Doug Burr has made a name for himself in the North Texas music scene as an authentic singer/songwriter with plenty of crooning chops.
The balladeer let us ask him a few questions about life, performing, and his love of music. We got more than we bargained for from Burr, who opened up about his brief stint as a comic book artist, his abject love for Tom Waits, and his ersatz campaign for mayor of Denton.
Burr plays with another Texas act, Balmorhea, at Church of the Incarnation at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Beer and wine will be served in the courtyard between sets. Find out more about Church of the Incarnation, which is located at 3966 McKinney Ave., at incarnation.org.
— Jo England
Jo England: You hail from Denton, so what's it like to play to a more-or-less hometown crowd?
Doug Burr: Well, since I very rarely ever play out-of-town shows, a more-or-less hometown crowd is pretty standard. But having said that, this venue is really gorgeous, and there's a great group of people at Church of the Incarnation that host these shows, so I am especially looking forward to this one.
England: When you're writing a song, where do you find inspiration?
Burr: Inspiration to write comes from lots of sources. But maybe we could just say "anything that hurts." Some things have a good hurt about them, and some just a bad.
England: Who's your hero? Why?
Burr: Tom Waits is one of my biggest songwriting heroes. He's untouchable as far as depth and breadth of his catalog. And he'll be the guy I'm envious of throughout eternity, artistically speaking.
England: Who are you listening to right now?
Burr: Tom Waits. Howlin' Wolfe. (Early) Rolling Stones. Band of Horses. Bruce Springsteen.
England: As a performer who tours with and sometimes opens for some well known acts, what's your most memorable experience?
Burr: Perhaps the most bizarre was when I got thrown an opportunity to open for Hall & Oates. Simultaneously a huge honor and a "What the heck just happened?" And very recently, I got to open for Chris Isaak, which was fun and a much better match-up!
England: What made you decide to become a musician?
Burr: No one thing really. I just discovered a love to create stories when I was in my pre-teen years. I started drawing comic books, but found it cumbersome with a very limited drawing ability, and then a little later I fell in love with the acoustic guitar and the ability it gave to lift stories and poetry - the idea of the balladeer - then I was hooked.
England: Tell us about your most recent album, "O Ye Devastator," in five words.
Burr: Epic, foreboding, hopeful, forward-looking, backward-looking. (So, we're going to count the hyphenated words as single words only, okay? If I ever run for mayor of Denton, I don't want the above quote being strewn across the blogosphere as proof that I cannot count.)
England: Cat person or dog person?
Burr: Both! Why do I have to be one or the other? These are not mutually exclusive items!