and a fun self-shot music video. Or preview/buy the entire album in the mini player below.
Here are some eclectic selections from the FLASH archives, most of them recorded 15+ years ago.
Winebox reunited me with Shannon Lipps (formerly of Molly’s Crush, below). We stripped things down acoustically, playing a mix of our favorite covers from the last 30-odd years. Much of it was singer-songwriter material—and all of it soulful—with classic/modern rock, torch songs, and some jangly stuff. Shannon handled the vocals and percussion, with me on guitar, piano, and harmonies. I also produced several recordings of originals in the same musical vein as well.
Here are some short music cues I’ve created over the past several years for multimedia productions (video/film/web). Because they’re meant to synchronize with on-screen events, the timing may seem odd in spots. Most of these were produced very quickly on little or no budget, and I performed all the instruments, except on the the last two tracks, which feature Rod and Chad Caylor on drums and bass, respectively (I co-wrote, played guitar, and mixed).
“A Musical Tribute to the ’80s.” This was a truly professional regional act with some high-caliber musicianship. We covered everything from Billy Idol to Talking Heads with a surprisingly soulful edge and the requisite dose of camp. Known for our genre-defying medleys, we kept the asses shakin’ and the bar tab open. Co-stars: Dirk Manley (Ed Costin), Roxy Britannica (Shannon Lipps), and brothers Rocko Starr (Chad Caylor) and The Reverend (Rod Caylor). I played guitar and sang all the backups, and produced the demo.
Spawned from a short-lived group called Pipe, this reunited the Mr. Salty trinity, adding a second guitar and bluesy vocals. Four-chord modern rock with southern tendencies, spanning Pearl Jam to Collective Soul to The Black Crowes. Best known for “Here I Go,” an original tune that eventually got regional airplay, Furley was largely the house band at a Maryville, MO club called Molly’s. Other players: Jon Kluiter, Pat Redd, Darin Casey, and Austin Howell. Darin and Austin split time with Des Moines favorite The McKenzies, for whom I also created a live promo video.
Hey, it’s a better name than The Extreme Skid Halen Floyd Peppers, which summed up our influences at the time. My first gigging band came together from a series of internet postings, mutual friends, and some natural-selection jamming. The final gasp of pre-grunge metal, we covered GNR, Poison, Crüe, etc. for beer money, eventually recording a CD of original guilty pleasures called Life, Love, and Mediocrity. Partners in crime: Tony Konecne, Jon Kluiter, and Darin Casey. Previous players included Nathan Carter and Chad Thompson.