Jonny has problems, but songwriting ain’t one. Listen to his song “Problems” on The DROP, then go buy it and the other 2 songs from his self-titled EP. Trust me. All three songs will have you hooked on Jonny Burke.
I recently drove an hour and a half to hear Jonny Burke play. I was curious. I didn’t know much about him until I came across his three song EP on his website and later on iTunes. I was impressed with those three songs – real impressed. Hooked. “Problems” should be all over the radio. Wanted to see him live to see if he had the “it” factor.
Lately, it has been hit and miss at shows. Don’t get me wrong, an artist doesn’t owe me anything and vice versa. But, I want to be entertained. I have been to shows where I absolutely love the songwriter and the songs, but the shows leave me flat and I would rather stay at home and listen to their music on my back porch. There are others where I will go to every show they put on, but their music is not on rotation at the house.
The truly great ones are both. Some talk, some rock, some make you laugh, some make you drink, but they all command your attention in one way or another.
Twenty years ago, I snuck up to Dallas and saw Guy Clark at Poor David’s Pub. It was a benefit for something and there were two other guys with him swapping songs. One wrote the song that Coca Cola made famous and I don’t remember the other guy. What I do remember was there were 2 crowds. One was for the benefit and one was for the music. These two usually don’t coexist. The benefit crowd was talking loudly during the set and there was about to be an issue. The music crowd and the musicians themselves were getting frustrated. They pass the guitar to Guy Clark, he stands up, unplugs his guitar, steps to the front of the stage away from any microphone and sings “The Randall Knife”. Talk about commanding a crowd. Goosebumps. Both crowds became music fans after that moment.
Jonny Burke isn’t Guy Clark, but he was well worth the trip.
He played at The Live Oak Music Hall, which is a nice but small venue. If you live anywhere near there, it is worth checking out. Not to mention that they have recently had a killer line up of shows. Jonny came out to a small and diverse crowd. He told several stories and played many of his old and new songs. He told the origin of the song “32.50”, which. If you’ve ever heard the song, you’ll wonder how it came to be. (ed. note: It is not autobiographical). He played with passion and emotion.
The only problem that night was that it should have been a packed house. Mark my words, people will be begging for the opportunity to see him in a venue that size in a few years.