Randy Burns
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Website by Pat Adams. pat@tennesseeconcerts.com
In 1966, Randy Burns was dropped off on the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal Street, with a bag over his shoulder and
a guitar in his hand…ready for anything  Randy had gotten his start a year earlier at The Exit Coffeehouse in New Haven,
Connecticut but soon left to join the Urban Folk Revival in Greenwich Village. The first three months he slept in flop houses,
on subways and park benches in Washington Square Park. Every week he played the open mic nights at the original Gerdes
Folk City, The Gaslight Café and The Bitter End. Impressed by his talent, Clarence Hood, the owner of the legendary
Gaslight hired Randy as the permanent opening act. At only eighteen he was opening for the biggest folk stars in the
country, artists he’d only heard on records. Randy shared the stage with John Hammond, Tom Paxton, Dave Van Ronk,
Eric Andersen, Spider John Koerner, Steve Gillette, Sonny and Brownie, Phil Ochs, Carolyn Hester, Washboard Sam and
many, many others. During this period, he recorded three albums with a small independent label.
As the Folk Revival was fading, he formed the electric folk rock group, Randy Burns and the Skydog Band . Within months
his first major label album was released on Mercury Records and two albums soon followed on Polydor Records.  

Randy Burns and the Skydog Band played all the legendary clubs in the country, the Cellar Door in DC, The Bijou Theater
in Philadelphia, The Troubadour and Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles, The Bitter End and Electric Circus in New York,
The Quiet Night in Chicago, The Hungry Eye in San Francisco, Berkeley Folk Festival with Buddy Guy and the Hollywood
Bowl with the Smothers Brothers.

Rolling Stone Magazine said, ‘Nobody, but nobody, sings anything like Randy Burns.’ The New York Times called Randy
“Vocally Convincing.”  Billboard Magazine wrote that “Randy’s voice is so intrinsically right that it wraps the listener in a pool
of contentment.” When Randy played The Troubadour , the Los Angeles Times said, “Randy is the best country flavored
rock singer since Graham Parsons, who was, and is, as good as anyone before him.”

Frustrated with the music industry, Randy returned to his folksinging roots and hit the road again as a folksinger. For years
he was literally homeless – ‘It would have been a waste of money,” he says, “I was singing so many places that I’d leave a
bag of clothes wherever I usually played so I could travel light.”  A headliner at Kenny’s Castaways, in the late 70s, owner
Pat Kenny arranged for Randy to tour Ireland. It was off to Dublin, where he played coast to coast two years in a row. A pure
folksinger again, Randy played for many seasons on Block Island Rhode Island, and of course he returned and played New
Haven many, many times. The places and list of clubs he’s played is endless, and he still has dedicated fans everywhere.   

After fifteen years, Randy is back with a brand new CD out on Music Maker along with several other projects in the works.
Recently Randy returned to New Haven where he had a sell-out performance that was met with rave reviews.

If you were around New Haven, New York or Los Angeles in the 60s, 70s and 80s…you’ve probably heard stories or have
your own stories to tell about him. They’re all still true. Randy Burns is a folksinger’s folksinger, always was and will always be.
A Review from Gary Allen:

Working with J.J. Cale, the reluctant legend, I know a little about laid back songwriters that pull you in by making you listen a little harder. Randy Burns could you make
you listen to a pin drop. I couldn't believe how fast his new CD, HOBOS AND KINGS, was over and I was loading it again. It is simply a masterpiece of songwriting and
folksinging. I personally think he picks up where another great folksinger, Harry Chapin tragically left off.

The title track, Hobos and Kings spins a personal tale of striving to touch people in your life and allowing yourself to be touched along the way. The days when we
thought everyone possessed a golden soul and we were all searching for meaning.  The good ole days. Beautifully played on piano by Rob Taube, who also
accompanies Randy on the new CD.

In The Beginning, teaches some simple life lessons about relationships and how the shinyness can dim to black or even bleak. "I went straight to hell just like you told
me." I could never say it better than that.

Bert's Blues is a snappy cover of the English troubadour, Donovan. A tune he wrote for his friend and folk music notable Bert Jansch. This works on every level
because of the great singing and lazy jazz feel. Randy has a very beautiful and captivating set of pipes.

Everytime We Say Goodbye is as sad a song as I have ever heard. Oh the sweet bitterness of love. Written by C. Porter. Every one has his/her own interpretation of
sadness in their lives but few could express someone else's lyrics so painfully. Perhaps the song is saying eternal joy will only take place when we no longer have to
worry about the emotional casualties we face in our lives. This tune comes from deep feelings and emotions of things that could have been.

Some Things Just Happen, a song by B. Shanahan, is track five and is about things that just happen. Things that are given to you and then taken away during the
passage of time. Theodore Roosevelt comes to mind. "Absence and death are the same-only that in death there is no suffering."

Rompin' Roving Days, written by B Murdoch, doesn't make you want to pack a bandanna on a stick and jump the next freight train. It seemed romantic until I heard
this song. I'm a hobo's friend I'm only passing through.

The Love She Found In Me, written by B. Morrison and D. Linde and performed masterfully by Randy. Happiness isn’t really about a ridiculously ideal state, where you
have “everything you want” or other such unreal notions. It’s about the process of living – extracting as much worth out of your circumstances as you can. In that
sense it doesn’t matter if you are rich or broke: happiness is working with what you’ve got.

Randy performs brilliantly on the track by Paul Zimmerman, Cry On My Shoulder; the theme is unless you are one of those fortunate few who met their soulmate in
grade school, married right out of high school, and spent the next 60 years in wedded bliss you are going to go through what millions before you have gone through,
and what millions after you will go through - a broken heart. I love this track.

Always You is classic Randy Burns. His acoustic guitar style is very listener friendly upon that you can trust. But trust is harder to come by in this lyric. You can
emotionally love someone, but not trust them.  You can trust them, but not emotionally love them. When you trust a person, you believe that they have your best
interest at heart.

Old Fashioned Christmas is a clever, dark but heartwarming holiday message about the highs and lows of seasonal merriment and tradition. How it used to be, that
special feeling shared together knowing Christmas was here one night a year. Memories that last forever in your mind. True enough...

Hobos Lullaby, by Goebel Reeves wrote this song before Randy could get to it. He was halfway there however, and would have made it on the fly but the train was a
cannonball. I speak hobo. I knew BoxCar Willie. Riding the rails can be a dangerous enterprise. One could easily get trapped between cars, or freeze to death in bad
weather. Randy says the police are your biggest enemy but you won't see them in Heaven, he sings. "Go to sleep you weary hobo and let those towns drift slowly by."
That's a hobo's lullaby.

Hobos And Kings closes with a recitation of a traditional tune, The Parting Glass that lifts a glass to the hobo code decide your own life, don't let another person run
or rule you. The hobo creed is to obey all laws of the jungle and never take advantage of someone in a vulnerable situation. Never set a bad example and pitch in
when you can. I know some rich people that could learn from that code. A fitting close to stories about individuals intertwined, and the risks of such actions. I find
comfort in the fact that we all are insane and that, for at least the duration of this group of songs we are perhaps all on the same page. Thanks for your service Randy.

-Gary Allen (The Charlie Daniels Band/JJ Cale/Stonewall Jackson)

“Appearing with Livingston Taylor..at the Troubadour is Randy Burns and the Skydog Band, one of those occasionally, enormously enjoyable country-rock groups in
the sloppy, but always interesting tradition of the Flying Burrito Bros, Sir Douglas Quintet and too few others.  Burns, lead singer and writer is the best country-
flavored rock singer since Graham Parsons, who was (and is) as good as anyone before him…”
-Los Angeles Time (March 6, 1971)

“…Randy has a voice that immediately distinguishes the songs from anyone else’s…there’s just no one around who has a voice anything like it…

Randy’s style of writing is consistent: on the verse he keeps a low-key steady pace and on the chorus it goes into a more powerful, less subtle statement…

An album many years in the making, Randy Burns & Sky Dog is more than just a pleasant piece of music, but a day-brightener.”
- Jon Tiven,  Rolling Stone (April 15 ,1971)

“…Randy Burns is a very talented composer and performer, but perhaps he’s just a bit too versatile.  There are almost as many different song styles as there are
songs on the album.  Granted: Randy makes them all work…”
-Los Angeles Free Press (3-26-71)

“This is a most satisfying, comprehensive work from a man, who has put out two previous albums (both excellent), but has continued to remain under the dark cloud of
obscurity.  Randy Burns’ voice is so lilting melodic and his singing is so intrinsically right that hearing him wraps the listener in a soft pool of contentment…”
-Billboard Album Reviews

“When Randy Burns sings a sad song, he makes you ache from the inside.  And just when you’re feeling very sorry for yourself he spins around and sings a jumping
country one that forces a smile on your lips. A sort of living folk legend in New Haven and N.Y.’s Greenwich Village, Burns proves that what people say about him is
true…he is a folk artist-first class.”
-Billboard Magazine

“…Burns being a great champion of the unrequited love song; and while this lush kind of sentiment is dangerously difficult to handle effectively, in the hands of a
master it can be a gently powerful experience.  Burns is a master, all right. As soft-rock composers go, he is an unexcelled melodist, with a bewildering talent for the
perfect interval at the dramatic moment.  He can turn a phrase as natural and delicate as light breaking through a prism-effortlessly, it seems.  His lyrics are phrased
in the kind of general, gracious language that creates infinite vague images, so that the listener has to supply the details; but then the song is as much yours as the

He gets you involved, not so much with him or what he’s saying, but with your own present and past, and how they relate to the situation he’s singing about…”
-Fusion Magazine


Randy Burns
63. E. 4th Street
Apt 4a
New York, NY 10003

Email: RBWrites@aol.com



David Tamulevich
Tamulevich Artist Management

Buy your own copy of


Simply a songwriting,
folksinging masterpiece...  
Gary Allen
(The Charlie Daniels Band/
JJ Cale/Stonewall Jackson)
The Simple Things (2008) $15
Randy Burns
Thank you to all the "Hobos and Kings", who shared their knowledge of music, poetry and politics...and
inspired me to develop my own creative style. I hope, in my own way, I've continued that tradition
and passed on to others what was once so graciously given to me.      Randy Burns
Randy Burns Links:
Tennessee Concerts Song Contest