A New Haven, Connecticut, native, Randy Burns was only 18 years old in 1966 when, armed only with a guitar, he bought a ticket to New York City. He earned his stripes playing open mic nights at coffeehouses throughout the city, and landed a permanent opening slot at the Gaslight Cafe, where he shared the stage with, among others, John Hammond, Dave Van Ronk, Steve Gillette and Phil Ochs.
Burns released a trio of post-Dylan folk records for the fabled ESP-Disk label in the late sixties, but as the Folk Revival was fading, he formed the electric folk rock group Randy Burns and the Skydog Band. The band’s eponymous debut was released in 1971 on Mercury, and two albums — ’72’s I’m A Lover Not A Fool and the following year’s Still On Our Feet — soon followed on Polydor Records.
The band toured America extensively throughout the early seventies, but Burns, frustrated with the music industry, dissolved the Skydog Band and returned to his folksinging roots, touring Ireland and gigging extensively on Block Island and in New Haven. In 2008, he released The Simple Things, his first album in fifteen years, and continues to play regularly throughout New England.
(by Stephen Haag, with thanks to Randy Burns)
Published on December 28, 2012