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Jim Burke | Diamonds

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by Jim Burke

I write songs as a form of healing on topics that are not only important to me but to all of us. As Mary Gauthier says, “We songwriters are the healers of the world, we show people their hearts by sharing our hearts with them."
Genre: Folk: Folk Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Away (feat. Oleena Kilcyk, David Kean & Jonathan Lewsi)
5:43 $0.99
2. It's Alright (feat. Dave Reid, Richard Harding & Alistair Elliot)
4:25 $1.29
3. Devil and Penelope (feat. Steve Pineo)
3:40 $1.29
4. Diamonds (feat. Mike Little)
3:33 $1.29
5. Forget Where We've Been (feat. Michael Guerra)
3:17 $0.99
6. Love Gets It Wrong (feat. Troy Kokol)
4:57 $0.99
7. Holding On (Acoustic)
4:31 $0.99
8. Faster We Go (Bicycle Song) [feat. Amy Bishop & David Kean]
4:07 $0.99
9. Long Black Train (feat. Jason Fowler)
2:56 $1.29
10. Never Been Good at Goodbye (feat. Steve Pineo, John Dymond & Gary Craig)
4:13 $0.99
11. After Loving You (feat. Michael Guerra & Kathy Cook)
4:08 $0.99
12. Never Been to Heaven (feat. Peter Kirkland)
3:40 $1.29
13. Without You (feat. Troy Kokol)
3:56 $0.99
14. Holding On (Reprise) [feat. Kit Johnson, Steve Pineo, Kathy Cook, Corry Ulan & Kevin Young]
6:29 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
JIM BURKE | Diamonds

Jim Burke’s voice moves from a gin-soaked stumble home to a tender serenade around the fire. Musical influences include Neil Young, The Mavericks, Texas Tornados and Johnny Winter. Based in Calgary AB, his story as a songwriter spans several decades, he has studied songwriting and attended workshops in Calgary and Nashville to hone his skills from some of the best songwriters in North America, Mary Gauthier, Craig Wiseman, Rick Beresford, Troy Kokol and others, while also at the same time working as an environmentalist (i.e. soil scientist) and raising a family.
It wasn’t until later in life that he would put his foot forward as a singer-songwriter and record his first album of original material, Diamonds (October 8, 2015).
In 2013 the need to record a CD of his songs became increasingly urgent when Burke was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and the disease turned acute, he became incredibly ill, requiring immediate hospital attention.
Burke explains, “One night all alone in the hospital, I made a promise to myself, if I ever got out, and I could walk, play guitar and sing, I would complete a CD of my music. I knew I couldn’t forgive myself if I never put these songs, my passion, down in a way that would last beyond just me.”
The result is Diamonds; an album reflecting Burke’s struggle with illness, reaching for new resolutions, and views on life and love. It’s a collection of moving songs written before and after his cancer diagnosis, which in true songwriting fashion, transcend beyond a personal tale of struggle and strife and is sure to surprise and resonate with listeners.
The album effortlessly moves from quieter numbers like “Diamonds”, “Without You”, and “Love Gets It Wrong” to upbeat grittier rockers like “Long Black Train” and “Never Been To Heaven”. Themes of accepting illness, correcting your path, and finding purpose are reflected in “It’s Alright”, “Holding On”, and “Away”.
Diamonds also has benevolence at its core. A longtime friend of Burke’s arranged for the album to be recorded in Toronto, ON with esteemed engineer, Doug Romanow at Noble Street Recording Studios. Toronto session players included the revered Jason Fowler on guitar (John McDermott), John Dymond on bass (Blackie and the Rodeo Kings), and Gary Craig on drums (Blackie and the Rodeo Kings).
Recording also took place in Calgary, AB with Dave Kean at Audites Studios, who completed the album and added further instrumentation with Steve Pineo, Dave Reid, Oleena Kilcyk, Alistair Elliot, Richard Harding, and more (members of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and The Prime Time Big Band).
A big fan The Mavericks, Burke also contacted Michael Guerra the accordion player from the Mavericks, who graciously agreed to contribute accordion and Banjo-sexto on the TexMex songs songs “After Loving You” and “Forget Where We’ve Been”.

Reflecting on recording Diamonds Burke says, “It’s been one of my life’s highlights. To see these amazing musicians and artists debating the aspects of my songs, reworking arrangements, and vocal harmonies and instrumentation that transform the songs to levels I never dreamed was great! I write songs as a form of healing on topics that are not only important to me but to all of us. As Mary Gauthier says, we songwriters are the healers of the world, we show people their own hearts by sharing our hearts with them.”

Genre: Folk/Roots
Release Date: October 8, 2015


Media contact: Jen Eisler Publicity, Jen Eisler, 416-526-0969, jen@jeneisler.com

* 50% of the sale of Diamonds goes towards the Alberta Cancer Foundation and directly to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre for cancer drug research



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