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Burton Cummings Interview..


James

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I've seen Burton numerous times over the past few years and three times this year. I try never to miss the opportunity if he's in the area. He puts on a superb show and sounds fantastic. He recently played Massey Hall in Toronto and simply awed the audience. I don't know how he can manage to sound better each time I see him but, he does. He released an album last fall with cuts taken from two previous Massey Hall concerts. If you get a chance, give it a listen, you won't be disappointed at all.  

The album you mention "Above the Ground" contains some of his best writing to date, in my opinion. 

 

Here's a video from his concert at Massey in September. He opened with a JJ Cale number. Caught us all by surprise but we loved it. 

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Hi Linda....cool post,  especially for a Canadian!..   ;-)

 

I´ve never seen Burton Cummings in concert (you´re lucky)... though I´ve been a big fan since the summer of 1977 when I first heard "Charlemagne" on FM radio in Columbus, Ohio.  I went out and bought the album (his 2nd solo) and a couple months later backtracked and bought his debut album.  A year or so later,  I snatched up "Dream of A Child" as soon as it hit the stores.

 

For me this is still his signature song, and his best along with "I Will Play A Rhapsody" and "Your Backyard":

 

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My second and third concerts I ever attended had The Guess Who as the headliners and I was a huge fan of Burton, still am, back in the day. Just mesmerizing for any young keyboard player to see in person. James is correct that his recent recordings have been outstanding. Oddly enough, I still have not seen him as a solo act yet. A dear friend that used to go by "Ecstacy" on the board here asked me to meet up with her at Burton's recent Chicago show, and I would have loved to, but I was tied up that night. "These Eyes", "No Time", "Star Baby", "Albert Flasher", "Share The Land", "Glamour Boy", "American Woman", "Stand Tall", "I'm Scared", man, I could go on forever about the great songs this guy has written.

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Burton has just recently started to perform Dream of a Child again in concert. It's so wonderful to hear that one live even if he didn't write it. It "sounds" like a song that he would have written.

Most of the time he tours with a band out of Toronto called the Carpet Frogs, very tight sound. Their sound is spot on. He's also started to add a few solo shows to his schedule, just Burton and the piano. 

 

Blackhawkpat, I was at that show at the Arcada in St. Charles in September, Burton with the Zombies. Fantastic venue and what a great night of music! Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent still have it and the crowd was very enthusiastic. 

Would have been a great place to have Charlemagne on the setlist. I took a few pictures of the "Legend of Charlemagne" fox statues on the bridge over the Fox River. 

 

Yes Marvin, you are absolutely right, Kurt Winter and Randy Bachman made huge contributions to many of those songs that the Guess Who are so fondly remembered for. Just an outstanding string of unforgettable music.  

 

Burton has had a videographer, Lillian Sarafian, capturing concerts, rehearsals and backstage moments for many years now. They've been working on putting some of it together on a series of dvds called "RUFF". The first volume is in the finishing stages and should be released before Christmas. It should be interesting. 

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Cool, thanks LInda,

 

And for those of you on facebook, Burton Cummings blogs on a regular basis on his facebook page. He talked about the St. Charles concert (I am very familiar with downtown St. Charles, Linda). If you guys are interested just like his page and his blogs will show up on your newsfeed.  He also often posts videos of various songs played at various venues.  It´s good stuff.

 

James

 

P.S.  "Star Baby" is the Guess Who at their best (IMHO)....and that was all Burton.

P.P.S. I´d almost classify it as a sin that he doesn´t play Charlemagne at ever show.

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