If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes after a stadium show, when the stage lights are extinguished and the rock stars are whisked away in their blacked out limos, there are only a handful of people who really know the truth. One of them is ex Black Sabbath, Freddie Mercury and Troggs musician Jo Burt.
Burt spent much of his early career in the late 70s and throughout the 80s and 90s touring the globe with some of the biggest names in music, and recording in some of the best studios the world had to offer. His is a unique and fascinating insight into the heady days of rock & roll, now long gone. And now he’s telling some of those stories in his ‘Acoustic by Candlelight’ event at St Andrew’s Church, Mells on Friday, 15th November.
The last decade or so has seen Burt forging his own solo career. With three studio albums under his belt and a fourth in the early stages of writing and recording, he has a vast array of material of his own. The ‘Acoustic by Candlelight’ show features a selection of these tracks – written and performed in his trademark uplifting style – together with his own versions of some of the biggest chart hits that shaped his career. Growing up as he did in a showbusiness family means that Burt has some intriguing memories about the early days of entertainment television, and what it meant for the ‘Variety’ circuit. With three-quarters of his immediate family seconded from the stage to appear regularly on live TV his was an unusual childhood to say the least. Thus, it was fairly inevitable that Burt would take to the stage in some form or other. Learning piano at an early age, he switched to guitar at twelve and is entirely self-taught on both guitar and bass. Singing has always been second nature.
Over the last fifteen years Burt has been busy developing his own project. Originally created as a songwriting development tool, in the last few years his band have become an outstanding live act playing festivals and venues around the UK, Europe and North America; including a slot at Glastonbury Festival in 2017. Burt also spent much of the last four years on the road with Deborah Bonham, sister of the late John Bonham of Led Zeppelin fame; and described by USA’s Blues Revue as “the Duchess of Blues-Rock”. As well as playing bass guitar in Bonham’s band, with the added enjoyment of backing Zeppelin front man Robert Plant in a number of guest appearances; Burt performed as the opening act with the highly-acclaimed acoustic version of his live show. Following on from his first solo album release “Seven Seeds” in 2010 (with a reissue in 2012); Burt recorded his second album ‘Indestructible’ at Kore Studios in London in 2013 under the expert guidance of iconic Producer, Chris Kimsey (Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton). It was released that same year. Since then, Burt released yet another album ‘Spontaneous’ in June 2017 with a very special launch event at The Cinema Museum in London, in association with Misty Moon. He has also secured a worldwide distribution deal with Cadiz Records and is currently working towards the release of album number four. Jo’s songwriting style is based on his background of rock, with a southern-style influence and a very English ‘Beatles-esque’ twist. To use his own terms: ‘Anglicana’ and ‘psycho-country’.
He is an hypnotic performer, drawing in his listeners with tales from his recording and touring past, and telling riveting stories through his songs themselves. His warm and enthusiastic approach never fails to endear him to his audience and Burt continues to electrify with the mixture of honesty, intensity and humour that he brings to each performance. The ‘Acoustic by Candlelight’ show features the two backing vocalists from Burt’s full band, Antonia and Kathy. With just one guitar and three voices, the music element of the show very much focuses on harmony, with the added bonus of one or two percussive instruments thrown in – and the occasional appearance of a mandolin. Burt’s previous sold-out events of this kind have been described as ‘magical’, ‘extraordinary’ and ‘phenomenal’. Not to be missed, then!
Jo Burt Acoustic by Candlelight takes place at St Andrew’s Church, New Street, Mells BA11 3PW on Friday, 15th November at 7.30pm (doors 6.45pm). Tickets £12 in advance (includes first drink)
Tickets on the door £15.
Advance booking is advised. For more information on Jo Burt, including music and video links, see joburt.co.uk.
ST ANDREWS CHURCH, NEW STREET , MELLS, , BA11 3PW
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