Sunday, November 1, 2015

Concert Review: Hardin Burns, Sportsmen's Tavern, Buffalo NY - October 11, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I made the 2 hour trek to one of my favorite music clubs to check out a duo that's been writing and performing together since 2009.  The show at the Sportsmen's Tavern was one of the final shows (as of this writing) on their fall tour supporting their 2014 release "Down The Deep Well."

The early impression one gets from Andrew Hardin and Jeannie Burns watching them perform, is they are pure Americana artists.  The songwriting is tight, relevant and not afraid to tackle the controversial as evidenced by "The Call", a song that was inspired by the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.  A story told from the perspective of a still sober addict, "The Call" speaks less about the passing itself, speaking more to the temptation felt daily by recovering addicts.  A great blues number, "Smokestack Lightning" and "Beware of Darkness", a George Harrison cover, highlighted the incredible musicianship of Andrew Hardin.  He is one of the finest acoustic guitar players I have seen live.

Not to be outdone is Jeannie Burns.  Her signing and songwriting can take you back to the times of early Emmylou Harris, as shown on the country rock flavored "Stars Are Shining." The song "Underbelly Blues" is a great protest song which speaks to the perils of hydro-fracking, with corporate greed at the forefront.  Her singing of "Lake Charles", the Lucinda Williams classic would make Lucinda herself smile.  

When watching Hardin Burns, the respect they have for one another is clear.  They have recognized that each artist brings something special to the table and has allowed them to create a partnership that can last for a long time.  Their respective backgrounds have enabled them to tap in to each others creativity which has led to a stellar piece of work with "Down the Deep Well", as well as creating a wonderful stage presence that locks the listeners in.  When this duo gets back on the road, you would do well to check them out.

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