South Carolina native Stephen Gordin has enjoyed watching the Palmetto State rivalry winning streak stretch to five games for the Gamecocks and he recently found a way to recognize them using one of his many talents as a songwriter.
"Carolina High Five" is a song Gordin wrote as a Southern Rock tribute to the winning streak. Some rocking music and fun lyrics make this a real treat for Gamecock fans.
The idea for the song was hatched over the Christmas holidays of 2013 when talking with Spurs & Feathers' columnist Phil Kornblut about the current winning streak over Clemson. Gordin even credits Kornblut with giving him the idea for the title.
"After talking with Phil over Christmas, I sat down that evening and began writing it. I kind of got the lyrics down and then started working on the music for it. It took a couple weeks to get it done," Gordin recalled.
After finishing the song, Gordin approached producer Tim Lawter, who had served in the same role for Gordin's other albums, with the idea and enlisted the help of Rusty Milner (formerly of the Marshall Tucker Band) to play lead guitar. Lawter then created the arrangement and the group went forward with making the song.
Gordin said he was pleased to have "world-class musicians" work with him in performing his Gamecock tribute song. He said that he has never shied away from asking for help from more talented or knowledgable musicians because playing with them has helped him improve as well.
"I've been mainly a songwriter more than a performer until the last several years when I started performing a little more … playing with those talented musicians is kind of like playing golf with Tiger Woods I guess; they help you raise your game. Since I've started working with these folks I feel like it has made me a much better musician," Gordin commented.
Gordin's musical background dates back to piano lessons as a child and he took some guitar, banjo and fiddle lessons throughout his musical career as well. He said that he started writing lyrics in college and began writing his own songs in his late-20s. Gordin said he listens to and writes any genre of music, but he is most comfortable playing blues, rock and southern rock. Gordin is also a published author, an avid runner, fisherman and deeply-devoted family man.
Gordin makes his home in the Upstate and even lived in Clemson for some time - "in the heart of enemy territory" - which makes the recent turn of fortune on the gridiron satisfying for him. He said that the streak has changed the landscape of the rivalry and Gamecock fans no longer have to say "wait 'til next year."
"I was raised a Gamecock fan and it's almost like a religion in this state. I know I'm not the only one whose been waiting a lifetime to see us win a few over the Tigers. It's fun to celebrate the moment," Gordin said.
"Carolina High Five" as well as Gordin's other songs and CD's are available for purchase on Amazon, iTunes and cdbaby.com, among other online retailers.
"It is available virtually any place that somebody would buy their downloads," Gordin stated.
The final verse of the song describes the change in fortunes for the Gamecocks over the past five seasons in the rivalry matchup before ending with the chorus:
"Then came the game in '09 and who knew then that it would be a sign?/lightning would strike and burn through the sky/and emblazen the stars with a Carolina High Five."
**Story by Mike Kucharski**