Thursday, August 1, 2013

August News...

From Gene Burnett

Well as you might know…the Rogue Valley where we live has been inundated with smoke from some nearby forest fires. It has been very smoky due to the wind direction as well as an inversion which is keeping the smoke close to the ground. This is shaping up to be a big out of control fire that will mess up our air for some time. We had a summer like this back in 2002 and it was no picnic. There will be bad days, good days and in between days. They might get these things under control before the Fall rains do it…but maybe not. When the smoke first hit, Samarra and I went up to the top of Mt. Ashland to see if we could get above it and maybe see an amazing sunset…but while the air was clearer up there, there was no sun to be seen, too much smoke! I recorded a video up there to give folks down in the valley an idea of what their world looked like from above. Click above to see it.

In other news there is a Special Event happening all Summer: My good friend and one of my favorite T'ai-Chi students Betty LaDuke, who recently turned 80 and is still going strong, is having a big retrospective show at The Schneider Museum here in Ashland on the SOU campus. It will feature work from her entire career, from her earliest work right up to her very latest and very beautiful pieces. The show will be up until the middle of September. Highly recommended. Please visit for more info. And if you’re from out of town and would like a quick sample of her work, I shot some video at the opening and synched it up with some of my music. Click here to see it: Celebrating Life~The Art of Betty LaDuke

So here we go…starting with the usual information about where to find my music, videos and pictures, including information about new projects, and then followed by information about local shows in case you’re in the Rogue Valley.

I’m offering all this stuff in a “just in case you’re interested” spirit.

So…in case you’re interested…

Recorded Music

My new album, is called “Already There” and like all my other albums (29 so far…), it’s available for downloading free or with a donation at my website: I like all of my albums but some people really seem to especially like this one.

Videos In General

Overall Mission: I post a lot of videos on youtube, over 800 so far! I'm not trying to build a fan base...In fact, I'm not trying to build anything. I'm not expecting you or anyone else to follow what I'm doing or to watch all of these videos. Posting videos is just part of my overall plan to make my music (and my T’ai-Chi and Nature videos too) as freely available as possible and see what freely comes back. I think of each video as sort of like a message in a bottle...and more I toss out there the more likely one of them will land on a friendly shore and something good will come back to me. So here are some video links in case you're interested:

How to Find My Videos: First of all, I've set up a "Videos" page on my website ( with a menu similar to what you see below as well as a digital tip jar in case any of you want to contribute to my cottage industry. Every little bit helps and not just financially. 

I've also set up some blogs that make navigating and viewing my various videos much easier. You can go to any of these blogs and see thumbnails for all of the videos posted there. Scroll across the thumbnails and you will see the titles of each video. Click on it and a page will open that will let you watch the video right there without going to youtube. My latest videos are always in the upper left hand corner.

To see all of my Music videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Videos

To see all of my T'ai-Chi videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Movement

To see all of my Nature videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Nature

For a quick and easy way to sort through, listen to, or download all of my albums free or with a donation, click here: The Unforced Music

To see my regular blog “The Unforced Life”, click here: The Unforced Life

To visit my youtube channel and possibly subscribe, click here: My Youtube Channel

To see all of my youtube playlists click here: My Youtube Playlists 

New Videos:

Some videos of me in the studio recording songs for my latest album “Already There”…

The Squirrels Are Drunk Tonight (A video of my recording this song for my latest album. Inspired by some youtube videos of actual drunk squirrels.)

Busy Doing Nothing (What I do.)

There Is Only You (Another love song for Samarra)

Shut Up Or Shut Up (A song about complainers…)

Go Ahead (A plea for trouble…)

Dollar Store (How many things can I rhyme with “dollar store”?…)

Another Day Of Love (An old song from the 80’s reworked.)

Time Time Time (A song about connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting…)

Two videos of the same song but with different endings:

A video featuring my wife Samarra looking over a book I made for her 20 years ago when we were first getting together:

Three videos from the July Rogue Poetry Slam with me performing my songs as spoken word pieces:

Celebrating Life~The Art of Betty LaDuke (Some footage of my good friend and longtime T’ai-Chi student Betty LaDuke’s recent retrospective art show here in Ashland with a couple songs in the background, one by me, one by Leonard Cohen.)

A couple of T’ai-Chi videos:

I had the good fortune to be asked to play music at a benefit for D.U.D.E. (Disabled United for Direct Empowerment). They were a little late getting publicity about the event out to the public so there wasn’t much of a crowd but the people that were there were great. Very attentive and listening. Seriously, it was my first “listening” audience in maybe a year and I enjoyed it quite a bit. So here are three videos from the event:

Jump For Joy (I wrote this song for my friend Ax Prince who is blind and also one of the happiest people I’ve ever met. This video is the recorded version of the song along with footage I shot at the D.U.D.E benefit of Ax performing and hanging out.)

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Here’s a short snippet of Ax and me singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” together. I had trouble remembering and earlier verse and Ax helped me out from the audience so I invited him up to help me finish the song.)

Toast (This is Ax performing a funny song by Heywood Banks called “Toast”.)

New Youtube playlists:

Number Songs (Many videos from my one of my latest Themed Open Mikes.)

Sky Videos (A collection of some of my songs set to footage to the beautiful Southern Oregon Sky.)

Rogue Poetry Slam (I’ve been competing in our local Rogue Poetry Slams. A real challenge to read my lyrics as performance poetry…but I’m doing OK so far…I’ve won twice, come in second once, and third twice…I’ve got my performances from the last four slams here…)


I've stopped posting pictures on facebook, (for many reasons), and started posting them instead on Flickr, which I like much better.

Here's a link to my "home page" at Flicker: Photostream.

I have many photo galleries there but a few of my favorites are:

Small Miracles (mostly Nature related stuff)

The Dish Whisperer (I started posting a daily picture of my dish stacking work over a year ago. I’m approaching 600 straight days. I have no idea how long I’ll keep doing this. I’m so used to it, it hardly takes any effort at all to continue. I made a video for my song “I'll Do The Dishes Tonight” that featured a slideshow of the first year. If I make it through this second year, I may write a new “Dishes” song or use some other song I’ve already written to make another video.) 

"Head" and "Boot" (devoted to our two gerbils)

Upcoming Shows:

Friday August 2nd, I'll be playing at Paddy Brannan's Irish Pub with my good friends Robbie Lindauer backing me up on guitar and Mark Arinsburg on cajon. We play from about 9pm 'til around Midnight. Stop by after the First Friday Art Walk for a pint and some music. I've always liked the friendly and fun vibe of this place. I've done several First Friday shows here with Robbie and it's becoming one of my favorite places to play.

Monday, August 5th, I'll be playing at one of my favorite Ashland venues, Liquid Assets. A relaxed living room vibe with great service, excellent food and wine, and a really nice place to listen to music. I play from 8-10pm, maybe longer...

Wednesday August 7th, I'll be hosting my regular Themed Open Mike at The Wild Goose. Usually this happens on the First Wednesday of each month. This month's theme is "Songs Of Summer", so musicians and spoken word artists will be doing songs and poems that deal with this ever popular subject. We're never too strict or narrow about the themes for this event. The main idea is to focus our attention a little to hopefully inspire and motivate us creatively. These are always fun. No Cover at the friendliest bar in town. Sign-up is 7:30pm. Show starts at 8:00pm. 
*A heads up for next month: Wednesday September 4th, 2013 “Beatles Night!“

Friday, August 9th, my good friend T-Poe will be hosting a “Youthful Open Mike” at Northwest Pizza and Pasta in Ashland. Starts at 8:30pm. This is an open mike for the young folks only. I won’t be performing, obviously, but I will be there to support my friend and this wonderful idea. If you know anyone with kids who are poets or singers, please tell them about this event. Parents are allowed to accompany their kids but the focus is on the kids.

Saturday, August 17th , weather permitting, from 11:30am-1:30pm, I'll be playing at The Lithia Artisan's Market, behind the Plaza in Ashland. Come support local music and art!

Sunday August 18th, I’ll be performing from about 6:20 until 7:00pm at Grizzly Peak Winery as part of the Jackson Fuel Committee fundraising event: “And Evening Of Folk Music” aka “The Woodstock of Woodcutters”. There will be many musical acts donating their time for this great organization which, among other things, provides free wood to help low income folks stay warm in the Winter. The event runs from 4pm-9:30pm and there is a suggested donation of $10.00. Please call 541-488-2905 for more info.

Tuesday, August 20th, I'll be competing with many other poets at the Rogue Poetry Slam which happens at Northwest Pizza and Pasta in Ashland. Sign-up is at 7:30pm and the show starts at 8. If you've never been to or competed in a Poetry Slam, I highly recommend this one. Come to watch, compete, or be one of the judges. Some people think of slams as hardcore hip-hop events or places where people are mean and talk trash, but nothing could be further from the truth. All kinds of poetry are welcome and people are very supportive. And it's so nice to participate in an event which is all about the words, or in my case, lyrics. For me it's really not about winning or losing, but just the fun of sharing my words with people and seeing what happens.

Wednesday, August 21rst, I'll be playing at The Wild Goose. Just me solo from 8-11pm. Friendliest bar in town. Never a cover at The Goose. I usually play here on the Third Wednesday of every month.

Saturday August 24th, I'll be at The Downtowne Coffeehouse in Talent, playing from 10am-Noon. Great acoustics, super friendly neighborhood scene.

Also…Saturday August 24th, I'll be leading a free workshop/performance event at the Schneider Museum of Art on the SOU campus, from 2-3:30pm. This will be part of my good friend and T’ai-Chi student Betty LaDuke’s big retrospective show at the museum. She will hopefully be joining me for part of my presentation. Here’s the description: Flow More~Force Less with T’ai-Chi Teacher/Singer-Songwriter Gene Burnett. Through movement, songs, stories, discussion and inner listening—Explore balancing effort and relaxation in a co-creative relationship with life, grief, and transition. The workshop is free but due to space limitations, pre-registration is required. To register, email:

For more info on these and all of my shows, and to confirm that there have been no cancellations, click here: Calendar  

Since I'm putting this newsletter out once a month, it's possible there may be a cancellation of a given show by the time it happens. Please double check with my web calendar if possible to be sure the gig is still happening. I'd hate to have you come out for nothing. Also another gig or two might be added or times or locations might change, so do check the calendar for the latest info.  


I continue to offer all of my albums for downloading, free or with a donation at my website: I started doing this about 5 years ago and considered it a 5 year creative experiment. Well the 5 years are up and I've decided to start calling it my "ongoing creative experiment" as I have no plans to stop. Since I returned to my folk roots and stopped climbing, or trying to climb, the industry ladder, I've been enjoying music in my life more than ever before. And enjoyment, rather than achievement or worldly success has always been dearest to my heart anyway. So now I focus totally on what I love most: writing, recording, performing and sharing what I create. If other people like it so much the better, but getting other people to like me or what I do is no longer my goal or focus. I'm out to please myself first. I want to do my music exactly the way I want to do it and see who likes it that way, not figure out what people will like and try to do it that way. I put it out there freely and see what comes freely back. So far so good. I've never had more success and appreciation than I have since I started doing it this. Go figure. 

Thanks, as usual, for your support and well wishes even if you don't make to any shows.


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