Randy Burk and the Prisoners
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Randy Burk and the Prisoners

Band Americana Country


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"Des Moines Register Datebook"

"The Prisoners have a superb new album of songs to perform - arguably the best Iowa release so far this year."
(7/28/05) - Kyle Munson

"Springfield News Leader"

"...Burk evokes Dave Alvin's grit and cinematic scope in "Picture On The Wall" and "It All Falls Through". His voice and stripped-down production of those ballads places the listener inside the story and in the character's heads. The uptempo numbers are country songs with a rock heartbeat." - Michael Brothers, Springfield News Leader - Michael Brothers

"Des Moines Register Datebook"

"The album's 11 songs veer effortlessly between rowdy barroom anthems, such as 'Faster Than the Speed' and the title track, to the hypnotic 'Picture on the Wall,' a heartfelt ballad that doesn't slip into sappiness. Hall's delicate piano is an essential foil to Burk's rich baritone. And the Prisoners goose the rhythm or leave room for moody atmosphere in the all the right places."
(7/28/05) - Kyle Munson

"Des Moines Cityview"

"Songs of restless love, such as 'Picture on the Wall' and 'Amber Lynn' demonstrate the emotional depth of Burk's songwriting, while the greasy, riff-hard grooves of 'It's in the Attitude' and the title track would make Keith Richards proud."
(6/9/05) - Michael Swanger


Down To This, Self-Released - 2005
11 tracks
Produced by Mark Stuart, Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash
Self-Titled, Self-Released - 2002
7 Songs
All being played on Independent Radio Stations around the country. Stations include:
Country Bear Radio and X Country Radio



Steeped in the rich traditions of alt-country and roots music and the early purveyors of Americana such as Steve Earle, Johnny Cash and Dave Alvin, Randy Burk creates music that is adventurous but familiar, honest and soulful, fearless and introspective.

Wrought with Midwestern sensibility and a blue-collar work ethic, Burk�s penchant for songs about love, life and pain is evident on his full-length debut CD Down To This.

Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash front man Mark Stuart, produced the album during a two-week session at Proxy Studios in California. Down To This features a mix of rip-roaring roots rockers along with melodic ballads of heartbreak, and spiritual mountain songs.

�This record is a reflection of who I am,� Burk said. �It touches on different subjects and styles, the things that define me. I�m really proud of it.�

So, too, is Stuart who praised Burk�s songwriting and singing, comparing his style to the early work of artists such as Earle, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp.

�[Randy] reminds me of them because his honest delivery sells the song,� Stuart remarked. �The integrity and the passion come through. He�s the real deal.�

Burk�s integrity and passion for music can be traced to his small-town Iowa roots where his father was a steelworker and his mother a nurse. Born and raised in Atlantic, Iowa, Burk spent much of his youth singing in church and listening to his father�s collection of Elvis Presley 8-tracks, experiences that had a profound effect on his life.

�I don�t ever remember not wanting to sing,� the 32-year-old Burk admits. �The church is where I started loving music, but when I was eight my dad played Elvis�, version of �Lawdy Miss Clawdy.� At that moment, when I heard the mix of gospel, country and rockabilly, I knew what I wanted to do with my life.�

Burk moved to Springfield, Mo., after graduating from high school, and went to work as a laborer at the same steel company where his father worked. For the next six years, he framed steel buildings by day and built the foundation for his music career by night toiling in bars and roadhouses with various country and rock bands. In between burning both ends of the candle, he wrote songs and played guitar.

Burk built a grassroots following in the Midwest, but knew he had more to give and more to learn. A chance meeting in 1997 with Johnny Cash�s son-in-law Jimmy Tittle, who toured and recorded with Merle Haggard and The Man in Black, helped put him on the fast track. Tittle, an award-winning singer-songwriter, took the young Iowan under his wing and encouraged him to move to Nashville. Burk kept his day job in Springfield, and drove to Nashville on weekends he recorded an album with Tittle and frequented open jams at legendary honky-tonks.

Burk returned to Springfield a year later with a renewed sense of purpose. He continued to search for his own distinctive sound while working as a singer-songwriter. During the next two years, while playing shows from New York City to Reno, with the likes of Cash, BR549 and Brian White, he found it.

At a gig in his hometown, Burk met pianist and former schoolmate Jared Hall. The two musicians shared a mutual love for roots music and formed an instant bond that became the launching pad for Randy Burk and the Prisoners.

Randy Burk and the Prisoners quickly established a loyal following while playing more than 125 Midwest shows opening for artists such as Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys, Rambler 454, and The Clumsy Lovers. The band released a seven-song EP that included five originals and two Tittle tunes. The group pressed 1,500 copies of the album and quickly sold them all.

Currently, Randy Burk and the Prisoners are touring throughout the Midwest, in support of Down To This.