Biography

Keith Burke
Picture courtesy of Jelena Lihhatsova

"Some of the best sounding guitars tones that I have ever heard." - Anthony Gibney, Audioland Studios, 2018

"There is a unique intimacy in the songs of KB. Yet we can all relate to them. Therein lies the magic. Music is a passion for him and when he puts voice to microphone, surrounded by fine musicians and well chosen arrangements we get songs from a wonderful singer songwriter." - Peter Grogan, Dublin City FM

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Over the winter, using some old books, some websites and a bit of physics knowledge, Keith built a replica of a 1964 Fender Princeton Reverb valve guitar amplifier. He installed it, with a very posh speaker, into a Cherrywood cab made by his friend Cathal. His Strat was taken out of the wardrobe, where it has spent the last decade, and the sound caused him to fall in love all over again. You’ll hear that amp and guitar on songs recorded during the summer of 2018, which will be released later in the year.

He’s been dreaming about opening his own coffee shop someday, and thinks to himself "that’s the place I want just there" when cycling past a particular Dublin shop with a big window that goes around the corner. It will have comfortable chairs, homemade apple tart and a place for artists to perform in the evenings.

He doesn't own a T.V. and hasn't lived in a house with one for many years. He is on first name terms with the staff in many of the better coffee places in Dublin. He reads music, but writes on guitar and is much better at playing by ear. He has been known to phone up his musical friends with questions on how to chart "difficult bits" for other musicians.

He has down to a fine art the process of packing his old Honda with guitars and PA systems. If they drive, most Dublin musicians drive cars that are over ten years old and Keith is no exception. That sort of thing doesn’t bother him. By day he’s a Maths and Physics teacher. Most of his students get a little less than half of his jokes but find his classes refreshing anyway. They like when he does foreign accents and they love to watch his music videos on-line or listen on spotify and cite the words of his songs back to him as he passes in the corridors...

Keith grew up in the coastal town of Skerries in North County Dublin but hasn’t lived there in over ten years. As a result he remembers the place with a kind of romantic nostalgia. His song "The last 33 bus" chronicles a late night bus journey to Skerries when a sassy young woman propositions him. Most of his songs actually happened. He was very moved when a married couple wrote to him a few years ago telling him that they met at one of his concerts.

He won first place medals in both the 1988 and 1989 sandcastle competition in the Skerries harvest festival. Sadly many have now forgotten those sunny July days as it's almost 30 years ago.

At a concert in Pittsburgh PA, a girl told Keith "After an hour of your songs and stories… I feel I really know you". He is a terrible business man, considering this type of connection with the audience a measure of success even if he made no money at a gig. An English girl once criticised him for rhyming "pants" with the word "dance" in a song. "It’s very American", she said. He didn’t change the lyric.

"A mix between Tom Waits, Nick Drake and James Taylor" - Tony Fenton, Today FM

"It smacks of Tom Petty!" - Dave Harrington, Dublin's Q102

"Finely crafted songs" - Ed Smith, Today FM

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