KEVIN B.F. BURT
THURSDAY AUGUST 23, 2018
Ken Valdez Bio:
Soul Renegade, the first full-length album from guitarist/singer/songwriter Ken Valdez in nearly a decade. It takes the roadmap of the blues, crumples it up into a ball and unfurls it so the genre's musical capitals all flow together seamlessly into one musical metropolis. From the Hill Country to Chicago, from the Delta down to Texas and every place between and far-flung, Valdez's explosive fretwork coupled with his sweet, snarling vocals make for a treat for sounds of every corner of the blues world and beyond.
Valdez has been referred to as the "Best Kept Secret"
By many in the music industry virtually since he burst onto the scene in the early 2000's. The Santa Fe, NM born and bred guitarist/singer/songwriter/producer, who now calls Minneapolis home, has been turning heads for a decade and a half with versatility, raw talent and a true grit that impart a genuine realness into each of his songs. Collaborations with the likes of Doyle Bramhall II and Jonny Lang ensued (among many) and an invitation to join Mick Fleetwood's band helped the Best Kept Secret's reputation grow. He had become a household name of sorts within inner circles of recording studios and in the blues music community. A decade that saw thousands of shows and a literally millions of road miles was capped off in 2010 as Valdez and his band spent most of that year opening shows for the likes of artists Robin Trower and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. When he finally got off the road, production offers started rolling in and he found himself working almost continuously in the studio and behind the mixing console for three solid years with a wide range of artists from all sides of the musical spectrum. All along Ken kept honing his skills and writing chops, gradually amassing a treasure trove of material while working with artists and producers like Alana Davis, Jellybean Johnson, Andy Byrd, Jerry Wonda and Paul Pesco to name a few.
After longtime friend and crew Delta Blues icon T-Model Ford took ill in 2012, forcing them off the road and effectively ending his career, Ken recorded Jack Daniel Time, a 5-song tribute EP to the legend whose entire profits went directly to T's family; The album was released just before T's death. Recording the EP reawakened the desire to record his own records and get back out on the road. "It's time" he says. "I love the road and that's just it! There is no substitute for actually going out there and doing it!" When he speaks about his new album, it's hard for him to contain his excitement. "This record is the culmination of my past and my present. It also focuses on my future; from Santa Fe to Minneapolis and beyond. Not only is my band on it but I've got people like Chris Duarte, Eric Gales, Doyle Bramhall II, Curtis Salgado and even some of Prince's NPG playing and even writing with me. I cannot be happier with the way Soul Renegade turned out!"
Kevin B.F. Burt bio
WINNER OF THE 2018 INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE FOR SOLO/DUO PERFORMANCE & NATIVE OF IOWA
For more than 25 years Kevin “B.F.” Burt has been electrifying audiences throughout the Midwest dispelling the myth that true blues has no roots in Iowa. His soul-inspired presentation is unique which consistently get him compared to a range of artists like Bill Withers and Aaron Neville, with the ability to build an audience rapport that has been compared to B.B. King.
Kevin is a self-taught musician (vocals, harmonica, and guitar) whose smooth, warm vocal presentation sets a mood of relaxed exhilaration, with a welcome mixture of serious music and infectious humor audiences of all ages seem to enjoy. His voice and presence are powerful. His unique delivery ranges from the sweetest, fullest, juiciest come-on to the most playful growl. Though he performs between 325 and 400 shows a year, he holds nothing back night after night and audiences leave knowing that.
Kevin has had some stage acting experience in his short career. His role as “Papa Gee” in an off Broadway play called “Klub Ka, the Blues Legend” had a two week run at LaMama’s Experimental Theater in New York City was sold out each night. It ran originally in Iowa City, and then in Washington D.C.. Burt also arranged all of the blues music for this play.
Burt has also had roles in several other plays at the University of Iowa. Playing “Old Timer” in “Waking Niccodemus”. Also playing the role of “Whining Boy” in the acclaimed play by August Wilson, “The Piano Lesson”.
Burt also composed the musical soundtrack landed a lead role in a short silent film called “The Guru’s Game”. Burt also landed a part as himself performing in the independent film “Twelve-thirty”.
Kevin Burt has won many awards and played many festivals both solo and with his band, the Instigators. His awards include Best Entertainer in Iowa City (three times) Best Band in Iowa City (three times) Iowa Blues Challenge Champions, Named as one of the top 25 unsigned blues bands in the world by the International Blues Challenge Competition.
Festival appearances include, Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival, The Blues Foundation International Unsigned Band Challenge in Memphis, TN, Blues-stock Memphis, TN, the 1996 Smithsonian Institution Festival of American Folk life in Washington DC, the Iowa Sesquicentennial Festival of Iowa Folk life in Des Moines, IA., Boundary Waters Blues Festival, Grand Rapids, MN, No Boundary Blues Festival, Proctor, MN, Iowa City Jazz Festival, Iowa City, IA, Central Iowa Blues Society Winter and Summer Festivals DesMoines, IA, Freedom Festival Cedar Rapids, IA, Prairie Dog Blues Festival, Prairie Duchien, WI, North Liberty Barbeque and Blues Fest, North Liberty, IA, Blues Under the Trees Fort Doge, IA, Bluesmore Cedar Rapids.
In a comparably short career, Kevin Burt has shared the stage in one form or another with a who’s who in the music world. B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Luther Allison, Bernard Allison, Junior Wells, Robert Lockwood Jr., David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Wayne Baker Brooks, Blues Traveler, Head East, Molly Hatchet, Three Dog Night, Michael Hill’s Blues Mob, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Chubby Carrier, Terrance Simieon, Dan Zanes, The Holmes Brothers, Tony Brown, Jerry Dugger, Ken Valdez.
Burt is also recognized as one of the Midwest’s top blues heritage educators. This honor was given to him by the Governor of Iowa, Chet Culver in February of 2009. Kevin is a registered artist, and artist educator with the state of Iowa Arts Council. He has also written and published a classroom harmonica method book called “Just Play It: an introduction to blues harmonica.” His approach is simple, education through entertainment. His program has been going strong since 1994. Burt plans to continue this work as well as his community work with Children and the arts. With the support of his family and community, good things will be happening for Kevin “B.F.” Burt.