Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke

I just started listening to Kevin burke recently and really enjoy his straight forward style. To my ears, he isnt afraid to let the fiddle be the fiddle with a little scratch and earthiness and thats what Ive enjoyed about his playing. I just sampled his recent recording and it seems hes polished up some of the elements that I enjoy in his playing. Anyone else notice this?

Re: Kevin Burke

Yes.

Over the years, Kevin has notably "improved" his tone, intonation, and freedom of the bow hand. I can see why you might like his old sound better—kinda like the difference between the raw sound of Johnny Lee Hooker versus the smoothness of B.B. King…..

In person, his tone now is wonderful—strong and clear, but still fiddly. Maybe just not fiddly enough for your tastes. 🙂

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Re: Kevin Burke

I still like it… I was just wondering If my "ear"bservation was accurate.. just sampled his new disc again and it is sweeter than his other stuff but the soul is still definitely there. His "sweetness" is still good fiddling without sounding like the "celtic" violinists out there.

Re: Kevin Burke

tee he
"His "sweetness" is still good fiddling without sounding like the "celtic" violinists out there"

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Re: Kevin Burke

LOL.

Erm, I’d say it differently—Kevin has lost none of his drive and pulse.

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Re: Kevin Burke

I heard him a few months ago live and was surprised how ‘Old Timey’ he sounded. He has lived in the States for years and I reckon he is trying to build a bridge. It’s not my cup of tea, but I learned from the legend’s beautiful bowing and rhythm. Playing like Burke is not the worst thing in the world that’s for sure.

Re: Kevin Burke

Just goes to show that the best musicians work hard at improving their playing, even when well into their careers - which is why they are the best.

Re: Kevin Burke

I wouldnt consider him "old timey" at all. I cant think of any current American old time fiddler that even resembles his style in the slightest way. Ive heard others make similar comments because hes got the back beat thing going, but that isnt characteristic of old time players either. Most old time players do stress the rhythm but not in the same way. The popular thing in oldtime fiddling right now is sort of a "syncopated groove" thing that has a different pulse altogether. There is some really early American fiddling that has an "old world" or "celtic" sound to it but those recordings are really rare and the modern "old time" scene has become its own thing. Some of that could resemble Burkes playing, but to me the shared characteristic even then would be "traditional fiddling" without modern influences.Thats my take on it at least.

Re: Kevin Burke

a friend made the observation to me after listening to KB live at a teaching fest and then some other fiddlers on a CD, that KB is a note stretcher, while quite a few of the other fiddlers we were listening to (sorry I’d never heard of them and they didn’t stick) were note shorteners - ie they played lots more notes where as Burke would characteristically play longer notes.

Re: Kevin Burke

I had never heard of him until I heard his playing at the National this year.
I have never heard a fiddler who can put as much shape into a note, even his ornamentation has this "shape" factor.
Sorry that’s the best I can do, I don’t speak music as well as I play it, but I know what I like.

Re: Kevin Burke

It’s no small feat to get the most out of every single note, with a sort of "arc" or "swell" to it, along with colour - even at speed! I think KB does it, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed his playing from past to present.

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Re: Kevin Burke

I really enjoy his back beat stress, it forces you to jump up and form a céilí with complete strangers. Some old time players use it as well but I wouldn’t consider it an old time technique. Johnny Cunningham sticks it in to a good deal of his solo work.

Re: Kevin Burke

Burke is excellent, on his "If the cap Fits" CD he clearly states that he wants to achieve that certain old time style…He is a great fiddle player and has released some classic fiddle albums including "Portland" and above mentioned which stand out as excellent fiddle albums..He is not going down the more modern road that many are treading but this does not detract from his abilities..

Re: Kevin Burke

kevin is a dull player and doesnt have drive. I dont like his stile at all.

Re: Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke doesn’t have to be your favorite fiddler, but I honestly have no idea how somebody can claim that his playing has no drive. Just listen to the first tune on Promenade (Pigeon on the Gate). He has such precise rhythm and gets into such a groove that his playing sounds slow—but once you try to play along you notice that he’s not playing slowly. And he has kept that special drive for his entire career; just listen to the set of reels on Celtic Fiddle Festival, "Rendezvous."

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Re: Kevin Burke

Careful you don’t bark up the wrong tree, dog.