Love or Money
Few people do this kind of country anymore. It's either slick and self-conscious or leaning in the direction of pop-rock. Burke is rough and twangy; guitar and pedal steel indulge in a gruesome duel while he sings of drinking till he dies, or gets nostalgic thinking about his prairie town. There is more enthusiasm than refinement, more up-tempo energy than introspection. A song such as 'Statue' goes back to that place where country met rock 'n' roll, or Hank Williams met Elvis Presley. Burke's choice of covers is telling, too: Wilco (the new), Merle Haggard (the old) and George Jones (the sodden). Grade: B -- Tom Harrison, The Province. September 5, 2007. For more information, bookings, etc. Please contact the band at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: bigjoeburke.com Big Joe Burke's debut album 'Love or Money' draws our attention to moments in time that define us, make us who we are. 'We all make decisions and compromises in our lives; often the most important involve a choice between love or money.' Burke's own life story is the stuff that country songs (and legends) have long been made of, connecting him to music and inspiring him to become a musician at an early age. As a songwriter, Burke's intensely visual lyrics are like a collection of cleverly written vignettes, character sketches and raw, honest, soulful expression. In 'Love or Money', Burke's songs tell of the life hard lived, of choices made, or left unmade, prices paid, and the value of love.'Love or Money' makes no judgments and pushes no answers. 'I'm just sharing observations and experiences.' Burke states. 'We all have to make our own choices in life, and live with them.' Burke's performance is sincere and heartfelt. 'I love performing,' Burke states, 'seeing and feeling how a song can touch the audience. Making that kind of connection with people just shows how much we all share in common.' Since releasing 'Love or Money' in the summer of 2007 Burke has been reaching into the hearts and minds of fans from Vancouver to Berlin - and developing a devoted fan base of folks who've come to see him as a friend. Burke's powerful pipes, ability to sing from the heart and express each song as if living the moment, definitely bring his listeners deep inside every song he performs. Burke's musical influence spans the decades; Williams, Cash and Presley to Townshend, Costello and Tweedy. Comparisons can be made to some of country and rock'n'roll's greats, but 'Love or Money' defines Big Joe Burke as a singer, songwriter and performer who has what it takes to become a legend unto his own.