Saturday, March 29, 2014

April News...

From Gene Burnett

I posted a ton of new videos this month…Several more of my “Sky Videos”, where I take video footage that I shoot of our beautiful Southern Oregon sky and synch it up with recordings of my songs…I also posted Sky Videos for all of the songs from my new album “Doubles Hitter”…A couple of new T’ai-Chi videos…Three more videos of me performing at our local Rogue Poetry Slam…A video of me performing “Jump You Fuckers” at a Hip-Hop Open Mike that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival put on…A couple of videos of me performing as part of a talk on end of life issues that a new friend of mine invited me to participate in…A video of me giving our little gerbil “Head” some breakfast in bed, a video of our friend Eden’s great little dog Hina being her cute self and a video of some Southern Oregon Hail coming straight down at my camera lens, which is actually a lot more interesting visually than it sounds. See links below in the “New Videos” section.

My new album is done and up on my site! It’s called “Doubles Hitter” and I’m very happy with it. Click here to listen to and/or download the songs free or with a donation: Doubles Hitter

I also have a more detailed blog post announcement about the new album with lyric samples and links to videos of the individual songs. Please click here for that: Doubles Hitter Announcement

As some of you know, I mainly teach private lessons but I’ve started teaching a drop-in T’ai-Chi Fundamentals class every Monday morning from 9:30-10:30am at the Family Massage Education Center on the corner of Mountain and E. Main here in Ashland. This is an on-going drop-in class, no experience necessary. I won’t be teaching any forms in this class, just relatively easy solo and partner exercises designed to give participants a better sense of unforced balance, what it is, how to deepen it, and how to cultivate it. Samarra made me a simple poster for the class that says:

Flow More ~ Force Less

T’ai-Chi For Daily Life
Learn to balance effort and relaxation
Fundamentals Class with Gene Burnett

Nice! That’s more or less what we do in this class. No need to pre-register just show up a little before 9:30am. The fee for the class is $10.

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.

There is so much to listen to and watch on the net these days…I’m amazed anyone even gets this far in the newsletter let alone watches or listens to anything I’m doing. I’m sincerely grateful for every view, every listen, and every nice comment I receive. I’m happy if anything I post truly reaches even one person. I’m offering all this stuff in a “just in case you’re interested” spirit.

So…in case you’re interested…

Recorded Music

My newest album is called “Doubles Hitter” and like all my other albums (30 so far…), it’s available for downloading free or with a donation at my website:

Videos In General

Overall Mission: I post a lot of videos on youtube, over 1000 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 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

My “Doubles Hitter” youtube playlist. Includes videos for all the songs from my new album:

Two videos from a “Hip-Hop Open Mike” at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. “Jump You Fuckers” is me and “What We Were Gonna Do” is my good friend T-Poe:

New “Sky Videos”:

Two videos from an end-of-life issues talk that I was invited to contribute to:

Two new T’ai-Chi videos:

Three new Nature videos:

I came in second this time. Three more Rogue Poetry Slam videos of me reading my lyrics:


I've stopped posting as many 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 the 800 straight days mark. 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. I made it through my second year recently, and hope to create another video slideshow set to another of my songs. Stay tuned…)

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

Upcoming Shows:

Wednesday April 2nd, 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 our 2nd Annual “Songs About Fools & Foolishness“ so musicians and spoken word artists will be doing songs and poems relating to fools and foolishness of any kind. 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 May 7th, 2014. “Country (ish) Songs”

Monday, April 7th, 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'll be playing from 7-9pm, maybe longer...

Tuesday, April 15th, 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 that 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, April 16th, 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 April 19th, I'll be at The Downtowne Coffeehouse in Talent, playing from 10am-Noon. Great acoustics, super friendly neighborhood scene.

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 7 years ago and considered it a 5 year creative experiment. Well the 5 years passed and I 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.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Doubles Hitter

New Album

I have a new album out called "Doubles Hitter" which features 19 new songs. As usual, it's available for downloading free or with a donation at my site:  Donations are strictly optional. I'm always happy to get a tip in my digital tip jar but it's by no means necessary. Feel free to share anything you download with anyone you think might like my music. All I ask is that you let them know about my site and that they can make a donation if they feel like doing so. (All of my songs are also available, or soon will be, on iTunes and CD Baby where they might be easier to find and faster to download, but they'll cost you a buck.)

I'm particularly happy with this one. I had a lot of delays due to one voice issue after another...but the wait had a silver lining too because I was able to get to know the songs better. I also added several second guitars and a couple of harmony vocals on this one, which is something I haven't done in ages.

Here are the song titles, along with a lyric sample from each song. I'm also linking each song title to a youtube video for that individual song, in case you want to listen to just that song. Please find the "Musical Recordings" page on my site to listen to or download the entire album.

A song about being a journeyman…

Before I operate I’m gonna need a little anesthesia
Just enough to make everything a little bit easier
I’m kind of a lightweight—I don’t need a lot
But I’m not going on ‘til I’ve had my shots
So line ‘em up while I catch my breath

A kind of Hank Williams-esque number about diving right in…

Don’t even think about loving me—Just do it
I was meant for you—So let’s get to it
You bit it off and now it’s time to chew it
Don’t even think about loving me—Just do it

I’m not sure I’ve heard a song about this before…someone likes you and that’s great and all…but then you realize that he or she likes you a little too much…

You like me—You like me too much
You like me—You like me too much

If you like me too much—Right up front
You’ll just have to hate me later
I’d rather you take it a step at a time
Than run up the escalator

The song is about not chasing after someone anymore…but it could also be about me and my relationship with the music business…

If you want me as I am I’ll be there
I’m not that hard to find if you care
I’m not really going anywhere
If you want me as I am I’ll be there

This time—You gotta come to me
This time
This time—You gotta come to me
This time

A Southern Oregon folk song about some medical marijuana growers who just get too dang greedy…

He started off small and friendly
He ended up big and mean
Dude just got too greedy
To keep his fingers clean
He started off cutting corners
He ended up cutting friends
Dude just got too greedy
And it just had to end

I think we’ve all been there…no more help to give…

I guess I’ve got some hope—That you will be OK
That out there on the road—You will find your way
I guess I’ve got some time—To hear the latest news
But I’m all out of help—I gave it all to you

No this one is not about legalizing weed. It’s about how people or substances can go from feeling like poison to feeling like medicine…

You used to have my number
You used to have my key
You used to snap your fingers
And get the best of me
I would have fought back sooner
But I did not know how
You used to be my poison
But you’re my medicine now

About wanting to exact revenge but believing it’s God or Nature’s job to do so…

I want to break her heart like she broke mine
I want to wreck her life like she wrecked mine
I want to be her darkest valentine
I want to break her heart like she broke mine

I want to make her feel what she made me feel
I want to make her pay for what she steals
I want to turn down her last appeal
I want to make her feel what she made me feel

You always said vengeance was yours Lord
I can get this one if you’re bored

Every year at our annual 4th of July parade my wife Samarra and I always sit on the concrete ledge in front of our public library. It’s at the top of a flight of stairs and has a great view of the parade but man, after 3 hours out there, one can get pretty fried. This particular year, Samarra was out of town and I got there a little late. Our usual spot was largely taken, so I walked over to the old Carnegie era library which is next to our new more modern one and sat on the stairs there. This area was a little further back from the street and there were more trees in the view but it was still nice and the trees kept the whole area in the shade. After an hour or so of parade watching, I realized that I felt great! No burned out feeling, no sun burn…Then I looked around on the stairs and I realized that I was the youngest person there! I was surrounded my wise old folks who knew that the key to a long and happy day was not to get fried in the first few hours. I thought, I see what you guys have got going on here…yeah…fuck the sun! And thus the song was born…

I sleep mostly when it’s light
The day’s OK—I love the night
Everything just feels so right
Fuck the sun

The title says it all…

There’s no time like the future—To do what must be done
And there’s no time like the past—To keep us on the run
And there’s no time like the present—To have a little fun
Dance with me my darling—This party has begun

A little Freestyle Taoist song about contentment…

My bucket list is empty but my fuck it list is full
I’d love to grab one by the horns but I can’t find a bull
Worthy of the trouble and all that push and pull
My bucket list is empty but my fuck it list is full

We had a very smoky summer last year with some major forest fires in the area. Whenever this happens in Southern Oregon, our local air quality changes by the hour depending on the wind…

The forest is on fire and the air is heating up
The valley’s getting smoky and I’m panting like a pup
I talked with an old-timer who just looked at me and grinned
And said we are at the mercy at the mercy of the wind

Another love song for Samarra about diving in and saying Yes…

Maybe you said yes too soon
Before you were really sure
Maybe you should have thought it over
Until your yes was pure
But that could have taken a lifetime
We might have missed our boat
And this whole crazy adventure
Never would have taken float
You just said yes

I guess this is a declaration of values…another Freestyle Taoist song…

I’d trade all you rude winners for one graceful loser
Who knows what it’s like to fall down some stairs
You can cover yourself with makeup and glitter
But makeup can’t cover what just isn’t there

Seems like people have a harder and harder time listening these days…or doing anything that requires sustained attention on something other than themselves…

I know what makes you talk
But what makes you shut up?
I know what makes you talk
But what makes you shut up?
There’s got to be a way—To make you stop
I know what makes you talk
But what makes you shut up?

Some songs require lots of research…

The day is almost done and you’ve done what you can do
Tomorrow you’ll be back and your troubles will be too
You can set them down—They will wait for you
The day is almost done and you’ve done what you can do

So let’s get high and lie under a tree
Look at all that sky—Look at all those leaves
Look at all those clouds sailing on the breeze
Let’s get high and lie under a tree

A little ditty about tipping…

It’s good to call in sick and go out fishin’
It’s good to not always ask for permission
It’s good to have some give in your positions
And it’s really good karma to tip a musician

It’s good to sit and think about your mission
It’s good to be aware of your nutrition
It’s good to stretch your legs at intermission
And it’s very good karma to tip a musician

Kind of a companion song to my other song “We’re All Gonna Die”…

Life is a contest where everyone loses
Nothing lasts forever—That’s what the blues is
We keep on living—That’s what the news is
We keep on living as long as we can

As long as we can
As long as we can
Let’s keep on living as long as we can
Whether it’s the luck or the shit that hits the fan
Let’s keep on living as long as we can

It's easier to lie to someone else if you fool yourself first…

I might have told you I loved you
I might have told you I cared
I might have told you to call me anytime
And that if you did I’d be there

If I was drunk I was probably lying
Just trying to fake my way through
If I was sober I was probably dying to believe
Something I knew wasn’t true
Sorry Baby
But I was lying to me too

Thanks for your support!