Big Joe Burke
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Big Joe Burke

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Sept 2, 2007

For fans of roots/rock, country/rock or whatever you want to call it, this is a disc that you are going to want to have. "It's raw, It's honest, It's beautiful, It's BIG JOE BURKE, It rocks."

Most of the time such press releases are tested to see if they are real and therefore CD Baby and MySpace are a blessing for many artists. The above is the laudatory criticism of our good friend Graham Brown whose album "Stand Your Ground" we reviewed last August.

Joe Burke is rough and twangy and his debut album "Love or Money" should be classified as a 'must buy' for anyone who enjoys the Bakersfield sound in combination with a firm shot of country-blues and roots.

The opener "Prairie Town" rocks like crazy. "The Tragic Death of Jimmie Dean & the Ragtop", the title track "Love or Money" and the brilliant alt. country pearls "Judgement Day" and "Unsaid" and "Cups on the Table" take you to a place where drinks are flowing, cars are tearing through curves in the road and the onlookers are drunk as skunks.

Happily, Burke and his friends James, Gord and Sandy build a much-needed pause to persuade the beautiful women to join us for an intimate dance. Country from the past with George Jones "Just One More" achieves perfect harmony with the contemporary Wilco sound in "Far, Far Away". The album "Love or Money" is a very tasteful initiative where electric guitars delightfully duel with steel guitars and the drums, subtle and unobtrusive throughout give sufficient space to guests Kathryn Peterson and Tom Lavin so they can also contribute successfully to the album.

Where sweet, sweet home felt country meets rock and roll is the message we get from "Statue" and I think that it�s clear that Big Joe Burke and band is a guaranteed evening of excellent entertainment. Put on your dancing shoes and get up on the floor for a two-step with your sweetie? premier stuff out of Vancouver - Rootstime Belgium


Sept 4, 2007

Few people do this kind of country anymore. It's either slick and self-conscious or leaning in the direction of pop-rock. Burke is rough and twangy; guitar and pedal steel indulge in a gruesome duel while he sings of drinking till he dies, or gets nostalgic thinking about his prairie town. There is more enthusiasm than refinement, more up-tempo energy than introspection. A song such as "Statue" goes back to that place where country met rock 'n' roll, or Hank Williams met Elvis Presley. Burke's choice of covers is telling, too: Wilco (the new), Merle Haggard (the old) and George Jones (the sodden). Grade: B - Tom Harrison - Tom Harrison - The Province Newspaper


BRAVO - RAW, BEAUTIFUL, HONEST - BIG JOE BURKE

Here's a local band with a taste of dust, whiskey, open prairies and open hearts. Nice job boys, real fine songs, and some very tasteful playing.

The disc starts off with Prairie Town which is one of my favorites at the moment, with a great guitar intro to pull you in and Joe's... big honest voice washing over you, singing about the prairie town he grew up in, seems so right to me, a well written song. There are some real stand-outs on this CD for me. The afore mentioned Prairie Town, Judement Day which is a song that I can hear Gordon Lightfoot singing and probably wish he wrote . Unsaid would fit nicely into any Blue Rodeo set or Jr. Gone Wild set for that matter. There are so many fine guitar tones through out the disc that it's pointless to list them song by song. And for you drummers out there, there's some fine brush work that really sets the feel and allows the band to sit in the pocket effortlessly. Joe's voice takes you back to a time when singers used to tell stories in a honest believeable tone. Joe has included some cover songs that the boys pull off with class. On the song Just One More Joe's voice lives to sing that song and you can hear it some where deep, dark and beautiful.

For fans of roots/rock, country/rock or whatever you want to call it,this is a disc that you are going to want to have. "It's raw, It's honest, It's beautiful, It's BIG JOE BURKE, It rocks." - Graham Brown - Songwriter/Performer


Sunday, December 2, 2007
Review -- BIG JOE BURKE - Love or Money

LOVE OR MONEY
Big Joe Burke
Independent
8.5-out-of-10
If you like your country with that 1950's rock undertone, then Big Joe Burke is another performer you will want to put on your list to search out.
Burke is the lead vocalist and guitar picker fronting a full blown band which pelts out rockabilly/Americana influenced rock.
This is a five-piece outfit, with a couple of guests thrown in for the Indie recording session, so the sound is big, bold and full-powered, hearkening back to a time when bands could afford to be bigger, a time when there was more money to spread around to the 'boys in the band'. Listening to Big Joe Burke you really get a connection back to the time of performers like Buddy Holly, albeit this is a slightly more countrified. This is music with a beat, a honky tonk sensibility, that keeps the foot tapping.
It's hard to chose a 'best' song here, since almost every cut here works, from the opening effort Prairie Town, through songs such as The Tragic Death of Jimmie Dean & the Ragtop, Statue and Life In Prison.
Big Joe fires on all cylinders here, cruising through the rockabilly streets like a gas guzzling '57 Chevy retrofitted as a hot rod. You can see this guy cruising up to a drive-in burger joint, ordering a mug of root beer, and then grabbing his guitar and wailing out a few songs as the parking lot turns into a dance floor. SWEET!!!!!!
Don't miss this one if you like your country with passion, shooting straight from the hip. Check it out at www.bigjoeburke.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Nov 28, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada
Posted by Calvin Daniels at 8:34 AM - Calvin Daniels - Yorkton This Week


Albums, concerts, random musings
Our music writers, along with some special surprise artist contributors, recall 2007
The Province
Published: Thursday, December 27, 2007

The year before it was Anthill, but that group didn't produce a new album. The local scene had a lot of great bands releasing a lot of good indie stuff, but the one I enjoyed the most was Combine The Victorious. It showed a knowledge of the past that it used to go forward. Pride Tiger, Cinderpop, Big Joe Burke and Panurge are more homegrown acts to be proud of.

-- Tom Harrison

The Vancouver Province 2007 - Tom Harrison - The Province Newspaper


Aspiring country bands should know about this. Every Tuesday, the Lynnwood Pub is presenting Country Night Out, hosted by Big Joe Burke. Burke has nearly finished a great country-rock album well-worth hearing for its mix of country twang with a Blasters kind of rock. - The Province Newspaper - Vancouver - May 2007


Discography

CD/Debut Album: "Love or Money" July 14th, 2007

Air Play:

30AUG2007 - "CFUN Radio" - Vancouver - Interview & "Love or Money"

Web/Radio Play:

Big Joe Burke has surpassed 14,500 visits and 13,400 plays in MySpace in a very short time, as well as having been featured on several online podcasts and streaming radio programs - including the very popular alt-country station 'Boot Liquor Radio', "CBC Radio3", "Country 1 - New Artist Radio":

Examples:

BOOT LIQOUR PLAYS:

08APR2008 - JUST ONE MORE
07APR2008 - LOVE OR MONEY
06APR2008 - LOVE OR MONEY
05APR2008 - LIFE IN PRISON
04APR2008 - LIFE IN PRISON
02APR2008 - LIFE IN PRISON
31MAR2008 - LOVE OR MONEY
30MAR2008 - LIFE IN PRISON
25MAR2008 - LIFE IN PRISON

CBC Radio - ON THE COAST:

2007MAY02 - LOVE OR MONEY
2007MAY02 - PRAIRIE TOWN
2007MAY22 - PRAIRIE TOWN
2007MAY23 - LOVE OR MONEY

COUNTRY SONGVAULT - TOP 40:

3 songs uploaded April 9th made Top 40 by May 10th:

#4 - NOT AGAIN
#11 - CUPS ON THE TABLE
#17 - JIMMIE DEAN

Photos

Bio

Few people do this kind of country anymore. It's either slick and self-conscious or leaning in the direction of pop-rock. Burke is rough and twangy; guitar and pedal steel indulge in a gruesome duel while he sings of drinking till he dies, or gets nostalgic thinking about his prairie town. There is more enthusiasm than refinement, more up-tempo energy than introspection. A song such as "Statue" goes back to that place where country met rock 'n' roll, or Hank Williams met Elvis Presley. Burke's choice of covers is telling, too: Wilco (the new), Merle Haggard (the old) and George Jones (the sodden). Grade: B -- Tom Harrison, The Province. September 5, 2007.

For more information, bookings, etc. please contact the band at management@bigjoeburke.com or visit: bigjoeburke.com

Big Joe Burke's debut album "Love or Money" draws our attention to moments in time that define us, make us who we are. "We all make decisions and compromises in our lives; often the most important involve a choice between love or money."

Burke's own life story is the stuff that country songs (and legends) have long been made of, connecting him to music and inspiring him to become a musician at an early age.

As a songwriter, Burke's intensely visual lyrics are like a collection of cleverly written vignettes, character sketches and raw, honest, soulful expression. In "Love or Money", Burke's songs tell of the life hard lived, of choices made, or left unmade, prices paid, and the value of love."Love or Money" makes no judgments and pushes no answers. "I'm just sharing observations and experiences." Burke states. "We all have to make our own choices in life, and live with them."

Burke's performance is sincere and heartfelt. "I love performing," Burke states, "seeing and feeling how a song can touch the audience. Making that kind of connection with people just shows how much we all share in common."

Since releasing "Love or Money" in the summer of 2007 Burke has been reaching into the hearts and minds of fans from Vancouver to Berlin - and developing a devoted fan base of folks who've come to see him as a friend.

Burke's powerful pipes, ability to sing from the heart and express each song as if living the moment, definitely bring his listeners deep inside every song he performs.

Burke's musical influence spans the decades; Williams, Cash and Presley to Townshend, Costello and Tweedy. Comparisons can be made to some of country and rock'n'roll's greats, but "Love or Money" defines Big Joe Burke as a singer, songwriter and performer who has what it takes to become a legend unto his own.