Who’s Who: Jason Burns – Music Man
By Mike Butler
With the Deep Roots Music Festival fast approaching (have you got your pass yet?) and the booming Valley music scene on people’s mind, I wanted to take this opportunity to profile one of our Valley music treasures, Jason Burns. The list of musicians, and singers in this area is quite extensive but I chose Jason for this column because of his talent, love of music, community spirit, and so much more. All of the things that make Jason a unique talent could never fit into this article but we’ll see if I can strike a chord or two.
Jason Burns grew up in the Valley, attending grade school in Middleton. Jason graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Acadia University and now lives in the Greenwood area with his immediate family around him. Family, friends, and the love of the Valley have kept Jason right where he belongs.
Jason is a musician as well as an electronics/gadgets wiz. He does electronics repair, mostly for audio gear, and he teaches guitar and actively plays music as much as possible.
He says, “Years ago when I was at Acadia doing my Biology degree, I started playing in bands. I had gear that was breaking, and finding someone to fix it was tough, so I started reading and experimenting with simple circuits. Growing up, anything with wiring always confused me. So, after years of diving in to fix and rewire my own gear, building effects pedals etc., I worked my way up to fixing tube amps. Other people had stuff that was breaking and needed someone to fix it, so I started doing it for others and presto, I had a job. All of the fixing up is great, but I do that, as well as design tube amps and make custom audio solutions for musicians.”
Jason’s first custom amp design (the Little 65) was done last year for Scotty Marsters, a Wolfville musician. Since then, Jason’s interest in continuing this work has grown. Once he graduated from Acadia, he had a slew of horrible jobs trying to use his science degree but, as he says, “It really felt like I was wasting my time with that, and I was playing lots of music so it was an easy decision to find a few bands and do that full time, including touring the Maritimes. It was a great experience because I got to meet a lot of great people and share stages with some fairly big name acts like Doc Walker, Jason McCoy, Blue Rodeo, and Jason Blaine.”
Jason has also had the marvelous opportunity to play outside of Canada, including a recording session in Nashville where he got to see, first hand, how it’s done from the inside. If you want to keep in touch with Jason’s music shenanigans, you can find him on Facebook or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This summer Jason will have the pleasure of playing with the Jill Boudreau Band, the Kickin’ Mule Blues Band, and a couple of shows with Theresa Porter as the opening act for Emerson Drive at the Annapolis Valley Exhibition. Jason will also be blasting his talents at the Wharf Rat Rally on September 3 with the Kickin’ Mule Blues Band and playing a ticketed show at The Wick Pub in Berwick on October 15. Dates for other upcoming shows and performances can all be found online and, with Jason as part of them, these shows are not to be missed!
Besides music, Jason has other hobbies. He states, “I really enjoy motorcycles, both riding them and working on them. I do day and weekend trips during any part of the year that there isn’t any snow on the roads. Right now, I have a dual sport bike so I can explore the more remote areas of Nova Scotia, but also do highway trips when it suits me.” Jason also enjoys the recording and production side of the music business and has the great fortune of producing CD’s for Virgil Wadman, the Kickin’ Mule Blues Band, and Country Harmony. He’s currently, slowly, recording a CD for Theresa Porter and it’s a project he’s very proud of, even in these early stages.
The Valley has provided Jason with a great atmosphere for creating music, as well as lots of places to play, be seen and heard, and develop a like-minded community of music lovers. He states, “I like this area because there’s lots of close-knit groups, families, and friends but it also provides space where you can be away from it all. It’s nice to be able to have both people and events you can engage with but also be away from it when you choose. There’s so much space to explore in Nova Scotia and great shorelines to drive. I’m not much of a city person so this area really speaks to me. And there’s a lot of great breweries because you can’t forget the beer!”
It’s always hard to say what will happen in the next five years, especially when you have a talent like Jason’s, but he wants nothing more than to keep growing, learning, and finding new dreams to chase. He wants to keep traveling and seeing what else the world has to offer up. But he knows the journey will have a dynamite soundtrack and, no matter what, the Valley will always be home. Best of Luck Jason!
Photo Credit: Grant Lohnes