Live Review: J.P. Burr

 The 5 Spot Nashville, TN 

Contact: [email protected] 

Web: jpburr.com 

Players: J.P. Burr, guitar, vocals; Matt Burhans, guitar; Weston Stewart, guitar; Marshall Carlson, bass; Phil Leon, drums; Gabe Klein, keyboards 

Material: John Patrick Burr, better known as J.P. Burr, grew up in Burns, TN. Thus, it makes sense that his sound is rooted in country, the blues, and popular rock. Airtight songcraft revolves around blazing guitar bridges, and choruses that beg you to sing along. A six-person backing crew allows for a multitude of textures and feelings. Songs such as “Band Tee Shirt” and “You Could Be Everything” make female followers swoon. “California” is a pitch-perfect tribute to The Golden State, and a countrified version of Bryan Adams’ “Run To You” provides the ultimate crowd pleaser. 

Musicianship: Having already carved a path as a studio musician, Burr only recently shifted focus back onto himself. The secret of his brilliance, however, is out. He’s opened for numerous megastars, including Dwight Yoakam, Luke Combs, and Ashley McBryde. Subsequent notoriety has evidently followed, as an enthusiastic Thursday night crowd suggests. He’s also attracted some of the best players around; his supporting musicians are beyond stellar. For his part, Burr constantly switches between acoustic and electric guitars, both of which he’s equally comfortable strumming. 

Performance: Besides displaying first-rate material and possessing marvelous chops, Burr has his stagecraft down to a science. He knows precisely how long to speak between songs, prefacing each with a quick explanation of when or how they were written. Candid moments, such as asking the keyboard player for some “intermission music” after admitting he almost began playing the wrong tune, come off as genuine even if they’re scripted. Burr also takes time to shine the spotlight on his fellow travelers, allowing band members to take the lead in turns and show off their skills during a thunderous jam. 

Summary: J.P. Burr remains unsigned, yet one can only imagine it’s no more than a matter of time before that changes. With radio-ready hooks, a face built for the camera, a stellar gaggle of talent bringing his vision to life, a full-length recording on the way, and an audience eager for more, this newcomer seems destined for a long and fruitful career.