Appearing soon at a site near you!
Welcome to the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys' web page ... if this is not where you intended to go, you still have time to get out now...
As most of you know, Don is now living in Tennessee so his presence in the Brevard area is not as constant as before. He has been making the trip most Fridays in order to play at the bakery but sometimes home projects require his being back in Tennessee for the weekend. For this, and other reasons, you will no longer find us at the tailgate market on Saturday mornings.
Current 2014 calendar of appearances:
Hope to see many of you at one of more of the events this coming year!!!
Our long-awaited follow-up to our first CD, Half-Baked, is finally released and available. Half-Baked was released late in 2012 and now both it and the new release Lightly-Toasted are available at a number of local retailers as well as online distributors. Locally, they can be found at the Blue Ridge Bakery (where you can get them autographed by us almost any Friday mid-day), Southern Comfort on Main Street and at Duckpond Pottery on US 276 South. Complete liner notes can be viewed using the link in the text of the in the studio page or by clicking on the CD image below. There are sound clips available with the liner notes as well - more on this item is presented below ...
At long last our much anticipated second CD has been completed and is now in stores or directly from us via email ordering. The creation process is discussed in excrutiating detail elsewhere but the short version is we came to the conclusion that it was going to take more than a single CD to get all of our "favorites" recorded so we decided to make two CDs instead of just one. The results are the above two CDs with Half-Baked being available in late 2012 and Lightly-Toasted available in January 2015. For those of you in the Brevard area, we suggest you stop by the Blue Ridge Bakery some Friday, listen to some live tunes we'll be playing between 10:00am and 1:00pm or so and pick up your copy of the CDs before you leave - we'll be happy to sign it for you if you'd like! Copies of the CDs are also available at Southern Comfort on Main Street and Duckpond Pottery on US 276 south of town if the bakery runs out. For those of you in more distant regions, the CDs are currently available from CD Baby (CDBaby.com), Amazon.com and iTunes.com as well. Digital downloads of the CDs and/or individual tracks are another option from our online merchants. CDs may also be obtained directly from us by ordering via email request. Clicking on the above image will take you to the related web page which contains detailed information about the release and each individual track as well. Clicking on the box below will link you to our online distribution center at CD Baby where you can purchase your favored medium of the entire CD or just specific tracks if you prefer. Either way, we hope you will enjoy listening to it and look forward to hearing from you soon...
While going through some of the pictures Rocky took of the "Boys" over the last year I happened across this one and was immediately struck with fits of laughter.
The two captions that came to my mind were: "Looks like John's gone off his meds again." and "Was the tempo too slow?". If you've got a better (or maybe just different) one, send it to us using the email link at the bottom of this page.
Roger Beasley of Texas suggested "I have to leave the Bimmer running or it won't restart; I didn't know John was hyper-sensitive to carbon monoxide!" - long, but good! I'll be listing all the "finalists" around the end of January 2012...
We have proposed to the TC Sesquicentenial Committee that Don's original song "It's Great To Be Alive In Transylvania County" be nominated as the official song of Transylvania County. We are told there is at least one other that has been suggested but we have not yet heard it. Don's has quickly become the "unofficial official" song over the last year and we'd like to teach it to all our residents and seasonal visitors as well. Maybe it should be mandatory for residency! (Too far???) Well, OK, but nonetheless, it's a great song and we thank the Committee for adding a link to this website on their website so others can visit here and listen for themselves.
Profiles of the group and its members along with some recent photographs to help you tell the Johns from the Don are now available. Note: clicking on the pictures of each member in the "Member Profiles" section will direct you to a more complete biography for each just as clicking on the bakery logo will direct you to its website. We try to make things easy for you ...
We are fortunate to have friends like John Austin (mandolin) and other local musicians who often join us at the regular Friday session at the bakery and help round out the sound. This would constitute The Blue Ridge Bakery Band, I suppose... We recently had one of our Friday audience members shoot a video at the bakery and post it to YouTube, which can be seen here; maybe not our best work but still fun... We hope to update the site with more information on these individuals who help make up the larger "Blue Ridge Bakery Band" ensemble.
We spent a fair amount of time in the studio over the past 2 and a half years selecting tunes and rehearsing them for inclusion on an audio CD which we just released entitled Half-Baked. For more information on this, click on the CD image above to navigate to the complete liner notes for the project - it's worth the visit!
For the second year in a row The Blue Ridge Bakery Boys were asked to perform at the annual Mud Dabbers Pottery Open House in Brevard, NC. The crafts people made 1700 cups this year which were given away free to anyone who passed through the shop over the 3-day weekend. Not just that, but you could fill it with hot cider, snack on the many varieties of baked goods and listen to some fine music performed by any number of local musicians. The Bakery Boys played the final set of the weekend with a mix of tunes from their new CD, Half-Baked, more obscure traditional and folk tunes, some seasonally-influenced songs and even some new original tunes unheard by any audience in Brevard before! It was a fun time with lots of interplay with the audience and some fine music as well. We look forward to playing next year's event as well - hope to see you there!!!
As the year now draws to a close, we'd like to thank all our fans and friends (not all friends are fans...) that encouraged us over the last year, or more, and leave you with a token of our appreciation. Click here for, from our set at Mud Dabbers Pottery and courtesy of the composer Bob Zentz, our Holiday gift to you all... Merry Christmas and we wish you all the very best of New Years!!!
We were honored to be asked back to play the 2012 Christmas at Connemara program at the Carl Sandburg National Historic Home in Flatrock, NC on December 8th. This was our second appearance there and the attendance was near capacity yet again. We mixed up the set with many of the most-requested tunes from our new CD, Half-Baked, along with some of the more seasonal selections from artists many had never heard of. In all it was a fine mixture with the audience joining in on several of the tunes. Ewww-Eeee!
We have a tentative invitation to play at the Sandburg Folk Music Festival on this coming Memorial Day but those plans are not yet confirmed so check back for updates or sign up for our mailing list (email us) and we will keep you up to date. Hope to see you soon!!!
On September first, the whole Blue Ridge Bakery "Band" performed to a full outdoor "house" of enthusiastic listeners. We say it was the full band because our good friend and master musician, John Austin, joined us on mandolin for the performance. John very often plays with us at the bakery and we welcome his company and music at every opportunity.
The weather for our set was just about perfect (as you can see) and we played many of our most-requested tunes and a few newer ones that we have been working on for a while. The reception was warm and many were singing along as we closed with Don's "It's Great To Be Alive In Transylvania County". It was a great day for a fine event and we hope to be part of it again next year!
On Saturday, March 17, 2012, "The Boys" opened the seventh annual "Empty Bowls" event held in Brevard, NC to benefit the Bread of Life organization which provides free meals to the less advantaged in our community. This event features ceramic bowls made and donated by local artisans which may be purchased at very reasonable prices with the proceeds benefiting the event. This year, more than 800 bowls were donated (which made the selection process more than a little daunting)! Soup and salad lunch is then made available by the Bread of Life staff headed by Michael Collins; attendees have the option to simply buy lunch, buy a bowl or both. It's a great way to help make a difference in the community and obtaining some of the local crafts at the same time. We were informed that this year was a record-setting year for the proceeds made to benefit the Bread of Life Kitchen!
This year the Bakery Boys got the audience warmed up with a variety of traditional, roots and original tunes in a set lasting almost 90 minutes. They then turned the stage over to Celtic Conspiracy who finished out the event with a host of Irish tunes to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the best of ways - thanks, guys!!!
We want to thank everyone who joined us at this fun and purposeful event and helped make it the great success that it was. We look forward to seeing you all at next year's event which should be even bigger!!!
On Saturday, September 17th the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys entertained the friendly assemblage of the South Illahee Home Owners at their (soon to be annual?) picnic. This was a longer performance that we usually give (2.5 hours) but it as nicely broken up into two sets separated by a wonderful meal provided by the residents. (The dessert table was almost overflowing as many of the attendees had opted to bring desserts. OK by us!!!) Following the meal we tried to keep the music lively, as we didn't want anyone to succumb to the post-meal drowsies! I believe we were successful in that effort as several people came by to thank us for our music before they left for home. Fortunately the sun had come out during the afternoon and warmed things up before we had to play - it was just starting to cool off (sharply) as we finished up. Thanks to everyone there and especially to Bob and Joanne for inviting us to play. We're ready for next year if you'd like!
On Saturday, September 3rd "most" of the Blue Ridge Bakery Band played a set at the Transylvania County Heritage Museum on West Main Street in Brevard. This was part of an all-day "Founders' Day" Celebration put on by the Museum staff that featured exhibits of early TC pioneer lifestyles, Civil War reenactments, authentic Cherokee dancing, square dancing, and lots of music! I say "most" of the band was there as Don had a conflicting commitment to fulfill so John Austin, musician and friend extraordinair, filled in for him. This enabled us to do some of the material we don't normally do outside of the bakery and provided a nice change of pace for the audience. The weather cooperated and we enjoyed the late day sunshine while we performed on stage. Thanks to all our family, friends and followers that showed up to hear us - we appreciate your support!
On Tuesday, August 16th the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys played for the annual Connestee Falls Volunteer Fire Fighters' Picnic in scenic Connestee Falls, NC. This is becoming an annual event for us as well and we look forward to playing for this wonderful bunch of people as they are generous with their attention and thanks - and they feed us wonderfully! It was another almost perfect evening at the pavilion by the lake as we settled into our program. We hope the audience had as much fun with the music as we had playing it; it always takes on a life of its own when done live. We look forward to playing for them again next year and hope to see more of our friends from Connestee at the event. Check back later - the pictures are being uploaded now...
On Saturday, July 9, 2011 the "Bakery Boys" (is that what the B.B. in B. B. King stands for?) opened the WSQL radio "Southern
Exposure" event normally held at the gazeebo in front of the courthouse in downtown Brevard, NC. Unfortunately, at setup time,
the weather was not cooperating so everything was moved to the radio station itself. Our apologies to anyone that showed up at
the gazeebo and wasn't informed where to go to watch and listen. In any event, we went on as the first act and although some
technical difficulties hampered the audio/video internet feeds (or so our followers in Florida and Texas tell us) those "in the know"
who gathered on the sidewalk outside the station seemed to enjoy the show. During "Waltz Across Texas" the waiting musicians and
fans all joined in outside to both play and dance!
As it turned out, the storms held off only long enough for the second act to play and then the skies opened up, giving us another evening of rain and storms - typical for the last 8 days!!! Maybe we should add some "flood" tunes to the set list...
It was nice to see some of our "faithful" show up for the show even with all the complications and last-minutes changes.
Hopefully we'll get an opportunity to play at the gazeebo later this summer where everyone can come and join it. Thanks again
to all those who made the show - it makes our day! I'd like to think it was our performance that inspired this young aspiring
musician to begin to practice on the spot (yeah, let's go with that...)...
And before I forget, thank you so much, Rocky, for providing the photo coverage of this event so that we can share it with those unable to attend - you're the best!
As most of you know, the Boys were scheduled to play at the Allison-Deaver House just east of Brevard, NC for "Pioneer Day" to help celebrate the county's Sesquecentennial (150th birthday). Unfortunately, John Carter was unable to participate due to an untimely health issue so Don enlisted the participation of his wife, Deb, and the program was transformed into a "Songcatcher" event with tunes more familiar to that group. John Rollins sat in on guitars (well, he didn't actually sit on them) making it the quorum majority of both the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys and of Songcatcher. While the program lacked the sonic attributes normally provided by John's voice and autoharp accompaniment, it was, none-the-less, well received and appreciated by the staff and audience at the Allison-Deaver House. Also under the weather was our event photographer, Rocky Rollins, so we'll have to rely on the Transylvania Times to provide pictures from the event.
We hope to do this event next year with the full band and really test the strength of the oldest frame house in NC!
On Saturday, March 26, "The Boys" opened the sixth annual "Empty Bowls" event held in Brevard, NC to benefit the Bread of Life organization which provides free meals to the less advantage in the community. This event features ceramic bowls made and donated by local artisans which may be purchased at very reasonable prices with the proceeds benefiting the event. This year, more than 730 bowls were donated which made the selection process more than a little daunting! Soup and salad lunch is then made available by the Bread of Life staff headed by Michael Collins; attendees have the option to simply buy lunch, buy a bowl or both. It's a great way to help make a difference in the community and obtaining some of the local crafts at the same time.
This year, The Blue Ridge Bakery Boys opened the program with a fine set of music including traditional, original and contemporary
tunes - there was even one old Buddy Holly tine included (though not many would recognize it). Several instrumentals were mixed
in with the more traditional tunes and Americana songs (some of which featured additional verses penned by the group members) and
a couple of wholly original tunes were included as well (including one that's only about a couple of weeks old!). The set was
closed with Don Burger's fine composition "It's Great To Be Alive In Transylvania County" and it was really gratifying to see many
of the diners interrupt their lunch to sing along on the choruses; there's little better than having your community participate
and share your music!
We want to thank everyone who braved the somewhat inclimate weather to join us at this fun and purposeful event. We look forward to seeing you all at next year's event which should be even bigger!!!
The Blue Ridge Bakery Boys were honored to play to a standing-room-only audience at the 2010 Connemara Christmas Program at the Carl Sandburg Home in historic Flatrock on December 10. While the weather outside was on the chilly side the atmosphere in the room was warm and cheery as the audience was treated to warm cider and cookies as they joined in on several of the tunes. The set included traditional and folk music, including some original tunes, as well as a familiar Christmas Carol or two.
The staff at the Sandburg Historical Home was more than welcoming as they made us right at home in the "green room" prior to the set and helped us setup and tear down for our performance; we look forward to playing at the home again over the next year. There may even be some special programs in the making for this site!
The Blue Ridge Bakery Boys just completed playing the Connestee Fire Auxillary Picnic and had a blast doing it! It all started off with an incredible dinner provided by the members of the auxillary that included just about everything from soup to nuts. There was so much to choose from you had to double-check to make sure there was room on the plate for even a spoonful of everything that looked good - and then you had to leave room for the dessert as well! Following dinner and a very short presentation of funding to the auxillary "The Boys" broke into a fine set of traditional and original material lasting about an hour and twenty minutes with only a short interruption by a passing rain storm, requiring the relocation of some of the groups gear to avoid it becoming water-logged. The group was in good form and the audience was more than appreciative of the music and interplay. It was a great way to spend a summer's evening and we look forward to doing it again next year. Thanks to everyone who made this possible and especially those who danced and sang along - you made our day!!
During the warmer months, Brevard hosts a tailgate market where local food, garden and craft vendors congregate to exhibit and sell their creations and products. During this period, the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys play music on the Saturday gatherings from 10:00am until 1:00pm or so to provide entertainment for both the vendors and the customers. It's a great time to stop by and say hello and maybe even ask for your favorite tune! We do take requests, though we aren't always able to play them...
So, this coming year, come on by and sample the wonderful assortment of plants, vegetables, snacks and other goodies to be had at the market and be sure to stop by the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys tent for a tune or two. We love having an audience and talking with our friends from all around the area. We look forward to seeing you there!
Don Burger teaches and plays mountain dulcimer, guitar, piano, harmonica, hammer dulcimer, percussion and a variety of novelty instruments, like the kazoo (who lists this a an instrument? - Ed), marumbula, and the washboard. He moved to Brevard in 2004 from the mountains of New York State. His song, "Packrat Blues," has been recorded and performed by individuals and groups all around the world, and his songs, "It's Great to Be Alive in Transylvania County" and "My French Broad River Home" are local favorites. He is a long time member of The Eclectics and a founding member of the trios Songcatcher and the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys.
Musical Influences: Burl Ives, Bill Staines, Greg Brown, Susan Trump, Bill Spence, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Dinah Washington, Michael Franks, Joao Gilberto, Pete Seeger and Ronnie Gilbert of the Weavers, Greg Brown and Si Kahn.
Recordings available: Half-Baked by the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys - available directly from the band (use email to order), online at CDBaby.com and at various retailers in Brevard, NC. It's Great To Be Alive and Pack-Rat Blues Man both are available from the artist and at the Blue Ridge Bakery.
John's interest in Folk Music began in Detroit in the 60's. Born and raised in the Detroit area, he was active with the Detroit Folklore Society and was co-founder in 1974 of the Paint Creek Folklore Society which is still active today with over 100 charter members. John plays guitar, autoharp and hammered dulcimer and hopes to add the concertina soon. John freely states, "I am grateful to have experienced many of the great festivals of the 60's and 70's and to have been influenced by so many great musicians." And he can easily remember most of them! As might be imagined, his musical interests rest mainly with Traditional, Celtic and Old Thyme forms with great respect for O'Carolin's music.
Musical Influences: The Weavers, Bob Coltman, Bok and Tricket, Bill Staines, Harvey Reid, Stan and Garnet Rogers, Canturbury Country Orchestra, Ian & Sylvia, Tom Paxton, Gordon Lightfoot, Tom Rush, Tom Russell, and many more...
Recordings available: Half-Baked by the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys - available directly from the band (use email to order), online at CDBaby.com and at various retailers in Brevard, NC.Songcatcher, a solo recording which is available from the artist and at the Blue Ridge Bakery Cool Water, a mix of celtic, jazz and old time with old friends Jan Daugherty and Jim Fox which is available from the artist and American Hammered Dulcimer, a 1976 recording with Bob Hubbach and other fine musicians which is now unavailable.
Growing up as the youngest of three children, "My parents had given up on music lessons for the kids by the time I was old enough to show an interest - consequently, I'm the only one in my family who plays an instrument!" This is an item he plans to change by encouraging his grand nieces and nephews to take up a musical instrument - just anything except the banjo (just kidding!)...
A self-taught musician, he started with the harmonica and them migrated to the guitar. After spending his mid-teens playing electric guitar in a series of "rock" bands he traded in his electric gear for his first acoustic 12-string guitar; this was supplimented with a Gibson LG-3 6-string and, later, with his first autoharp. And so started his ongoing love of acoustic music. "I really intend to learn the mandolin family as well but I haven't really learned all the material Rutledge gave me during my first lesson yet - and that as about 3 years ago!" John says his taste in songs leans heavily toward the melancholy stating that, "For me, Long Black Veil is a jig!". Still, you may see a hint or two of humor sneak into some of his "lighter" selections.
After playing in a trio in college he moved to California and played for a time as a single at clubs including The Ash Grove, Randy Sparks' club Ledbetter's and Doug Weston's Troubadour until his time for music became limited by his "day job". Unfortunately, many of the concerts and festivals this John attended during the mid-late 60's are hard to recall now for various reasons; the same applies to many of those he attended in the Boston area during the 70's (but he's SURE he had a great time!) ... Time marches on and he is now taking time to reflect on the crooked road leading to today.
Musical Influences: Richard Shindell, Guy Clark, Verlon Thompson, Townes Van Zandt, Jackson Browne, Joan Baez, Jesse Winchester, Ian & Sylvia, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Gordon Lightfoot, Judy Collins, Tom Rush, Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band, Joni Mitchell, Kingston Trio, PP&M, Bonnie Raitt, Warren Zevon, Stan Rogers, Garnet Rogers, Hearts & Flowers, ... just too many to name!
Recordings available: Half-Baked by the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys - available directly from the band (use email to order), online at CDBaby.com, Amazon.com and at various retailers in Brevard, NC. No "solo" recordings are available at this time, though there are now four projects in the early recording stages: one of early original songs/tunes (It Was Easier Back Then: 1962-1970), one of original material from the "middle period" (Closet Musician: 1971-1984), one (a double CD set) of songs that influenced me (How I Got To Here) and another of the recent originals and more recent influences (Daybreak), though looking back now over 50-some years - so stay tuned...
Please remember that your comments and suggestions are always welcomed. We take requests; we don't promise to play them but we take them, none the less... Keep those electronic cards and letters comin', folks!
Send comments to: BRBBoys@comporium.net
Changes last made on: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 1:35pm