Doug Burns has brought a lifetime of playing diverse styles of music to his current incarnation as an interpreter of country and Americana songs.
“After years of playing guitar and singing for the punk rock band Last Great Hope I decided to take a different direction and explore another style of music,” Burns said. “I’ve always loved good country music, even before I really knew what it was all about. I never went for the pop stuff, but always knew Johnny Cash was cool. He was kind of my ‘gateway drug’ to other country artists like Hank Williams Sr., Waylon Jennings, John Prine, Hank 3 and Guy Clark. In the same way the Ramones led me into punk rock, Johnny Cash opened the door to a different world of music.”
Burns, 49, was born in Massachusetts, but has lived in Florida since 1978. He currently resides in Venice.
“I was born with a good Yankee heart and a good southern upbringing,” he laughed. “I consider myself more or less from Florida any more.”
A versatile singer, Burns also plays trumpet in addition to lead and bass guitar. He has had his solo act going for the last five years.
“I started out with the intent of playing an outlaw country style,” he said. “Kind of like the country singers of the 1970s. But I’ve moved into more of an Americana style, which I’d say is less twang-y and more folk-y.”
Burns added when he plays live, he performs 70 percent original songs.
“When you come to one of my shows, it’s an upbeat experience with crowd participation,” he said. “I really like interacting with the crowd, keeping it fun, funny and light. I try to do a little bit of storytelling when I feel it’s important to enlighten them on a song’s origin or how it reflects an event my life. Some of these songs are told from a fictitious character’s point of view, but some are from an actual life experience. I’m also big on patriotism without being ridiculous about it. I try to focus on moving society forward, where I stress if we don’t figure certain things out or start becoming better human beings, then our lives are just a waste of time.”