Michael Burks 09/12/09
Cozy’s – Sherman Oaks, CA
Words/Photos by God Frank
Howdy Concert Confessionites! Long time listener, first time caller here. I’ve been debating posting a review on this site for a while, and after seeing the lack of blues reviews I finally decided I had to contribute.
Back in April while in Laughlin, NV for the Blues and Brews Festival (and some marathon poker playing) I discovered blues man extraordinaire Michael Burks. I spoke with Michael one day during the festival and he told me that he comes to LA periodically to visit Mom and play at a bar called Cozy’s in Sherman Oaks. I became a fan of Michael’s ever since I heard him perform his first song in Laughlin and have been waiting for the day I could see him in Los Angeles. That day finally came on Saturday, September 12th.
My first impression of Cozy’s was “what the hell is this?!?!” My second impression was “why the F*%k is my my food taking so long?!?!” Seriously folks, I was not impressed with the bar, and if you ever visit this establishment in the future, make sure you eat before you go, cause it will take forever to get your food. Luckily, I wasn’t there for the food I was there for the music, and Michael Burks did not disappoint.
For those of you not familiar with Michael, he has earned the nickname “Iron Man” with his long and energetic performances. He definitely lived up to that nickname in this show by playing a 2 1/2 hour first set, before taking a 30 minute break and then coming back out to play for another hour. His deep soulful voice and emotional guitar work combine for a moving performance. You don’t just hear Michael Burks music, you feel it.
With strong performances on songs like Salty Tears and Empty Promises he had the crowd worked into a frenzy. But it was later in the set when he showed why Michael Burks is one of the friendliest and most amazing performers out there. While playing a long riff on his guitar wirelessly he jumped off stage and walked outside the bar, playing for people on the street. He stood on Ventura Blvd (actually on the street, not the sidewalk) playing the blues. He then moved to the bus stop right in front of the bar where he took pictures with the crowd. Then he went back inside the bar and walked through the entire bar, greeting the crowd and playing the blues the entire time.
As one of the hardest working men in the music industry, Michael Burks tours almost non-stop. If you are a fan of the blues, or just appreciate amazing guitar work a Michael Burks show is an absolute must and you owe it to yourself check one out.