Blake Burgess
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Blake Burgess

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Americana Indie

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As a teenager, Blake Burgess distanced himself from country music in favor of rock ‘n roll. He grew up in small Oklahoma towns where twang ruled then and now.

Not even in grade school yet, Burgess’ dad would take him and his brother to hear country music outfits perform at honky tonk barn Diamond Ballroom in rural Oklahoma County. They’d be wearing requisite boots, Wranglers and Garth Brooks-style striped shirts.

Later, Burgess took off as a musician in punk rock directions, but country was embedded deep in his soul.

Tonight, he’ll perform original alternative country songs with fellow guitarist Taylor Gary at Opolis, 113 N. Crawford Ave., opening for Annie Oakley.

“Calling my music ‘alternative country’ is semi-accurate,” Burgess said. “I find it hard generalizing what I do. I like playing rock ‘n roll and country music. When I was in high school I wanted to get away from Oklahoma country, but then I got older and got back into it.

“I love country music because it’s something that speaks to people like me from rural areas and working-class people who still have feelings, too. Traumatic things happen in their lives and they have stories to tell. But I also like playing loud, fast punk rock and just making noise.”

Burgess brings both elements into his sound. His 2016 LP titled “Light of this World” posted at bandcamp.com includes song titles “Trans-Pecos Blues, “Ruby” and “El Sueno De El Campo.” He’s a member of other projects including Oklahoma Cloud Factory and yet to debut DumbLuck.

Burgess is nearing completion of a new album of his own material.

“A lot of people played on my last album,” he said. “This one I’ve taken on all the instrumental duties myself. Taylor (Gary) has played on a couple of songs. This record will have more arrangements, the last one was standard two guitars, bass, drums and keys.

“This new one has French horn, trumpet and violin. There’s straight-up rock songs, slow country waltzes and weird shoegaze meets country standard. That’s probably what I’m most excited about, and we’re looking at early 2018 release.”

If the neo-psychedelia of shoegaze paired with country seems unconventional, that’s just the start. Burgess’ songwriting often follows a stream-of-consciousness formula, which flies in the face of Nashville-style storytelling.

“My songs are a cathartic way of releasing what I feel inside so I’ll feel better,” he said. “It’s a form of therapy for me. I’m not into taking medication for depression, but it’s something I’ve struggled with since I was a teenager. I’ve always loved music, so writing songs just seemed like a natural step.

“I’ve gone through break-ups and had friends die, one when we were only 17, so that definitely changed part of my life. I write from those feelings, but it’s a joyous thing because it’s a way for me to get it out, and maybe somebody else will hear it and know I felt that way, too.”

The way music touches people and brings them together is Burgess’ primary artistic inspiration.

“It is so cool seeing people from around here playing country stuff for audiences in Europe and they love it,” he said. “Seeing that music translate to a broader audience and spread across cultures is something I love.

“Being able to release what I feel out into the world and if people like it, cool, if not at least I did it and it makes me feel better that I’ve contributed to this life.”

Burgess likes that his current self-titled project allows him to set rules artistically.

“Especially with recordings, I can try out weird stuff, sitting there and harmonizing Thin Lizzy-style guitar solos over low-key country rock songs,” he said. “I’m a guitar nerd, so it is super fun and I really enjoy doing it.”

Although Burgess is definitely the counter culture member of his family, they’re proud of what he does. He’s proud of great-grandmother Eileen Musgrave, who is also a vocalist.

“She is part of the Sunny Lane United Methodist Church choir that was handpicked to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City last year,” he said. - Doug Hill-Norman Transcript


Discography

Light Of This World (Album)-2016

Holiday Theme (Single)-2016

Everything Sucks (Single)-2017

New album to be released in Spring of 2018.

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