2008 releases artists digital downloads guitar Inspirational thoughts music

Bill Madden – Child of the Same God

So, a few weeks ago, Diana from MADMUSE got in touch with me to let me know that they were sending me a pre-release copy of Bill Madden‘s new album, “Child of the Same God”. (Sidenote: I love it when overseas agencies don’t mind paying the international postage and send original copies all the way to Australia. It gives me the warm and fuzzies.)
Anyway, sure enough, a week or two later, “Child of the Same God” landed on my doorstep… and I’ve pretty much been playing it non-stop since then. It’s that good.

Bill Madden - Child of the Same God

Now, I’ll be honest; I hadn’t heard much of Bill Madden before Diana got in touch with me. But according to the release that was sent along with the album, Madden is an “activist musician, who’s work is often described at alternative folk“. To be honest, I wouldn’t personally place Bill Madden in the alt.folk scene… at least, not in the sense that regular readers around these parts would expect. But activist? Most certainly. You only have to take one look at his website to see that he wears that side of himself on his sleeve, and it’s certainly reflected in the tunes that appear on “Child of the Same God”.

From the album’s opening track of “Unfair”, it’s clear that Bill Madden is an artist that has something to say… and that outspokeness is continued through each and every song on the album. To some, I can see that being a hindrance; after all, it’s not an “easy” album. That said, those who leave it with a single initial listen are missing out… “Child of the Same God” is the quintessential “replay” album – the more you listen to it, the more it grows on you. In that respect (and also in individual songs, such as “Empire”), Madden strongly recalls – for me, at least – hints of another Burgo Blog favourite, Gregory Page. And those who have read this blog in the past would know that I mean that as high praise indeed.

Overall, the album is really a mixture of poetry, activism, and plain ol’ awesome music… and one that I would highly suggest.
The one thing that makes it hard to review and album such as this is Madden’s sheer versatility: there’s some rock in there, some minimalist tunes, some b;ues-influenced, and even some reggae rythyms in there.

Luckily, MADMUSE has given me permission to post a few songs on here as tasters, so I decided to go with three tunes: the opening track, “Unfair”, title track “Child of the Same God”, and “Bosko and Admira”.
“Unfair” opens the album with the unforgettable lines “Old soul, It’s a slipping down life“… but goes on to proclaim Bill Madden’s ultimate message of fighting optimism, with the refrain:

“Listen to your heart
And follow
The road less travelled
Listen to the voice
But beware
Life can seem unfair”
– Bill Madden, “Unfair”

Listen: Bill Madden – Unfair

Title track “Child of the Same God” is perhaps the most accessible of the album’s tracks in terms of mainstream usability; but it doesn’t let up Madden’s questioning of our society for one second. It’s a cracking tune, and one who’s calm strings belie an anger and grief bubbling below the surface.

“Why do we indulge
These messengers of fear
And meekly capitulate
As our freedom disappears
What’s going on
When it’s you against me
Voices of reason
Their silence is deafening
May God’s grace guide our way
May God’s grace guide our way
We’re all one
Child of the same God”
– Bill Madden, “Child of the Same God”

Listen: Bill Madden – Child of the Same God

The final tune I’m including below is perhaps the most narrative-driven of all the songs on the album: “Bosko and Admira”, which tells the tale of the “Sarajevo Romeo and Juliet” (who you can learn more about here)
It’s a haunting tale, and one you should read.

“On the banks of the river
Forbidden love and
Blood run together
Forbidden love and
Blood run together
Ah, I hear the children play
Ah, Sarajevo Serenade
– Bill Madden, “Bosko and Admira”

Listen: Bill Madden – Bosko and Admira

Ultimately, the lyrics above really don’t do justice to Madden’s music; you have to hear him singing these songs, voice cracking with conviction and passion to truly understand the album. And I suggest you do.
Bill Madden’s “Child of the Same God” is due out Oct 14.

2008 releases artists digital downloads guitar live songs music music videos

Bon Iver – New EP free on Myspace

Ok… so this isn’t so much a post as an announcement to all Bon Iver fans. Bon Iver (now more than just Justin Vernon, as pointed out here… now a full band) recently contributed to the Myspace Transmissions series; and they’re now offering the entire EP (four songs) for free download. For fans, this is a must. The EP features stunning versions of “For Emma“, “Flume“, “Lump Sum” and “Blindsided“. Head here to download the entire thing.

That is all.

Bon Iver – "For Emma" from MySpace Transmissions

Bon Iver – “For Emma”, live on Myspace Transmissions

A Look Back at Burgo's Blog Thus Far... Uncategorized

Happy Birthday Burgo’s Blog!

Wow. So, something was just pointed out to me. It was officially one year ago today, that “Burgo’s Blog” was born. Not on this domain, of course… it’s only had it’s own domain for just over half a year, by now. But, before that, it started it’s life hosted on as a free subdomain.
It’s been a great ride since a rather inauspicious start, with the first post being (so help me) “Just a quick thought on the “RRS vs God Squad” debate

In the time since that first post, 145 other posts have been written, 211 comments have been left, and – according to Google Analytics (which unfortunately I only installed at the end of November, so I’m missing a few months worth of figures) – just over 25,000 unique visitors have stopped by Burgo’s Blog, with around about 40,000 pageviews; with the most popular post being “30 South African Bands you NEED to hear!“, with just over 4,000 pageviews.
Yeah, ok… so I’m no Stereogum or Pitchfork in terms of visitors (although, after this, I’m kinda glad I’m not Pitchfork at the moment; good on you Airborne Toxic Event for saying what most of us have been thinking for a while about their reviews), but I like to think that people are hearing what I’m saying, you know? I mean, really this blog has always been about exposing readers to new music… if it wasn’t for the readers, and the community you guys have formed here, there wouldn’t be much heart left in Burgo’s Blog.

So, I guess this is a “Happy 1st Birthday” post to not only Burgo’s Blog, but also to all you readers. Here’s hoping to many more to come.

Happy 1st Birthday Burgo’s Blog
Happy 1st Birthday Burgo’s Blog!
2008 releases artists artists to watch for in 2009 digital downloads guest posts guitar music music videos

Guest Post – Josh Moore

Ed’s Note: The following is a guest post from Rachel Morris, a regular reader here on Burgo’s Blog. This is something I’m hoping to make a regular feature on Burgo’s Blog. Too often I get emails from people who write with such beauty about music they’re into, but who feel like they don’t have a forum to make their opinions heard. And, seeing as it’s the readers who have always made this blog what it is, I thought: “Why not take this a step further?”. So, if you’re interested in featuring via a guest post on this blog, then drop me an email at matthew.edward.burgess[at]gmail dot com. In the meantime, here’s Rachel…



Hi. I’m Rachel. Now, I know you may have been looking forward to your Burgo dose for the day, and rightfully so. But Mr. Matt Burgess has so kindly given me the opportunity to share some sweet music with you. I definitely appreciate his willingness to mix it up and let me indulge in the cathartic process of music chat… And I assure you that the music you’re about to hear is worth your while.

Josh Moore
Josh Moore (image credit:

SO, about the music. (Because that is what this is about)
Around six months ago I began listening to a guy by the name of Josh Moore.
I came upon him through the founder of the movement To Write Love On Her Arms – Jamie Tworkowski (amazing movement and amazing guy). Jamie had Josh’s song “Ghostly Reminders” posted on the TWLOHA page, and I gave it a listen. I couldn’t get enough. And I just couldn’t shake that song. So naturally, I wanted to hear more. Well, I came to find out that while this Josh Moore has seven solid songs available for purchase on snocap, he doesn’t have an album.

And I’m baffled. Because even though his vocals rival the best of the best (in my book), he has no record deal. To understand how ridiculous this seems, take a listen for yourself. If you’re the Burgo fans I think you are, you’ll find that this guy is quality. Qua-lit-y. In describing Josh Moore’s music… it’s a rare breed of disarming honesty and genuineness partnered with pure rock ‘n’ roll soul. I mean soul. As you begin to listen, you know it’s coming from a real authentic place. And that’s special! It really is a gift.

Sure, it’s easy for me to spread the word about music I adore. But I especially wanted to share Josh’s music with you because he deserves to be known. Sadly, though I’ve tried my darndest to find any sliver of info on his recording status, I don’t know what the deal is. However, what’s exciting is that he’s been pretty consistent in posting new tunes on his myspace, which leads me think an album is on its way. (Hopefully.) But, for now, we can savor what we’ve got, and lend Josh the support he deserves. His career in music looks pretty bright and colorful.

You can purchase his songs on snocap via his myspace page linked to above, and be sure you catch his EPK here. “Streaked Faces” is too beautiful.

Also, if you’re interested in To Write Love on Her Arms, definitely check out the youtube video of Josh playing a cover of Josh Ritter’s “Idaho” here. Jamie Tworkowski talks about the movement and introduces Josh.

Take it in and pass it on. Thanks for your time and peace to you.


Ed’s notes:

I’ve included the track that Rachel mentions above, “Ghostly Reminders“, here as a taster. It really is a cracking tune, so give it a listen.

Listen: Josh Moore – Ghostly Reminders

Also, I’ve embedded the youtube video that Rachel linked to above below… to be honest, I’m not familiar with the “To Write Love on Her Arms” organisation at all, but Josh’s singing (which begins about 3 minutes in to the video is awesome… probably helped by the fact that he’s covering one of my favourite artists)

2008 releases artists artists to watch for in 2008 music videos

Joe Pug news – A new signing, a new video, and tour dates announced

First off, thanks to Sharyn at No Door Agency for dropping me a line, and keeping me abreast of all the developments in Joe Pug‘s career.

I first covered Joe Pug on this blog back here, with this post: Joe Pug – Nation of Heat. A thoroughly impressive debut …
I was instantly captivated by Joe’s music; it was – quite simply – the most impressive debut I had heard in 2008… and that accolade still stands.

As I mentioned in that post, Joe Pug wants his music to be heard; in fact, he wants you to give his music away. Send in your mailing address, and he’ll send you back some sampler CDs for you to distribute to your friends (along with, I might add, a really appreciative hand-written note). When mine arrived in the post, I spread them around to a few friends… and requests have been coming in fast and furious from people who want to hear more.

So, it was with much happiness that I heard from Sharyn that Joe has now officially signed on with Monterey International (take a look at their roster and you’ll see how impressive this is), and in addition has an upcoming fall tour. And, to top it all off, Joe’s just released the official music video for killer track, “Hymn #101”, directed by Sam Molleur, which I’ve included below. Interesting side-note to go with the video? Joe actually visited a ghost town in California and had to break into a locked-up old tavern to film it. Heh. Dodgy legal issues aside… it’s a cracking video, and hopefully should do wonders for Joe in terms of attracting attention.

Watch it below:


Joe Pug “Hymn #101” Video


Honestly, I could not be happier for this kid
(and yes, he’s younger than me, so I can call him a kid). He’s everything that music should be: poignant, compassionate, intelligent… and he’s a damn nice dude to go with it, who really goes that extra step to foster relationships with his fans.
Just as I voiced in my last post: Let’s help this music be heard. Spread the word, tell a friend. Add your voice to the crowd.

I’ve included Joe’s tour dates below. If I was in the US, I’d be there in a heartbeat. If you can, get there.

Tour Dates

9/10 South Bend, IN  *
9/18 Chicago, IL  Park West >
10/3 Chicago, IL   The Hideout (w/ full band)
10/5 Charleston, WV   Mountain Stage
10/10 Indianapolis, IN   Radio Radio #
10/11 Pittsburgh, PA   Mr. Smalls &
10/12 Westhampton, NY   Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center ^
10/14 Buffalo, NY   Univ. of Buffalo Performing Arts Center ^
10/15 Harrisburg, PA  Whitaker Center^
10/23 New York, NY   CMJ Music Marathon @ Arlene’s Grocery
11/1 Ames, IA   The Maintainance Shop +
11/2 Dubuque, IA   Jansen Music Hall at Clark College+
11/14 Columbia, MO   Bluebird Music and Arts Festival

* with Robert Randolph
> with Kasey Chambers
# with Justin Townes Earle
^ with Susan Tedeschi
& with Railroad Earth
+ with Pieta Brown

2008 releases artists digital downloads guitar live songs music rock gods

New Ryan Adams tunes… Sinking Ships, The Colour of Pain, Cobwebs & Fix It.

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals on tour… standing on the shoulders of giants.

You know, by all accounts, it’s been a different Ryan Adams that has posted on Foggy lately. Having been on tour with Oasis for the last while, it seems like Ryan’s… well… maturing. And healthier than he’s been in a while.
And I don’t mean that at all in a condescending way; I mean it in the most awe-inspiring, respectful way. But it’s true… and from the tunes I’ve been hearing, this time with Oasis has only done good for Ryan and the Cards; in all honesty, some of the recordings I’ve heard of this tour are some of the best stuff I’ve heard from the Cardinals in ages.

Which brings me to the main point of this post… I’ve been scanning regularly for new material that’s been posted from the show, and I came across this set from only three days ago, when Ryan Adams and the Cardinals performed at the Bank of America Pavilion. And man, some of the new songs you hear there are, quite simply, awesome, and bode well for the Cardinal’s next release. Here’s a sample of those new tunes… the outstanding “Cobwebs” (which most of us would have already been exposed to by a post on Foggy), “Fix It” (god, how about that refrain?), and then the brand-new (to me, at least), tunes of “Sinking Ship” and “The Colour of Pain“.
All in all, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals are still titans, ladies and gentlemen. An island, a solid place to stand, in a swirling mass of uncertainty. And here’s some evidence of why they remain my favourite band. Here’s to more of this boys.

Listen. Love. Support.

Listen: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Cobwebs
Listen: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Fix It
Listen: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Sinking Ship
Listen: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – The Colour of Pain

And, thanks to the always spiffy, I’m now able to embed the entire playlist on this blog, below. Listen to the whole set, and if you’d like to download the whole thing, head here.

Seriously. It’s like the first time I heard Ryan Adams all over again, and I’m loving it.

Inspirational thoughts Uncategorized

Zimbabwe’s Song… it needs your voice.

Aah… why not? I’ve already turned this blog into a charity plea by this post earlier today, highlighting the Love Light & Melody Organisation. So, I thought… why the hell not? Let’s make today a humanitarian day here on Burgo’s Blog, and highlight some other causes that I try to support in my own little way. Granted, this usually only amounts to buying merchandise that they have on offer… but still, I like to think every little bit helps. And maybe… just maybe… this blog might be able to play its own part in that “little bit”.
Unsurprisingly, some other organisations that I support were both set up by the boys from Dispatch: namely, the Elias Fund and the Dispatch Foundation.

The Elias Fund – a grassroots-oriented nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to the youth of Zimbabwe – came about as a result of Chad Urmston’s time in Zimbabwe in 1994. While there, he befriended a gardener named Elias (who would one day be the inspiration for one of Dispatch’s most successful songs, titled – appropriately – “Elias”). Elias had a dream: that one day, his sons Manuel and Honest would be able to a higher education than that that had been afforded to him. And, from this dream – and Chad’s friendship with the family – the Elias Fund was born.

About the Elias Fund:

The Elias Fund is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization that provides hope and opportunity to Zimbabwean youth through education and community development. We believe there is great strength in active community and education and the combination of the two creates positive effects in people’s lives. Through community centers in Zimbabwe consisting of school tutoring, medical aid, sports activities, general life skills, and nutritional aspects we work with primary through secondary level students and identify potential university level scholarship recipients through our programs.

There is a dualistic approach to our work though. We interact with middle school through college age people from across the United States and several other areas of the world to raise awareness and support. Through volunteering, college internships, individual fundraisers, and our high school and college Elias Clubs, our Elias “reps” as we call them work within their local communities to raise support and awareness about our work in Zimbabwe. By empowering the youth of the world who have many opportunities and resources to walk along side those who do not have the same opportunities and resources we not only enable those in need but also give ownership to the “reps” doing the work.

Ostensibly an extension of the Elias Fund, the boys also then formed the Dispatch Foundation. The Dispatch Foundation is, ultimately, about improving life in Zimbabwe.

Their vision:

We envision a vibrant Zimbabwe built on strong, sustainable communities. We support organizations that work to improve health and education. We want to empower people.

Communities build leaders. Strong communities teach lessons, alleviate poverty, stop hunger and eradicate disease. We are idealists. We are entrepreneurs, musicians, students and moms.

We can’t all be rock stars. But, we can all help. Go get involved locally. Find a soup kitchen. Tutor on the weekend.

Everyone should have a song in their lives.

Please… watch this video, which was filmed prior to Zimbabwe’s runoff election, and features the members of Dispatch:

Join Zimbabwe’s Song from Dispatch Foundation on Vimeo.

As someone who was born and raised in South Africa (Zim’s southern neighbour), I had many friends and family in Zimbabwe. These days, I have less.
Although the two political parties have entered into talks recently, trust me when I tell you that all is not yet right in Zimbabwe. Violence is still prevalent, with opposition supporters being threatened with violence, and, occasionally, silenced. Indefinitely.

From the Dispatch Foundation’s last newsletter (which you can sign up for here):

The Latest News From Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government has lifted a ban on International Aid Agencies. The Red Cross estimates that there will be 5 million people requiring food aid by January 2009.

The medical system is in disarray. There are no protective gloves, X-Ray materials, antibiotics or plaster for casts. Here is a recent article detailing the crisis

Talks continue on power sharing between the opposition and ruling parties. The opposition has refused to sign a deal that would leave power with the ruling party. Most recent reports say that the talks are breaking down again and that there is a growing lack of cooperation between the two parties

Parliament has opened. The President was heckled during his speech and the opposition won both the Speaker and Deputy positions. The defeat was the first in 28 years; the ruling party has promised “vengeance”

And, from one of the many first hand accounts online: “Food supplies are lower than they’ve ever been. One morning this week in my hometown, four of the five main supermarkets were simply shut – doors closed, bars up, gates padlocked: no notice, no apology, nothing. One supermarket was open. A 250-gram bag of salt cost 150 dollars; a small tin of jam was priced at 250 dollars. A junior school teacher I met this week told me she currently earns 200 dollars a month”

Zimbabwe’s Song is still needed. They need more voices. I don’t often turn this blog to personal/political/humanitarian messages.

But, I hope that you’ll listen to this one. I want to help, and I hope that you do to. So, what can you do? Speak up. Tell one friend. It’s a start.

Inspirational thoughts

The world needs you. Yes. You.

I’ll be blunt here… I’m not usually a huge fan of Daughtry‘s music. But, in my opinion, anything that references Brad Corrigan‘s “Love, Light & Melody” organisation (see a short appearance around 1:52 below) deserves to be spread around. So, below… the video for Daughtry’s “What About Now?

Brad Corrigan (who long-time readers of this blog would recognise from past posts as a member of one of my all-time favourite bands, Dispatch) founded the Love, Light and Melody organisation in 2007, after playing a benefit concert in in Managua, Nicaragua in 2005. While on this trip, he was introduced to the severe poverty that exists in the city of Managua. The city’s trash dump is not just a mountain of garbage: it is literally home to hundreds of people who depend on the trash for their livelihood, their food, and their shelter.

As the Love Light and Melody site says:

Love Light & Melody embraces Brad’s powerfully simple concept: “When you walk with someone you’re saying to them, ‘I am with you.’ We can walk in hell and not have fear.” Each year, the organization invites friends, family, and college students to join them for Dia de Luz, to celebrate a profound love conquering hate, a beautiful light overcoming darkness, and a resounding melody breaking silence.

If you can help support this cause, in any way… I urge you to do so. Love Light and Melody’s “Donate” page is here (donations are tax-deductible up to 50% of adjusted gross income… and they accept PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, or eCheck; so it really couldn’t be easier); you can learn more about them here; and you can see the trailer for their new documentary film “Dia de Luz” – scheduled for release in Fall 2008 – “which chronicles this epic celebration of life in the trash dump” – here.

Finally, their homepage, with haunting images, is here.

Please. Do something.