While You Were Gone
Junior Burke is a poet from the American heartland with the spirit of a classic rocker. The combination of his musical gifts and storytelling prowess redefines the singer-songwriter genre. Drawing on influences ranging from folk rock and blue-eyed soul to blues, Burke fashions seamless melodies infused with lyrics that are piercing, authentic, often ironic and ultimately unforgettable. Produced by industry great Jim Tullio, the album 'While You Were Gone' mines Burke's life experience and unique point of view, traversing a landscape of love, loss and longing that continues to resonate well after the last note fades. Lifelong musician Burke has seen his songs performed and recorded by a broad array of musicians on the national scene, including Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, David Bromberg, Mandy Patinkin, Bonnie Koloc, Freddie Jackson, Utah Phillips, the Boston Pops and the Rochester Philharmonic. Burke has continuously polished his songcraft while becoming a successful prose writer and dramatist, most recently releasing his highly original novel, 'Something Gorgeous.' 'Something Gorgeous,' which was published in 2005 by Farfalla/McMillan & Parrish, explores the historical background of the era that spawned 'The Great Gatsby.' In addition to the publication of his novel, Burke won an Essay Award from New Millennium Writing in 1999, one of six writers nationwide to receive this honor. He is currently chair of the Writing and Poetics department at Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado, where he also teaches fiction, dramatic writing and literary studies. Junior Burke's intelligent lyrical body of work shows an impressive range of both style and substance, including deeply personal songs of heartbreak (Black Eyed Susan, It All Happened While You Were Gone); keenly observed cultural commentary (What the Devil Loves, Key to the Kingdom, Blessed); and joyful reflections on the best of the human condition (Walkin' My Karma, Cool of the Day). Burke renders every song on the album in a smooth, soulful tenor that invites the listener to share with him an intensely intimate struggle. His innate talent, consummate musicianship, and years of literary training are all on display here in full force. This debut album is destined to become an instant favorite.