Friday To-Do: Michael Burks | Rock Candy

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday To-Do: Michael Burks

Posted By on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 9:21 AM

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MICHAEL BURKS
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.

Michael Burks inherited the blues. His grandfather played Delta-style acoustic in the South Arkansas juke circuit, and his father often backed Sonny Boy Williamson II and other name acts when they came through Milwaukee. According to his probably partly apocryphal blues bio, Burks learned to play all his father's 45s at age 5 and played his first gig at 6. Several decades down the road, Burks' father moved the family to Camden and opened the Bradley Ferry Country Club, a 300-seat juke joint, where he installed his guitar prodigy son as the leader of the house band. Tables by the front of the stage got so popular they had to be booked two weeks in advance. When the club closed in the mid-'80s, Burks put the blues to the side and worked for a time as a mechanical technician. It wasn't until 1997, when he was 40, that he released his debut album. It drew rave reviews. Ever since, he's been steadily grinding it out on the road. For his tireless touring and long, feverish sets, he's earned the nickname “Iron Man,” which is also the title of his latest album. Look out for an awe-inspiring guitar attack.

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