Billy Don Burns

Key to the Highway: Billy Don Burns

Interviews Key to the Highway Series

Billy Don Burns photo by Clint McClain

Americana Highways’ Key to the Highway series

Fans always clamor to learn more about their favorite, most beloved musicians and those who travel with them. There’s such an allure to the road, with its serendipity, inevitable surprises, and sometimes unexpected discomforts. This interview series is a set of questions we are asking some of our favorite roots rock Americana artists to get to know more about them and what they’ve learned and experienced on the road for music. We are sure they have key insights to share and stories to tell. Here’s one from Billy Don Burns.

Americana Highways: How do you like your coffee or other morning wake-up beverage?

Billy Don Burns: Coffee with cream

AH: What’s the most interesting or strangest motel/hotel or place you have stayed (while on the road for music?)

BDB: In Oklahoma City, one caught on fire and we had to evacuate.

AH: If one CD is stuck in the player in the van for the entire tour, what do you hope it is? And why?

BDB: Boots Randolph. I worked for Boots for three years. He was a great boss and his music relaxes my soul.

AH: What’s one personal item you must have with you on your road trip?

BDB: My guitar.

AH: What is your relationship with food? How do you handle this on the road, and what’s your favorite dish on the road, (or restaurant, and what do you order there)?

BDB: I don’t eat like everybody else on the road, and if you want to know the truth, for a 74-year-old man to still be out there, its sex, drugs and rock and roll.

AH: If you could pause your life for a few weeks and spend some time living in a place you only have passed through, which would you choose, and why?

BDB: It damn sure won’t be Elizabethtown, Kentucky where I did some hard time.

AH: What quote or piece of advice have you gotten from someone on the road that has really stuck with you?

BDB: I rode a plane from Nashville to Houston one time with Mickey Gilley. The only time I was ever with him and I was about 40 yrs old then.

When we were saying goodbye at the Houston airport, “I’m going to give you some good advice about being on the road. In the motel room when you get in the shower and wash your hair: Throw your shampoo and stuff out in the middle of the floor or you’ll leave it every time.”

Find more information and tour dates for Billy Don Burns here:

See other Key to the Highway interviews here: (click here for: Vince Herman Jimmy Smith  Ben Nichols Bruce Cockburn Charlie Musselwhite Nicki Bluhm Jim White Danny Barnes  Patterson Hood Jerry Joseph BJ Barham Rodney Crowell Todd Snider Elizabeth Cook Tommy Womack Eric Ambel, Dan Baird, Robbie Fulks, Malcolm Holcombe Jon Langford Steve Poltz, Lilly Hiatt  Sarah Shook & the Disarmers Sadler Vaden )

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