Jason Tyler Burton
Jason Tyler Burton is a wanderer, a soul searching adventurer who writes songs about the journey. Originally from Kentucky, he now lives at the base of the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming. His songs and stories are heart felt, reflecting a search for meaning and home, with a voice and lyrics that invite you to lean in a little, and really listen.
"His vocals are just gravelly and serious enough to feel like he’s telling a story you just need to hear. He’s the kind of songwriter that makes you feel glad to be a folk music fan – and the scary thing is he seems to be getting better and better." Greg Jones, Ear to the Ground Music
""A Garden Grows" is maybe the best new song I have heard all year. [Headwaters] is among my top handful of CDs released this year." - Larry Hillberg, KVMR, California
”Burton wrote the 12 songs that comprise the new record while living a nomadic existence in the American West. The results are quite impressive. You won’t find a clunker on this delightful platter, but pay close attention to standouts like “A Garden Grows,” “The Waltz,” the title track, “Silver Linings,” “The Wanderer” and “Thicker Than Water.” This is pretty inspiring stuff.” - Jeffrey Sisk, Pittsburgh in Tune
“Jason Tyler Burton’s “Headwaters” is simply one of the most fully realized albums to come out of Southern Utah. Track after track you forget you’re listening to a “local album” because it sounds just like something you might find on Sub Pop’s roster.” – Brian Passey, St. George Spectrum and St. George Magazine.
"you can let the album run over and over again without getting tired of it." - Dagmar Brudnitzki, Fatea Magazine, UK
"Right away from the first second Jason begins to sing there is some familiar and extremely likeable in his voice. Vocals that are reminiscent of David Gray in inflection and tone, with a small dose of Damien Rice." - Redline Roots
Finding His Headwaters:
In the woods, just across the Kentucky River from Daniel Boone’s fort, a boy leaves his log cabin home and follows the path of a creek running through his family’s land. Jason Tyler Burton goes searching for the spring that is the source of Calloway Creek. That search for the source of things has driven him throughout his life, now culminating in the release of the aptly-named HEADWATERS, Burton’s second original full-length album. In 2007, he and his wife ventured west from Kentucky to the Utah wilderness, leaving behind the security of a career in higher education, with a desire “to take some risks and live a better story,” living out of their van and working with the National Park Service and other seasonal jobs. The idea for the album came to him while searching for the source of the Green River in the mountains of Wyoming, recalling his childhood pastime. The songs on Headwaters were born out of the stories he encountered while living this nomadic life in the heart of the American West, stories about the search for meaning and belonging.
From a young age Burton learned the fiddle, his love of music growing as he did. Raised in a religious family, music was mostly limited to hymns and old folk songs, but he’d occasionally sneak off to listen to the radio. Burton says he knew, from growing up singing in church, that music was powerful, but it was upon hearing Paul Simon’s Graceland as a teenager that he realized that songs could really inspire people with rhythm, poeticism, and story. It had all the “raw emotion and power of those hymns,” says Burton. “It was the first time I truly realized that music on the radio could be so much more than a pop song.” A song can resonate with something much deeper than the listener’s ear. It can tell a bigger story. On Headwaters, this sense of resonance runs deep. The songs ring “true” in the way a carpenter fits one angle to another with precision and skilled detail. Burton’s guitar, mandolin, and harmonica lay a sonic foundation of true Americana, and his lyrics put a finger on the pulse of contemporary issues. He also incorporates elements like David Tate’s electric guitar, washy and open, swelling like storm clouds on the horizon. Ryan Tilby’s banjo and dobro makes it clear these songs flow from the heart of a true Kentuckian. Lush arrangements of cello and violin from Jessika Soli Bartlettand Lynsey Shelar and vocals from Katy Taylor fuse these sounds with the lyrical rhythm and poetry of personal stories with such depth and honesty that you could play them in almost any genre or age and they would still feel at home.
Jason Tyler Burton sits alongside the pantheon of artists and storytellers possessed by the landscape and story of the untamed American wilderness (think Ansel Adams, John Muir, and contemporaries Wendell Berry and David James Duncan). With HEADWATERS, he invites you into the belief that a song can do more than tell just a story. It can help navigate the thick and foreboding wilderness of the soul John Muir referred to in saying, “I wish I knew where I was going. Doomed to be carried of the spirit into the wilderness, I suppose. I wish I could be more moderate in my desires, but I cannot, and so there is no rest.” - Carl Eric Tangen, 2014