Born in 1951, Gordon grew up in Edinburgh and started bagpipes in 1958 with Hance Gates who was a Pipe Major of Edinburgh City Police. After playing in Boys Brigade and Royal High School pipebands he went on to study Town Planning at Dundee Art School. In Dundee he met traditional folk song and fiddle at Dundee Folk Club and heard Northumbrian smallpipes played by Billy Pigg on the John Peel radio show. While working in Edinburgh he was drawn to the folk revival scene at Sandy Bells pub and at the Linlithgow Folk Club where he met Jimmy Anderson of the Clutha and Rab Wallace of the Whistlebinkies who were also members of the world famous Muirhead Pipe Band. Encouraged to join the band, Gordon spent a year in intense tuition with Pipe Sergeant Davy Hutton. The rigour of that training took Gordon's playing to a new level. After Muirheads folded, Gordon played with Kinneil Colliuery pipeband and was for several years Town Piper of Linlithgow. During the late 1970's he began researching Lowland piping music and instruments and took up the Northumbrian smallpipes. In 1981 with Mike Rowan and Hugh Cheape he formed the Lowland and Border Pipers Society and through contact with pipemaker Colin Ross brought about the revival in playing and making Scottish Smallpipes and Border pipes. In 1983/4 he published his collections of music for the Lowland and Border Bagpipes and a Tutor for the instruments. In 1985 he produced the ground breaking and acclaimed album "O'er the Border". His tutor for Northumbrian smallpipes was Joe Hutton, an inspiration to Gordon and so many others. Gordon's expressive and innovative playing has taken him to perform in Europe, North America and throughout the UK with the band O'er the Border and with his famous fiddle playing daughter Shona and as a duo with harpist and whistle player, Nancy Lyon.
Now retired from a career in Town Planning he lives in Quebec and continues to perform,teach and make instruments.
released February 26, 2016
This archive collection of music for the Border bagpipes was recorded in 2003 but never published until 2016 as I had nae money and methods of publication like Bandcamp were not available. Thanks to Barbara, Shona, Craig and Dave for making these recordings possible and thanks to the Border landscapes for their inspiration.