FAME Review: Michael 'Iron Man' Burks - Show of Strength
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Michael 'Iron Man' Burks - Show of Strength

Show of Strength

Michael "Iron Man" Burks

Alligator Records - ALCD4951

Available from Alligator Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb
(taoboy@cox.net)

Sadly this bluesman, whose talent was greatly appreciated in Europe, was not well known on these shores, passed away while returning from a European tour earlier in 2012. Sadly, because he was as talented as they come, his guitar playing could at times be fiercely savage and in the next moment as soft and personal as a baby's touch. His shows were notorious for being long and dynamically physical, and as emotionally commanding on the audience as the performer himself. His ability to brand his performances with his intense work ethic served him well in winning audiences and capturing a huge and devoted following in Europe. All of that translates well to this his fourth album for Alligator Records. His heart and soul come thru on this gritty statement of his life in all its intensity and strength.

There are 12 songs on the disc and he had a hand in writing 5 of them. They are a good sampling of his music. This was probably the disc that was finally going to break him into the upper echelon of blues players in this country. The fiery intensity of his playing displayed both his deep passion for, and devotion to the blues. Both his father and grandfather were bluesmen in Camden, Arkansas, and as soon as he showed a proclivity for playing guitar they started to teach him the basics. Because the family had juke joint, the Bradley Ferry Country Club, he honed his chops playing there. He was known for the passion with which he played his guitar as well as his gritty vocals and the "Iron Man" moniker comes from the length of his shows 3 to 4 hours was normal for him. He was a big man and he will be sorely missed by those that were fortunate enough to catch one of his shows and got to know him. Give a listen to this, maybe even focus on the intense passion of Cross Eyed Woman, and you'll understand the anguish some will be going through alt his death.

Track List:

  • Count On You
  • Take A Chance On Me, Baby
  • Storm Warning
  • Can You Read Between The Lines?
  • Cross Eyed Woman
  • Little Juke Joint
  • 24 Hour Blues
  • Valley Of Tears
  • Since I Been Loving You
  • I Want To Get You Back
  • What Does It Take To Please You?
  • Feel Like Going Home

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
 
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