Late on a Summer Night
Influenced by genres such as folk, southern rock, Tex-Mex, country, and alternative rock, Don Burke's 'Late on Summer Night' combines each of these styles using their common acoustic thread. With a particular feel for coastally-based, story-driven songs, Burke, who fronts the trop-rock Toucan Brothers, strips away the electric drive employed by his band, and returns with a myriad of layers and textures provided by a variety of acoustic instruments. The result is a look into a unique place, where nothing is unusual or surprising, but instead, a place where anyone can identify with the experiences and conditions in the songs. Although the record is acoustic, it is far from sparse, though, on two songs, 'Shadow Movie Stars' and 'Where Texas Meets The Sea', Burke appropriately and skillfully accompanies himself on a lone guitar while describing both the problems and benefits of life's changes. The other songs on the album utilize whatever instruments necessary to achieve a full sound and effectively tell their stories. Producer Doc Wesson expertly melds the talents and performances of national level session musicians Jim Richmond (David Allen Coe- electric-, steel-, and gut-stringed guitars, lap steel, mandolin, and violin), Curtis Tilton (David Soul- acoustic bass and background vocals), Jim Reiss (George Strait- electric guitar), himself (Jann Browne, Grand Ol' Opry- bongos, congas, keyboards, background vocals, and various and sundry clavas, shakers,etc.), with Burke (six- and twelve-stringed guitars, banjo and lead vocals). The arrangements and overall production is rich, enough so that it was surprising to learn that there is no full drum kit anywhere on the record. Though this is Burke's first solo effort, he is a veteran performer of over forty years, thirty professionally, and has performed internationally and on several other artists' sessions in the Dallas area.