Jameson Burt is a Californian singer-songwriter whose built a reputation for capturing special moments in time, holding the attention of the listener with nothing more than his voice and a guitar. He’s done just that as a support act for Rival Sons, Eddie Vedder, Glen Hansard, and most notably the Italian rock legend Vasco Rossi on a stadium tour of Italy in summer 2019, playing for crowds of 60,000 per night. He recorded his first full-length solo album at the landmark Henson Studios in Los Angeles (formerly A&M), and his catalogue of passionate, heartfelt & innovative songs landed him a publishing deal with BMG Berlin. He has performed his music on tour across the US and Europe, and his songs have been featured in advertisements for Moschino and the NHL, and in films in the US and Italy.
Jameson Burt’s latest album release is “Right Time.” A delicate blend of R&B groove, lush folk-rock texture, and pop melody. Jameson’s new single “One More” finds him returning to his absolute core: painting a picture with nothing more than his voice and an acoustic guitar.
Returning home after a six-week tour supporting rock & roll outfit Rival Sons across the United States, he and his band will perform at Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa on December 2nd. We had the chance for a chat with Jamison before his next adventure.
Who are you taking a page from when it comes to achieving your music goals?
I can’t help but always come back to the advice of my late mentor & friend, Rupert Hine, who was a great producer and artist and sonic innovator. He would always say, “Make the music that only you can make. Write a song that only you can write.” At first pass that may seem like an obvious goal, but I think the meaning is really profound; if you’re a good musician and a good writer, there’s a thousand ways you could go pretty easily, and a thousand people you could imitate, but the most beautiful and purposeful challenge is to chase down the thing that only YOU are capable for creating. Drawing on your specific identity and specific experience as both an artist and a human being, the goal is to arrive at work that you alone can do. That’s been a continuous goal for me ever since I heard those words from him.
What do you have your heart set on for your music career?
I have my heart set on creating a beautiful and unique experience for an audience through my songs, my recorded music, and my live performances. I want to make people feel something through the music, that’s the bottom line and that’s my passion and my goal. Of course I want to play Coachella and the Hollywood Bowl too! I’ve got plenty of goals in terms of touring and playing certain venues and sharing the stage with some of my heroes, and all that is great. But for me my heart has always been set on making deep and beautiful music, that always has to come first.
Congrats on completing your tour with Rival Sons! Can you share the story behind how you got the gig?
Thank you! It was an amazing experience to be on this tour with them and to share the stage with them each night – I have so much respect for them as a band and as good people. Love them. We go back a ways – starting with a great club in Orange County, CA called the Gypsy Lounge, which is gone now unfortunately. When I was just starting out as a performer, Jay Buchanan and Dave Beste were both performing at that club regularly, in separate bands at the time. But we became close friends quickly and collaborated on different projects as well, live and in the studio. I met Scott Holliday and Mike Miley shortly after and we became good friends as well. I feel lucky to have had them as friends and musical comrades. It’s been such a pleasure to open for them on a couple different tours – this one across the states and another one throughout Europe a few years ago.
How do you respond to obstacles in the music industry?
That depends on the obstacle! Like anything else in life, when you hit a roadblock you just push through it. Or you try to maneuver around it, finesse it and keep moving forward. The obstacles in writing and working in the studio are the fun ones! Trying to make a song or a lyric or a recording work the way you want it to, that’s a wonderful challenge. I’m addicted to solving those types of problems. Other obstacles with touring or promotion or publishing etc, those aren’t as fun for me! I’m not as good at solving those either – but I’ve gotten better over the years with experience and I’ve been able to find help. As an artist you have to know something about all of it, but having people on your team who are experts with the other aspects is critical.
What does it take to apply all your focus in making a dream come to fruition?
It takes having an absolute adoration for what you’re trying to create. I just fucking love music so much, I don’t know what else I would do. If I didn’t have that burning desire to create and perform, I would go do something else with my life and my time. There are so many aspects of it that are demanding and so many obstacles to creating something good and bringing it to an audience, the love for the art and the process of making it is what keeps you going. And keeps you coming back to chase it over and over.
What are you gaining from spending your time on ultimately doing what you love?
When you write and write and finally finish something and read the words on the page to yourself, and it’s good, that’s a rush. When you’re recording that song in the studio and you’re getting close and you listen back through the speakers super loud, that’s a big rush. And when you go play that song in front of a live audience, creating it all over again in a single moment on stage, that’s an absolute drug. What I’m gaining is that pleasure and that sense of purpose, and that satisfaction of sharing it with other people, connecting with other people through the music. It’s magic.
Are there any other passions aside from your music that’s getting your attention?
I’ve become really passionate about cooking the last couple years. I love it very much. I’m just learning and trying to improve my skills, but I really enjoy creating in the kitchen, similar to creating in the studio. But the kitchen is so immediate, you get to experience it with other people right away and share that moment. Songs take longer! It’s been a gift to my life to start diving deeper into cooking – I wake up and think about what song I’m going to work on that day, and then I think about what’s for dinner.
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