"On this form, Adrian Byron Burns could well be mentioned in the same breath as Keb 'Mo, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Eric Bibb"- Paul Jones. R&B Show BBC Radio 2
"Adrian Byron Burns is one of the most exciting arrivals this year -one of my Top Ten Albums of 1998" - Henry Ayrton Radio presenter BBC 'Blues North'
"This man really has something to offer" -Pete Johnson. Jazz Fm
"He could make a shopping list sound riveting!"- Mike Maloney. 2FM (Dublin)
"Sounds like Robert Cray, if Cray played acoustic" - Steve Levine. DC Blues Society"
"Passionate vocals and highly crafted guitar work" - Robert Tilling. Blueprint
"Nice choppy, funky approach to his playing" - Red Lick Records
From Acoustic Guitar Magazine, (U.S.A.) No. 78
Adrian Byron Burns, Back to the Wood
Unlike many contemporary bluesmen, Adrian Byron Burns doesn't pretend that 60-some-odd years of musical development hasn't occurred since Robert Johnson went to San Antonio. Jazz, funk, fusion, soul, R&B, and even straight-ahead rock 'n' roll influences are apparent in his hard driving urban blues. His guitar work is clean and percussive, marked by rapid-fire single-note picking, rhythmic string damping, and artificial harmonics. While he includes a number of worthwhile originals, his fresh, contemporary twist on a number of blues classics, including "Crossroads" and "Sitting on Top of the World," make this debut album stand out. (Bluetrack) --David Gold
NORTHUMBRIAN MUSIC NIGHTS
What we said about Adrian Byron Burns
Adrian Byron Burns at The King's Head, Allendale
It took a bit of warming up, but in that special way that real friends are made, after we get to know each other, audience and Mr. Burns settled down to a fantastic set of brilliant running-along blues.Frankly, the first short set was a composite of virtuosity that was just a bit difficult to get into. Adrian showed off his snappy guitar licks, and his swooping and diving voice, and his jazzy 'Summertime' carved out a whole territory for this Gershwin favourite. Some politics on the Jimmy Reid number, 'Big Boss Man' moved over to Smokey Robinson's 'Tracks of my Tears' which got the whole ennervating Burns treatment. But I hoped that Adrian's own sparkling composition, 'Massah John', with its invitational refrain to 'Put your glad rags on' for the party, presaged a little more sustain, a bit more trackable melody, for the second half, and so it proved to be.Swelled by a small horde of Swedish eco-tourists, the crowded room welcomed the big man back on stage. How about acoustic Hendrix? Moving steadily through the repertoire, even plucking out a line or two from the 'Stars and Stripes', but pausing now and then to 'excuse me while I kiss the sky', we were back into incredible virtuoso territory, which gave way to the fulsome standard 'Ain't No Sunshine '. It was just about this time that we all got to know each other real well, and realised we really wanted to be friends.Enjoining the Carl Perkins number, 'Blue Suede Shoes', it was time for a bit of swaying, and some more rapt attention during Adrian's own sweet 'Finally… When You Fall' -- a real standout number in the show. A Beatles suite built around 'Let it Be' with a bit of 'Yesterday' and then a couple Neil Young numbers 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' and 'When You Dance' felt like golden melodies slipping through silvery syncopating fingers.Jazz notes with 'Key to the Highway', and popular feelings with Sting's 'Every Breath You Take' brought us along to the place where old blues hang out 'Down to the Crossroads', and finally it was another too short evening brilliantly realised, alive and amongst friends. Considering Adrian Byron Burns has just been voted UK Acoustic Performer of the Year by 'Blues Connection', it was certainly a great privilege to hear him, all the way from Leicester, in friendly Allendale.
by Tony Russell
Finally, we turn to ADRIAN BYRON BURNS, an African-American currently resident in Britain, who plays acoustic guitar on Back To The Wood (Bluetrack)*** with a fluency that occasionally recalls Brownie McGhee, but applies it, and a strong, distinctive blues voice, to a set-list that embraces Robert Johnson's 'Come On In My Kitchen' and 'Crossroads', Muddy Waters' 'She's 19 Years Old', Albert King's 'Born Under A Bad Sign' and Bill Withers' 'Ain't No Sunshine'. As if this eclectic mixture were not enough to make you remember him, he throws in some compositions of his own like a witty 'PC Blues' which is not, thank goodness, about political correctness but an exhortation to "Check out my CD-ROMs and play with my mouse". An unexpected and different record: hear it if you can.
ADRIAN BYRON BURNS
'BACK TO THE WOOD' (BLUETRACK RECORDS)
Since was about eight years old I developed a weird kind of affinity with blues. It was probably because, as opposed to the lyrical pornography of the then-contemporary rock (which I obviously couldn't relate to, being eight), blues seemed a lot earthier, a lot more real. Adrian Byron Burns is as earthy as the contemporaries get. Although he may be Grand High Lord of Blues, I was absolutely gutted when I saw BB King go on stage at the '97 Water Festival in a sequinned jacket and bow tie. That's not earthy, that's loungecore. 'Back To The Wood' is so earthy it could almost pass for mulch. The majority of the album is the one-man-and-a-guitar' style made famous by Bill Withers, which is a little ironic, since Adrian's cover of 'Ain't No Sunshine' features bass and drums. Self-penned 'Massa John' features among my favourites, with Adrian beating the hell out of his acoustic guitar, and the smoky, mahogany dusk of the final track A Place of Your Own' brings visions of sitting in a tiny, empty blues bar after closing time crying into a straight single malt. Just how I pictured myself when I was eight years old. LM
Quotes about Bluezone
" The most flexible and versatile blues album I've heard in many years! ....Sheer audio bliss!
Le Provencal- France
" Sheer class!........a glorious debut!
"A wonderful sense of emotion...deep and long lasting in it's impression. An album that stands out amongst it's peers... The album is never long off of our CD player.
Calades Magazine- France
Quotes about Ah! Koo Stick!
What a wonderful live album! It captures the magic of Adrian in front of an audience...I felt as though I was there!
L' Indépendant- France
A lot of fun! What it lacks in audio sophistication, it makes up for in pure emotion!
La République- France
Chris Lee (Manchester Evening News 20.6.00) said: "This was Rock 'n' Roll that an old jazzer like myself could enjoy. It was musical, creative and far from a collection of old three-chord-tricks. The Rhythm Kings are Wyman's labour of love, and it showed, with all on stage palpably delighting in every bit of unscripted musical inter-action. And, to add spice, the support act was Adrian Byron Burns... In no way was Burns overshadowed by the Rhythm Kings and their all-star line-up, including keyboard players Georgie Fame and Gary Brooker, and guitarists Martin Taylor and Albert Lee. Wyman took a back seat, obviously happy in his rhythm-section roll of bass player and as overall catalyst. Announcing was shared in whimsical fashion by Fame and Brooker, who were also responsible for the lion's share of the evening's vocals. Fame smoky and bluesy, and Brooker with an added gospel tinge a la Ray Charles. Beverley Skeete and Janice Hoyt added the feminine touch, albeit with much soul raunch. But, for many, the starts were the principal guitarists, Taylor, a jazzman at heart, who let his hair down with uncharacteristic outgoing blues and soul solos, and Lee, a country picker with an enviable reputation, who tore through some wild rockabilly. The audience, ecstatic at the band's performance, was rewarded with three encores.