J.D. Burns spent years playing lead guitar around Louisville, Kentucky and the Tidewater area of Virginia before moving to Garrett, Indiana. With the release of his self-produced debut, Everlasting, one neednt travel to another state or even another taxing authority to hear Burns flex his musical muscle.
Over the course of 50 minutes Burns presents four vocal songs and eight instrumentals. His Christian faith is deeply evident in the lyrical outings, such as the title track in which Burns strong vocals present a clear proclamation of the gospel amidst a hopeful array of two clean-toned guitars, bass and drums. The bluesy song of thanksgiving, Face Tomorrow, finds a bit more lead playing, while the upbeat Holy Holy is a cyclical chorus full of chiming guitars that would serve some churches well as a praise song. For the most part his lyrical songs sport tastefully restrained playing that support, but do not overshadow, the vocals.
Where Burns really shines is on the instrumental tracks. He begins with a formula of bass and drums down the middle with two guitars, panned hard left and right, that improvise on a given chord progression for the duration of the song. Even here he is reserved, with few solos but plenty of solid riffing chops, each explored to great depths and played with immaculate skill. Tracks like Dreamland exhibit an almost Spanish influence, with both guitar parts expertly commingling with clear, chiming tones, while the heavy introductory drums of Industrial Strength let you know right from the start that distorted guitars will reign, in this case setting Collective Soul-type riffs against an overdriven wah guitar. City Lights takes a twist in setting a mysterious mood for the first minute before taking a turn into an angular yet melodic Satriani style. A definite album hightlight is Echoes, where two carefully wrought melodies dance in a pastoral setting of a calm spring day, very reminiscent of Phil Keaggys impressive acoustic work.
Burns not only wrote the music on Everlasting, but also programmed the drums, played all parts and recorded and mastered the album himself. But the lyrics make it very obvious that Burns focus is on Christ, not himself. Such a focus creates a more intimate and personable album, one chock full of Christian fervor and meandering musical journeys that would be appreciated by a broad audience. Available at cdbaby.com.
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Josh Johnson — Comedy at Calhoun Street Soups, Salads & Spirits, Fort Wayne, 7 p.m., $10, (260) 456-7005
Vince Gill — Country at Embassy Theatre, Fort Wayne, 7 p.m., $39.50-$79.50, 424-5665
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Community Orchestra — Mussorsky's Pictures at an Exhibition at Auer Performance Hall, Rhinehart Music Center, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 7:30 p.m., $4-$7, 481-6555
Open Mic Night — Variety at Checkerz Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 7-10 p.m., no cover, 489-0286
Scratch N Sniff 2.0 w/1/4 Kit Kurt — Variety at Deer Park Irish Pub, Fort Wayne, 6:30-8 p.m., no cover, 432-8966
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Fort Wayne Karaoke — Karaoke at Latch String Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 483-5526
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/TJ — Variety at Office Tavern, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., no cover, 478-5827
Three Rivers Karaoke w/Rob — at Wrigley Field Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 485-1038
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41st SOCA Student Exhibition — Works from students currently enrolled at USF’s School of Creative Arts, daily thru April 30, Weatherhead Gallery, USF Rolland Art Center, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Fort Wayne Artist Guild Exhibitions — Works by Alice Siefert at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Jennifer Caudel at Allen County Retinal Surgeons, Anita Trick, Citizens Square (2nd and 3rd floors), Darlene Selzer Miller at The Einhaus Group for Women’s Health, Patricia Weiss at Heritage of Fort Wayne, Emily Jane Butler at Ophthalmology Consultants (Southwest), Linda Binek at Ophthalmology Consultants (North), Carolyn Stachera at Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne, John Kelty at ResCare Inc. Adult Day Service, Wiletta Blevins at Town House Retirement, Karen Bixler at Visiting Nurse Hospice and Barb Yoder and Karen Harvey at Will Jewelers, thru April 30, fortwayneartistguild.org.
Glass: A Medium in Art and Automobiles — Dale Chihuly blown glass and fiberglass auto, daily thru Sept. 8, Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Auburn, $7.50-$12.50, 925-1444
Outdoor Sculpture Invitational — Fifteen outdoor sculptures from regional artists, daily thru April 30, School of Creative Arts campus, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Rhoda Gerig: The Hope of Eagles — Photographic images of eagles, daily thru June 4, Clark Gallery, Honeywell Center, Wabash, 563-1102
Spring 2017 BFA Exhibition — Exhibition of works by IPFW graduation seniors, daily thru May 3 , Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery, Main Library, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, 481-6709
Spring 2017 BFA Exhibition — Senior thesis projects from Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates Brenda Drayer (sculpture), Derek Hibbs (printmaking), Ellen Mensch (painting), Nathaniel Morris (sculpture) and Kyle Snodgrass (sculpture), daily thru May 7, Visual Arts Gallery, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 481-6709