The Burnsville Band brings blues to the valley
The Vail Valley is teeming with local music, but what the music scene isn’t teeming with, is blues music. With bluegrass and rock groups all over the area, Steve Burns, of The Burnsville Band, is a standout.
Burns, from San Diego, started playing guitar at 11 years old when his brother’s interest in music piqued his own. In the following years, he’d start The Burnsville Band with other local musicians. The band gained a great deal of attention, earning a residency at the San Diego House of Blues and a nomination by the San Diego Music Awards for best blues CD for its album “Give Me a Job.”
Following a move to the valley, Burns teamed up with bassist Brett Scott, who previously worked with John Legend, Steve Van Beek on the keyboard and BBQ Mike on the drums.
Burns sees his band’s uniqueness as a positive.
“There are a lot of (bands) doing the same stuff all the time,” Burns said. “There’s not many people in the valley that plays blues.”
Burns is drawn to the blues because, as he puts it, it’s “emotional and soulful music that really grabs you.”
The band has been playing in the valley for about four years, and Burns has noticed that they have a bit of a cult following. He often sees the same people following him from show to show.
The Burnsville Band’s gigs around town include playing at the hot, local joints such as Vail Brewing Co., The Dusty Boot and more. However, Burns wants to see the band touring and traveling more. He’s also hoping to collaborate with more artists in the near future.
Additionally, he’d like to find a way to bring blues music into the local schools like he did in San Diego.
“We’d play at an assembly and all the kids are staring up at you, and once you strike a chord they all go nuts,” said Burns. “We’d get them involved, teach them the history. They love it.”
Burns remembers breaking into the Vail music scene as a bit difficult — he didn’t know anyone here. That being said, he now feels that he’s finding success.
“That feeling with the audience when they dig it, it’s the ultimate high,” Burns said. “And being accepted by your peers is another thing.”
Burns’ passion for blues music expands beyond just playing and writing. He has a love for the genre and its history.
“I’m just trying to keep the blues alive,” Burns said. “It all comes from blues, and blues is ‘it’ for me.”
Burns also hosts a radio show in Minturn called Blues Brunch Radio to discuss the genre, and also designed the cover art for “Give Me a Job.”
The album features crowd pleasers such as “Biscuits & Gravy,” “Cut You Loose” and more.
The Burnsville Band can next be seen at 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Co. on Wednesday, Nov. 21, and the band’s music can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music and on http://www.burnsvilleblues.com.
Chris Anthony’s documentary film project chronicles post-war activities of the 10th Mountain Division.