Doug Burr
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Doug Burr

Irving, Texas, United States | INDIE

Irving, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"O Ye Devastator"

Admit it. At their worst, this new wave of young folksingers, with their listless strumming and earnest delivery of high school poetry, can be hard to swallow, especially since not even the best of them—think Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart—has produced a classic song. Though not entirely innocent of these charges, Denton’s DOUG BURR stands out in surprising ways. To begin with, he’s not afraid to make his songs about something; he tells simple stories (subjects include unrequited lust and genetic predestination) and largely avoids swaddling his lyrics in impenetrable gauze. Yes, his third album, O YE DEVASTATOR (Velvet Blue Music/Spune), has a loaded title (which may be intended as a joke), but Burr’s keen ear keeps the arrangements varied. The first three tracks alone are dramatically distinct and make for a powerful opening. Even on the uncomplicated tune “Do You Hear Wedding Bells” he sets off a simmering intensity by weaving his vocals, Van Morrison–like, in and out of the melody. And when the moment calls for it, as on the title track, loud guitars and drums make everything boil over. - Texas Monthly

"Album Review: Doug Burr - O Ye Devastator"

Doug Burr’s new album O Ye Devastator is so well-crafted and precise in every aspect of the music that it is the rare type of work that pays off immediately yet also becomes more rewarding after many listens.

The songwriting is targeted at the chest and spine and Burr's aim is true from track one, “A Black Wave is Comin.’” He has a knack for hitting chords, notes and emotions that send a tingle through the spine and open up the lungs.

Adding to this sensation is his band’s brilliant control over the dynamics. They never rush a crescendo or peak too soon, saving their loudest volumes for the moments that matter the most. In fact, the entire album is a perfectly balanced crescendo using the first five songs to build to the zenith of “I Got This Fever/ O Ye Devastator” and using the last five to come to a wonderfully soft close with “High Blood and Long Evening Dresses.”

Throughout, Burr has brilliant control of his vocal timbre; he shifts effortlessly between a scuffed up, muddled, twangy and pure tenor. The differences can really be heard as “Red, Red” moves to “You’ve Been a Suspect All of Your Life.” On the surface, this seems like simply a musical choice to add some variety, but a closer listen reveals them to be much more than that.

Each song is a sketch with its own setting and characters. Burr voices every one of these characters and his vocal changes are necessities to make them believable as they search for reasons to hope amidst the doom and gloom of their worlds.

On O Ye Devastator, not only is Burr performing as a musician, but also as an actor and he is doing both at a high level.

O Ye Devastator is out on CD and a vinyl edition will be released in June via Spune. - Triangle Music

"Doug Burr’s O Ye Devastator Calls the Listener to a Public Confession"

On the cover of Doug Burr’s latest album, O Ye Devastator, is a bride, veil pulled over suspicious eyes, mouth settled into a half frown. If I had been presented with this cover in my college art appreciation class, we would have been taught to analyze every line, every color for deep meaning. That class had the misfortune of being scheduled between lunch and vector calculus, in a dark theater with cushioned seats, so I spent that hour napping or cramming at the expense of developing an eye for visual art. But I was aware of the basic principles of looking closely. The detailed attention demanded of the cover’s disconsolate bride must also be called upon when giving Burr’s album a circumspect listen.

Burr, like most truth-seeking, musical poet-prophets speaks in the subtle tongue of sweet tones and acoustic warmth. That is something like my third or fourth language, musically speaking, and it demands my nonnative patience. Burr’s oeuvre feels half-cocked somewhere between lament and triumph. It’s the sort of stalemate that could as easily drive one to madness as awe. Burr seems content to live in that tension, expecting the listener to follow.

O Ye Devastator is the fourth album release from the Denton, TX artist and it is stocked with a well-practiced narratives: One-way conversations under dark clouds; a Chicago policeman burdened under the revelation of a criminal gene; a New York yuppie reckless with fearful presumption in a Topeka diner; traditional American themes of betrayal, love, and worry. Burr bookends all of these with grave antiphons, preserving the distinctness of each episode within the overarching theme of, given what I can glean from the cover’s worried bride, a pre-nuptial foreboding.

Burr gives a generous treatment to the notion of the inescapably criminal, the deterministically corrupt, universal culpability. It’s a titanic penitence reminiscent of Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, whose own Dimitri Karamazov was often given to insisting his guilt of all sins to the witness of all humanity. Burr’s version of damnation is similarly down-to-earth, lacking the ostentation of red horns, wearing a human face and sharing our rooms.

The album reaches a crest, in theme, pace, and volume, with the titular “I Got This Fever/O Ye Devastator.” The song considers the possibility of holy devastation, wonders what comfort there is to be found in a God who breaks the backs of cedar trees. Is there a cryptic solace in the un-constrainable thunder storm? Burr’s answer: “Love ain’t love if it don’t hate.”

Only one song – “Do You Hear Wedding Bells” – is out of place here. In it, Burr indulges in a sentimentality that is beneath him, making it ironically the least consistent with our apprehensive cover bride. In that song, the picturesque church bells with a perfect view ring empty. Now, “When We Awoke,” that is a real wedding song, a merciful awaking from a long nightmare of error. The song brings the listener back to Burr’s real story of laboring in desire without knowledge. It’s the story of a bride not knowing how it ends, sometimes doubting the groom’s own promises of good intent. It’s a story that Doug Burr knows inwardly and, by his own admission, often forgets. O Ye Devastator aims to remind, in lines and forms and pigments that, absent patience, I’m prone to miss. - Front Row - D Magazine

"Doug Burr: O Ye Devastator [Album Review]"

His voice is soft. His soul seems calm. He is Doug Burr, one the latest artists to develop the prominent theory of using naturalism and a far from tyrannical use of expressions to create vibrant yet subtle songs that make you feel….well, they just make you feel. His third release, O Ye Devastator, proves to be a perfect continuation, as well as a reintroduction to this man who sings with such an ease it will leave you planted right where you are with a sensation to do nothing but listen. And listen close.

“Red Red” contains a wonderful batch of banjo riffs that will make you want to lose those pesky shoes that keep you from feeling the real earth beneath your toes. It’s a love song that expresses all the things that are so much more than a few compassionate moments. “High Blood and Long Evening Dresses” is a piano-based track that steals the show right at the very end. With an Elliot Smith wrist cutting sound, it creates a strange juxtaposition with a message of hope and a yearning for empowerment. All in about two and a half minutes. Not too shabby, and again, one of the greatest highlights of O Ye Devastator.

For those looking to lose themselves for a short while, it’s probably not a good idea to listen to this album. Yes, the stories seem personal, but those told throughout O Ye Devastator are sure to conjure up memories of lost paths and forgotten ideals; they’re relatable. The good, the bad, the unmentionable. Anything you have had hidden deep within the darkest part of your soul, it is sure to come out as Doug Burr does the same through your earbuds of solitary confinement. But, really; is this a bad thing? So hear the wedding bells tone and the weather vanes crash as this nomad of alternative folk spins through its entire being, and you’ll be able to simply love being alive for a little while. - FensePost

" reviews The Shawl"
The Shawl is staggering.

There’s really no other way to put it. Denton singer/songwriter Doug Burr (who made quite the impression with his 2007 sophomore effort, On Promenade) has delivered one of the year’s most delicate, haunting and consistently thrilling discs with The Shawl... -

"Rock & Review reviews The Shawl"

Rock & Review
...The question is, do Hebrew Psalms really hold up as musical poetry in literally-translated English? Burr's attempt is fairly convincing. The phrasing and meter never sound forced. Musically, Burr seems to tip-toe into the Psalms, cautiously, reverently. The songs move at a shuffling monk's pace, giving Burr time to carefully handle each word. Instrumentally spare, The Shawl is clearly constructed to give emphasis to the words themselves, so it is Doug Burr's voice that is always carried above the various guitars and banjos and atmospheric hum. Burr sings alone without bravado in the calm manner of the old country sound, which is consistent with The Shawl's reverent austerity. The one exception, and most engaging moment of the album, occurs on "The Righteous Will Rejoice," which ends with the grandeur of a full gospel choir....
- Rock & Review

"Americana UK reviews On Promenade"

Texan troubadour unleashes slow burner Doug Burr appears to be one of the select few lucky songwriters who possess a fully formed realisation of how to write, record and present their songs to perfection. On this release, Burr has combined his influences to record eleven songs of shimmering majesty. At times one can hear a Wilco or Bright Eyes influence but Burr’s songs are so much more than the sum of their influences.
The album kicks off with two short but beautiful songs ("Slow Southern Songs" and "Come to my Senses") before hitting its stride (a stride it never breaks) with the epic beauty of "Graniteville" and "Whippoorwill". Burr shares an intrinsic knowledge of song dynamics with the likes of Jeff Tweedy, and has a voice that tugs at the heart strings. Across it’s eleven tracks ’On Promenade" doesn’t have a single duffer.

Doug Burr has released a late contender for my album of the year, and if there is any justice in the world (we all know there isn’t!), Burr will crash the mainstream in 2008 selling millions of albums in the process. As far as I can see, Burr’s only problem now lies in how he is going to follow ’On Promenade’. Brilliant! — Dan Wilkinson Reviewers Rating: 10 out of 10 - Americana UK

"Fort Worth Weekly reviews On Promenade"

On Promenade (Spune/Velvet Blue Music)
Denton singer-songwriter Doug Burr deserves international success, but in the meantime he may consider grief counseling. On Promenade, a joint release by national indie label Velvet Blue Music and local production company Spune, is easily one of the most mournful, uncomfortably intimate releases of the year. Let’s just hope Burr awakens every morning to sunshine and bluebirds and reserves his beautifully authentic ache for his music. - Fort Worth Weekly

" reviews On Promenade"

"Doug Burr - On Promenade (CD, Velvet Blue Music, Pop)
Doug Burr is a refreshing new voice in the world of music. Our guess is that On Promenade will end up on a lot of "best of" lists for 2007. Burr writes and records soft, melodic, pensive pop music that incorporates elements of American folk and classic pop...and there is a slight Irish flavor in some of his songs. On the first spin you might mistake Promenade for any other twenty-first century soft pop album. But on the fifth or sixth listen...the substance and genuine spirit of the music begins to shine through. These songs have a nice warm organic sound and Doug’s super subtle vocals are exactly perfect for the style of songs he writes. The more we spin this album...the more impressed we are. Wonderfully sincere tracks include "Slow Southern Home," "Graniteville," "Thing About Trouble" and "Blood Runs Downhill" (easily one of the most beautiful songs we have heard this year). This is an album that is bound to stand the test of time. Highly recommended. (Rating: 5++)" -

" reviews On Promenade"

Rating: 9.2
Doug Burr’s On Promenade is Velvet Blue’s most important release since Conquest Slaughter by Frank Lenz. Described by label owner J. Cloud as "...a new twangy version of LN’s Novel", this statement rings true for a number of reasons. But perhaps Burr shares most in common with Other Desert Cities, as the country influences aren’t exactly sutble. 11 gorgeous tracks long, On Promenade is first and foremost a sprawling and layered record; the kind that would find a comfortable home beside any warm Lost Highway LP. Burr’s excellent balladry showcases soft harmony, and brilliantly understated twists within his songwriting landscape. The most refreshing and distinctive characteristic of Burr’s approach is that On Promenade doesn’t feel like a nod to the hipster alt-country fad that worships Wilco and Ryan Adams. "Graniteville" is the song that hits me the hardest, with quiet strings lurking in the background as Burr’s voice remains distant for the song’s first half. Then the dynamic changes and Burr leads the charge with an emotive elegance that numbs me every time. Guitars never quite drone (with the exception of the chilling "In The Garden") yet an intelligent wall-of-sound reverberates in Burr’s dark and moody atmosphere. After repeated listens, it’s safe to say that On Promenade is unlike any album to emerge in recent time, and no doubt it will stand as one of the most important releases of 2007. The contrast between warmth and dark melancholy is at war here, and the result is an epic draw. -

"AllMusic Guide's Doug Burr bio"

A singer and songwriter of uncommon resonance, Doug Burr was born in 1972 in Dallas, TX, growing up in a Southern Baptist family, the spiritual residue of which has been a lifelong influence on his musical endeavors. Burr took up the guitar at age 16, and by 18 he was writing songs. After a dozen or so years of home recording, open mikes, church performances, and coffeehouse gigs in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, he began fronting the roots rock band the Lonelies. In 2003 he independently released The Sickle & the Sheaves, an ambitious and atmospheric gospel concept album produced by Deadman's Steven Collins that worked around the themes of birth, death, and renewal and brought him a good deal of critical attention. The equally impressive On Promenade appeared in 2007 from Spune/Velvet Blue Music. - AllMusic Guide

"Austin Chronicle - SXSW Sleeper"

Austin Chronicle
SXSW Saturday Sleeper - Doug Burr’s songs liquidate complex visions of mortality with steely resolution, the Denton native’s detailed, literate narratives emerging in sympathetic acoustic strains. Inspired by Greil Marcus’ Mystery Train, On Promenade broods with the causticness of Will Johnson with touches of Jeff Tweedy and Neil Young. - Austin Chronicle

"Paste Magazine reviews On Promenade"

...Exquisitely detailed, slow and deliberate, his songs have as much in common with the literature of Eudora Welty and Cormac McCarthy as with the work of the Americana dimmerati to whom he is often, and somewhat shortsightedly, compared...
...On Promenade is a further elaboration on these themes of birth, death and renewal. The album has a uniquely human cadence to it, beginning with the quietly vesperal "Slow Southern Home" before patiently building into the quickened heartbeat of "In the Garden." The cycle ends with a trio of songs capped by the gorgeous "Blood Runs Downhill," a kind of eulogy for the rest of the album, part gospel, part Alex Chilton at his most ethereal...
-David Meade - Paste Magazine


O Ye Devastator (LP) 2010
The Shawl (LP) 2009
On Promenade (LP) 2007
The Sickle & the Sheaves (LP) 2003



...Exquisitely detailed, slow and deliberate, his songs have as much in common with the literature of Eudora Welty and Cormac McCarthy as with the work of the Americana dimmerati to whom he is often, and somewhat shortsightedly, compared...
-Paste Magazine

"If you haven’t been paying close enough attention, then Doug Burr would have easily fallen under your radar until now. Sure, he’s toured with St. Vincent, Son Volt, Great Lake Swimmers and has been featured in the background of a number of tv shows – but the masses haven’t seem to swarmed quite yet. Well get ready. With O Ye Devastator Burr brings us Texas-based American roots music fully equipped with banjo, pedal steel, and vocals likened to Mr. Jeff Tweedy." - Dust Sleeve

"DEVASTATINGLY BEAUTIFUL: No matter what side of the contemplative coin you fall on, there is one thing that everyone can agree on about the music of Doug Burr. It is deeply personal, yet has the capacity to reach it’s listener at their individual need. With 2009’s The Shawl, Burr proved that the ancient and sacred texts of the Psalms are as relevant on the stages of smoky clubs as in King David’s court. Now comes O Ye Devastator, possibly his most beautiful to date. of Denton’s finest performers" - NBC DFW

"mesmerizing tracks like A Black Wave Is Comin' and High Blood and Long Evening Dresses -- sneaks up on you in dazzling fashion." - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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