Blogs, updates, bio ~
When I was a kid, music was always playing in my head -- I could hear an unwritten orchestrated symphony unfolding in my imagination while I played with my toys. My mother was a fine musician, storyteller and visual artist and my first musical inspiration. She always put on some soft music at night to lull me to sleep and this music created adventures in my imagination. My father was a tough Scottish immigrant who sang in the Hamilton Dofasco Choir. My grandfather on my mom's side was a popular violinist and bandleader in the BC interior but he was killed by gunfire at a young age in the early 1920s and his death remains a controversial mystery to this day.
I began playing guitar when I was 11 years old when my mother took me off the basement piano and allowed me to play the guitar when my hands were strong enough. I played guitar with friends at weekend parties in Hamilton. I played my first professional show with the Chevelles when I was 15, the same day JFK was assassinated ... a strange and warped experience!
I played with bands at high schools, churches, summer and winter resorts, arenas, concert halls, and eventually the bars. I worked with groups in Hamilton, Ontario, and around the Horseshoe -- arching around the western tip of Lake Ontario. I worked with The Roots of All Evil, The Incredible Sons of Doctor Funk, and The Fraser Loveman Group. My 51 year supportive mother died when I was 15 -- The family was falling apart at the seams ... I left home at 17 to live and work with bands and then I left school and headed to LA at the age of 19.
In Los Angeles I toured and recorded with the bands Merryweather (with Neil Merryweather) on Capitol Records, and Salt and Pepper (with Ricky James Matthews). I also performed in the studio alongside artists such as Dave Mason, Charlie Musselwhite, Steve Miller, Barry Golberg, Howard Roberts, Big Joe Turner, and jazz-funk composer Willie Allen with members of the Quincy Jones Orchestra with producer Gabriel Mekler at the helm.
Later on, back in Canada, I helped to establish CANO musique – A&M Canada recording artists. I also played guitar, traveled, recorded and produced country-music artist Carmen Westfall – Carmen Westfall went to the top ten on the inde-country charts including a number-one hit in New Zealand for “You’re an Angel When you Want to Be”, written by Luke Gibson. In the media, I have appeared with my bands or alone on scores of TV and radio shows, and in the newspapers and magazines.
On the Canadian landscape, I toured and/or recorded with Dallas Harms (country), Morgan (pop & dance), Andre Paiement (Francophone theatre music with TNO), Robert Paquette (Francophone folk-rock, pop), CANO (A&M Records), Marcel Aymar, Kenny King and Wayne King (country & rock-a-billy), John Gale (Stokes Seeds) project: Lynn Dee & Paragon (country), Carmen Westfall (country), Green River (rock & blues), Bayou Boys (rock & blues), Son Roberts Blues Band (blues original), and my own groups called The Last Dash for Cash Band and Billy's Hat R&B, blues band. I have directed, arranged, written and produced theatrical and cinematic scores and have received some nominations for awards, including the Golden Reel Award (USA & Canada) for best music director for MOW cinema.
Presently, I am preparing original music for my first personal CD / album, inlcuding a fusion world music CD with SE Asian players.
I am also overseeing and coordinating the Salt 'n Pepper (with Rick James) archival recordings.
As well, I am coordinating a Merryweather reunion project -- a super jam with Canadian guest artists. It's called "Merryweather: Word of Mouth, Eh"
David Colin Burt