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Danny Burns Living Off The Grid

Danny Burns. Photograph courtesy of Danny Burns

By all accounts Danny Burns’ guitar is not particularly old, but its battered top had a hole worn through the wood that would have made Willie Nelson’s Trigger proud. And while it might have been just a young thing, as far as guitars go, it had definitely seen more than its fair share of time on the road – a little bit like its owner - Irish-born, Indie Rock musician Danny Burns.  


In a similar vein when talking to Burns, it is easy to forget that he is relatively young too. For someone not yet in his thirties, his voice sounds much older and richer in experience than his years might suggest - ‘aged’ is a term that you often hear in conjunction with his music. That he is difficult to pigeon-hole is reflected not only in his musical travels, but also in his personal journey which has taken him from Donegal, Ireland all the way to New Orleans, Louisiana where he is currently looking forward to the release his latest album aptly named Off The Grid 


Off The Grid is described as a ‘homage to New Orleans’; Burns’ adopted home and was produced by Los Angeles producer Warren Huart. According to Burns his experiences as a musician living in New Orleans have been the inspiration for many of the songs to be found on his new album.  


“New Orleans reminds me a lot of Ireland,” he said. “The climate is the only thing that would be different, but the people are very kind, everything is slow pace and laid back, and that is very Irish, you know. There is nobody in the world that wouldn’t want to come here.”  


“I think if you go down to Frenchman’s Street, and if you ask a good piano player and put a sheet music in front of him with a ballad on it that is 600 years old, he will be able to play it - just like they are used to playing the standards of jazz,” explained Burns.  


Burns has been a working musician since the age of 17, but he has actually been on the road since the age of five. He comes from a musical family - his mother is still a singer and accomplished accordion player today – and when she toured the States Danny and the rest of the family toured with her.    “Good musicians can interpret music, whatever the genre, and they can understand the emotion of the music,” he said.  “All music is intertwined so I don’t see a difference between Billy Holiday singing her own roots music, or hearing Bob Marley do his thing, or Johnny Cash do his.  The differences in the genres are like accents, like an American or Irish Accent to someone’s voice. Country music has the twang, it has the accent like the bends of the steel guitar, and reggae has that funk in it.” 


“It’s just like someone’s dialect, heard through the music – and that is the most beautiful thing about localizing your music – to be where you are from, put your locality into it, and interpret it in a new way.”   


Danny Burns will be performing at the Allways Lounge, 2240 Saint Claude Avenue June 3 at 10 pm, and The Kerry Irish Pub, 331 Decatur, on June 10 and June 26. 


Further information is available at:  http://www.dannyburns.net.

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