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David Burke

David Burke

David Burke began writing about music as a staffer on local newspapers in his native Ireland, before decamping to London in 1990. He spent six years working in print, audio and television as part of the World Entertainment News Network. His features appeared in the UK's red tops and international publications such as Esquire (Japan) and Pop Rocky (Germany). David is a regular contributor to R2 (formerly Rock'n'Reel) and Vintage Rock magazines, and author of four books – Crisis in the Community: The African Caribbean Experience of Mental Health (Chipmunka), Heart of Darkness: Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska (Cherry Red), A Sense of Wonder: Van Morrison's Ireland (Jawbone) and Singing Out: A Folk Narrative of Maddy Prior, June Tabor and Linda Thompson (Soundcheck).

List of articles in the library by artist

Alabama Shakes: Shakin' All Over: Alabama Shakes

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, Summer 2012

They've already created more buzz than a swarm of angry bees and, good news, they're returning to the UK later this year. Brittany Howard of ...

American Music Club: The Golden Age of American Music Club

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, March 2008

MARK EITZEL sounds very chipper – not at all the lugubrious character that comes across in his songs. With the release of American Music Club's ...

The Beatles and Hamburg

Retrospective by David Burke, Vintage Rock, Winter 2012

THE BEATLES may have come from Liverpool, England – but they were made in Hamburg, Germany. That, at least, is the view of Allan Williams, ...

Eric Bibb

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, January 2014

DR JOY DEGRUY coined the term Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome to describe the multi-generational trauma experienced by African Americans as a consequence of slavery. In ...

Ryan Bingham

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, March 2015

RYAN BINGHAM'S IN a more hopeful place these days. And though his humility wouldn't countenance my or anyone else saying so, it makes you glad ...

The Blues Band, Paul Jones, Manfred Mann: Paul Jones

Retrospective and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, November 2009

SELDOM HAS the descriptive shorthand "long-awaited" been more apposite than in the case of Starting All Over Again, a rare Paul Jones solo album released ...

Jake Bugg

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, July 2014

JAKE BUGG is giving me the run around. He has already postponed our interview twice at short notice, and now here he goes again, evading ...

Sonny Burgess

Retrospective and Interview by David Burke, Vintage Rock, May 2014

"YOU FOLKS KEPT us alive, thank goodness. If it wasn't for you all over there, a lot of us wouldn't still be playing," says Sonny ...

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan: Dishing the Dirt: Isobel Campbell

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, December 2008

ISOBEL CAMPBELL has just killed a bluebottle, a crime of muscacide for which she carries absolutely no remorse.  ...

Carolina Chocolate Drops: Sweet Sounds: Rhiannon Giddens and Carolina Chocolate Drops

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, June 2012

RHIANNON GIDDENS'S birthday back in February was a bittersweet occasion. The Carolina Chocolate Drops co-founder-member's celebrations were tempered by her grief upon learning of the ...

Mary Chapin Carpenter: Modern Miracles: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, September 2010

Having successfully overcome a major health scare, and now with a UK tour imminent – her latest album finding favour with fans and critics alike, ...

Eliza Carthy: Strange Folk

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, May 2010

WHEN Christian Koch wrote in The Guardian earlier this year that British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin was a big fan of "that most ...

Rosanne Cash

Retrospective and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, November 2009

THERE COMES A time in every young man or woman's life when dad mounts the pulpit and delivers a homily on the kind of music ...

Christy Moore

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, May 2014

LOOKING BACK often means you can no longer be arsed looking forward. That you'd much rather retrace your footprints on the road behind than make ...

The Clancy Brothers: Liam Clancy: The Last Man Standing

Retrospective and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, January 2008

JOHNNY CASH TOOK Trent Reznor's 'Hurt', a lacerating hymn about heroin addiction, and recast it as a profound meditation on his own mortality. But equally ...

Clannad

Retrospective and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, November 2013

"PEOPLE ALWAYS say that we broke up. We never broke up – we're a family," says Moya Brennan of Clannad's return to the studio for ...

The Corrs

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, February 2016

IT'S BEEN A long hiatus, punctuated by the joy of nativity, the sorrow of bereavement and the pursuit of singular ambition, but the Corrs – ...

Sheryl Crow

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, March 2014

SHERYL CROW'S made a country album, they said. She's living down there in Nashville, hanging out with Vince Gill and Brad Paisley, going to church ...

The Delines: Willy Vlautin's New Band

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, December 2014

ON RICHMOND FONTAINE'S last tour, Willy Vlautin used to dream about being in a country soul band with support act Amy Boone. Then one night, ...

Fats Domino

Retrospective by David Burke, Vintage Rock, Spring 2013

WHEN HURRICANE KATRINA devastated New Orleans in 2005, resulting in the deaths of some 1,833 people and causing property damage estimated at £1,300 billion, a ...

Steve Earle: Alive and Kicking: Steve Earle

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, May 2011

STEVE EARLE IS, as his fellow Americans are wont to say, in a good place. "I'm pretty happy. I've got a new little boy, a ...

Eels: E is for Eels

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, July 2008

MARK OLIVER EVERETT, alias E, alias Eels, is a respectful though reserved interviewee. ...

The Fireballs

Retrospective and Interview by David Burke, Vintage Rock, July 2015

THEY WERE acclaimed as pioneers of the surf sound alongside Dick Dale, Link Wray and the Ventures, but the Fireballs, who enjoyed a US chart ...

Mary Gauthier: Liberty Belle

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, September 2008

Singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier was something of a late starter – but once she picked up that pen she certainly had plenty to write about. Having ...

Charlie Gracie

Retrospective and Interview by David Burke, Vintage Rock, March 2015

"TO SURVIVE without a hit record for 63 years and make a good living – that's the success of Charlie Gracie," says the rock'n'roll pioneer ...

David Gray: "I was ready to throw off the past"

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, November 2009

YOU'D THINK having three number one UK albums and two that charted in the US top 20, not to mention the biggest selling Irish album ...

Bill Haley

Retrospective by David Burke, Vintage Rock, Summer 2013

BILL HALEY was an unlikely pioneer of the rock'n'roll revolution. Even in his pomp he looked like your dad. ...

John Hammond

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, November 2007

TOM WAITS owes it all to his wife, Kathleen Brennan. The one-time raggedy man and barfly, a sartorial amalgam of Frank Sinatra's Capitol covers, Be-Bop ...

The Handsome Family: Handsome is as Handsome does

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, August 2009

WHAT DO YOU GET when you cross the Platters with 19th century Romanticism? Why, the new album from the Handsome Family, of course. ...

Ben Harper

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, June 2016

WHEN BEN HARPER reunited with his band, the Innocent Criminals, for a sold-out four-night run at San Francisco's Fillmore in March, 2015, seven years after ...

John Hiatt: Tune-up: John Hiatt

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, November 2008

JOHN HIATT WAS a complete fuck-up. The year was 1984 and his addiction to booze and cocaine induced what he referred to as "a semi-blackout ...

Jackie Leven: Outside In

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, January 2009

In a frank conversation, Jackie Leven recalls his difficult early years, his experience with heroin, and how he can come up with four albums a ...

Jackie Wilson

Profile by David Burke, Vintage Rock, Winter 2013

LISTEN TO The Million Dollar Quartet Sessions, the seminal 1956 recording of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash jamming at Sun ...

Joan Armatrading: Joan As Blueswoman

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, January 2008

EARLIER THIS YEAR a new album by one of Britain's most enduring singer-songwriters debuted at the top of Billboard magazine's blues chart in the United ...

Johnny Horton

Retrospective by David Burke, Vintage Rock, 2014

THE ANNALS OF rock 'n' roll are littered with tragic narratives of lives cut short in their prime, whether it be Eddie Cochran's death in ...

Julie Fowlis: Gael Force: Julie Fowlis

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, January 2008

JULIE FOWLIS spends a lot of time singing to people who, on the whole, haven't got a clue what she's singing about. But it makes ...

Dolores Keane

Retrospective and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, January 2015

DOLORES KEANE has been through the mill. Conspicuous by her absence from Irish folk song this century, she spent most of those wilderness years inveterately ...

Alison Krauss: Flight Plan

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, November 2011

IF I WERE TO tell you that Alison Krauss has won more Grammy Awards than any other female artist, and is third on the all-time ...

Kris Kristofferson

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, September 2013

HUMILITY can be a deceptive character trait. Those who profess it are not always quite as humble as they seem. Like Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, "He ...

Lyle Lovett

Retrospective and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, November 2009

DAMN THAT Lyle Lovett, he sure is one elegant gent. While this R2 writer, in a Prada or Armani suit, would look plain guilty, Lovett ...

Shelby Lynne: Suiting Herself

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, November 2010

"I ALWAYS COME off to cats like you as negative, but it's not that way. I'm just honest." Shelby Lynne's been explaining what it is ...

Loretta Lynn

Retrospective and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, March 2016

THE WORD "legend" has been devalued by misappropriation in modern linguistic currency. These days it is increasingly (and stupidly) used as a synonym for "star" ...

Aimee Mann: Boxing Clever

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, November 2007

AIMEE MANN reckons she could take Bob Dylan in a boxing bout. It would be a close run thing but age and height advantage would, ...

Don McLean

Retrospective and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, March 2015

THE OBJECTS OF pop culture iconography never grow old. Elvis Presley is forever framed as the hip-thrusting, kiss-curled, impossibly beautiful boy king, just as Bob ...

Rick Nelson: Ricky Nelson: Tragic Teen Idol And Rockabilly Tearaway

Profile by David Burke, Vintage Rock, Summer 2012

FOR SOMEONE who, in his pomp between 1957 and 1963, was almost as big as Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson appeared neither comfortable with or conscious ...

Sinead O'Connor: Faith and Courage

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, September 2009

TRUTH WILL always out in the end. And the truth-sayers will be vindicated where once they were vilified. ...

Joan Osborne: Between the Covers

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, May 2008

SOME ARTISTS are indelibly associated with one piece of work their whole lives. What once was a gift in terms of eliciting public acceptance can ...

Courtney Pine: Common Cause: Courtney Pine is making all the right connections

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, May 2011

IF THE JAZZ police, those self-appointed protectors of a genre that's about freedom of expression (the irony is obviously lost on them), didn't know what ...

Elvis Presley: Elvis and Black Music

Retrospective by David Burke, Vintage Rock, October 2015

SO THE STORY goes that Elvis stole black music, exploited the influences he absorbed while growing up on the blurred edges of the coloured line ...

Elvis Presley's gospel music

Retrospective by David Burke, Vintage Rock, October 2015

LEGENDARY AMERICAN producer Bob Johnston once suggested of Bob Dylan that he was "filled with the holy spirit". The same could have been said of ...

Corinne Bailey Rae : Corinne Bailey Rae: Faith, Hope And Charity

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, September 2010

NOT EVERY do-gooding celebrity is like Bono, you know. There are those among the nouveau riche who'd rather eschew the kind of attention the U2 ...

Bonnie Raitt: Slipstream Effect: Bonnie Raitt

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, June 2012

IT'S BEEN A TOUGH seven years for Bonnie Raitt since the release of her last studio album, Souls Alike. She lost both her parents, Broadway ...

Redbone: Redbone

Sleevenotes by David Burke, Repertoire Records, 2016

THEY WERE Native American culture in vivid sound and colour, contemporary scions of a proud people, renewing primordial rhythms and imagery, making them new again ...

Rodrigo y Gabriela: Natural Acoustics: Rodrigo y Gabriela

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, January 2010

YOU'D THINK a pair of former thrash-metal heads from Mexico City would have the kind of backstage rider that was a hedonistic Eden. Not a ...

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, July 2015

DON'T TELL THE wife, but I've fallen for Buffy Sainte-Marie. She probably doesn't feel the same way about me, but then being well-versed in the ...

Seasick Steve: Lucky Charm

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, July 2012

His is a remarkable success story but, Seasick Steve tells David Burke, he takes nothing for granted ...

Pop Staples, The Staple Singers: Freedom Song

Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, May 2008

David Burke talks to the indefatigable Mavis Staples ...

Joss Stone: Water for Joss Stone's Soul

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, July 2015

"PEOPLE WOULD SAY, 'So, who do you think you are singing these soul music songs when you are 16 and you're white and you're from ...

The Stray Cats

Retrospective and Interview by David Burke, Vintage Rock, September 2014

IT WAS 1979. Year Zero had been and gone, though the confrontational, contrary spirit of punk was manifest in the new wave, while its emphasis ...

Ruby Turner: The Gospel according to Ruby

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, October 2009

"THEY CAN KEEP their big record deals. Gone are the days when I'm going to be told what to do. I can go to bed ...

Suzanne Vega: Blue Notes

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, November 2007

THE SONG 'Bound' on Suzanne Vega's quite brilliant new album, Beauty & Crime, finds her wondering "if you might still want me". ...

Gillian Welch: Air Miles: A Transatlantic Conversation with Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, Fall 2011

MOBILE PHONES, don't you just hate them? I know that to most of the Earth's populace they're as essential as a limb these days, but ...

Holly Williams

Profile and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, July 2014

HOLLY WILLIAMS carries her lineage lightly. Which can't be easy when your grandfather was Hank Williams Sr, the beating heart and tortured soul of country ...

Lucinda Williams

Report and Interview by David Burke, R2/Rock'n'Reel, May 2014

HARD TO BELIEVE now, given her adulatory reputation among commentators and contemporaries alike, but when Lucinda Williams was hawking her songs around, looking for a ...

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