HomeMusic“Achieving is Succeeding” by Kayden Gordon and Bob McGilpin

“Achieving is Succeeding” by Kayden Gordon and Bob McGilpin

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The combined talents of Kayden Gordon and Bob McGilpin make the new single “Achieving is Succeeding” one of the young year’s must-hear country music songs. The young songwriter Gordon has rapidly established himself as a force to be reckoned with in country music circles thanks to the growing popularity of his “The Kayden Gordon Show, Today’s Best Country Mix” which appears on over 150 radio stations across the United States. His show helps push modern country performers while playing a mix of both music from today and yesterday. “Achieving is Succeeding” was inspired by his recent graduation from high school and looking back on the path that led him to that auspicious occasion but, like the precocious talent that he is, Gordon draws deeper wisdom from that event.

Bob McGilpin proves to be an excellent conveyor of that message. An one-time recording artist with Butterfly/RCA and Casablanca Records during the 1970s, McGilpin is a jack of all musical trades with his hands deep in production, a studio owner, a recording engineer, and a builder and designer of both guitar amplifiers and cabinets. His well-honed skills are in fine fettle for this track.

His vocal presence alone is enough to elevate “Achieving is Succeeding”. The calm talk-singing that he opens the song with resonates with confidence. Patient phrasing is another strength that’s readily apparent from the outset. He modulates his voice accordingly for the song’s chorus, and his steady, unwavering embodiment of the song’s message helps to drive home its point with listeners. He shines especially brightly during the track’s chorus.

However, he’s never overwrought. He is singing full out during the chorus, but only befitting what the moment demands. McGilpin’s instincts for what the song needs are unerring. The structure of the track dictates that to a significant degree. “Achieving is Succeeding” is cast in the mold of a classic country track, the steel guitar presence included, and vocal pyrotechnics of any kind would constitute artistic malpractice of the highest order.

The musicianship is low-key, yet superb. The earlier mentioned pedal steel is the one instrumental performance, however, that leaps out at listeners. Rather than supplying that classic high lonesome sound familiar to so many fans of the style, the pedal steel heard during “Achieving is Succeeding” acts as a second “voice” duetting with McGilpin’s vocals. It isn’t set up in a call-and-response style but weaves around each other in a seamless dance.

“Achieving is Succeeding” addresses listeners with everyday language and sparkles with thoughtful intelligence. It does not overstay its welcome with listeners. Gordon and McGilpin designed the track to hit certain benchmarks while eschewing any musical self-indulgence. There are detours, sidebars, or needless trips. Pseudo-virtuosity is absent from the single.

Instead, we have a healthy dose of the familiar lit up by a surfeit of undeniable inspiration. Kayden Gordon penned a genuine winner with “Achieving is Succeeding” which illustrates his deep understanding of the song’s target audience, and Bob McGilpin brings it all home with skill and grace.

Heather Savage

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