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Paul Burch in concert

Paul Burch in concert

Singer-songwriter Paul Burch will perform at 7 p.m. July 16 in the Woody Guthrie Center Theater. Tickets are $20 in advance or $22 at the door. Purchase tickets at the WGC or by calling 918-574-2710.

For more than two decades, Paul Burch’s unique vision of American roots music has attracted characters and collaborators from punk to honky tonk. “At the risk of being impeached by the bluegrass purists,” wrote legendary music critic Chet Flippo, “I think Burch is the best duet partner Ralph Stanley has found since his brother, Carter Stanley, died in 1966.”

Burch’s latest album Meridian Rising (2016) on Plowboy Records & Glider Ltd is an imagined autobiography of American music pioneer Jimmie Rodgers and was produced with GRAMMY winner Dennis Crouch. Meridian Rising features Burch’s WPA Ballclub with Fats Kaplin, Tim O’Brien, Jon Langford, William Tyler, Billy Bragg, Jack Silverman, Chloe Feoranzo, and Garry Tallent of the E Street Band.

Burch was singled out in the early ’90s in a Billboard cover story citing his debut,Pan American Flash, as “extraordinary … establishing Burch as a leader in marrying country’s roots tradition with a modern sensibility.” Pan American Flashmade No. 5 on’s Best Country Albums of the Decade, and all of Burch’s subsequent albums have landed on pop, rock and country “best of” lists in the U.S. and U.K.

In 2015, Burch performed at the White House with Hip Hop for Public Health as part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign with Chuck D and Doug E. Fresh. And his salute to Buddy Holly, Words of Love, found a fan in Holly’s widow, Maria Elena: “Paul has everything Buddy wanted to hear in an artist — his own style and his own sound.

Peter Guralnick, author of biographies of Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley, and Sam Cooke, says: “I’m a Paul Burch fan. How could I not be? His music never fails to achieve its purpose, what Sun Records founder Sam Phillips has deemed the unequivocal purpose of every kind of music: to lift up, to deepen, to intensify the spirit of audience and musicians alike.”


Woody Guthrie Center Theater