San Francisco Local – Introducing: Tre Burt

Nikki Benson / September 20, 2011
Photo Credit: Frank Leal

When SSG Music readers care enough about DIY artists to share them with us, we’re very grateful. Special thanks to Courtney Lenae Dias for giving us a tip about San Francisco-based Tre Burt.

When it comes to singer/songwriters, there are too many to keep track of. Most have something special about them, so it takes a lot for the cream to rise to the top. Tre Burt is not only special, he is exquisite. Drawing influence from some of the great ’60s folk pioneers, he has a classic sound with just enough contemporary grit to grab the listener’s attention. His voice is magical, and there is something about him that is enigmatic enough that we decided to take a deeper look. Check out his most recent video release and download his album Little Mornings. for free. Below you’ll find and an interview with the man himself.

Hey, Tre. Tell me a little bit about yourself. How long have you been playing music?

Howdy. I’m Tre Burt. I was indeed named after Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character in “Boyz N The Hood,” (Thanks Dad). For all intents and purposes, I’m from Elk Grove, CA. I currently live in San Francisco, The land of the Never-Ceasing Fog. I’ve been playing music since 2003, making my own music since 2006, recording music since 2008 and released my first LP this past May.

You have a contemporary folk sound to your voice and a little bit of fingerstyle to your picking. Who are some artists that influenced your style?

TB: Dylan (what folk artist hasn’t been influenced by that guy), Kevin Drew, Nick Drake, Sam Prekop, Sufjan Stevens, Damien Rice, Sam Beam, Paul Simon. You know, the cool guys.

Do you have any peers that inspire you?

TB: Of course. Julie Bee of Sea of Bees, J. Irvin Dally, Chelsea Wolfe. All musicians I’ve watched grow from Sacramento soil. It’s hard not to be inspired by such display of tenacity.

Who is on your wish list to tour with?

TB: Man. Continuing the Sac theme, it’d be rad to tour with Sea of Bees. Johnny Flynn would be a dream. The Dodos. Fionn Regan. I like to tease myself with impossibilities…keeps me motivated, I suppose.

Do you have a theme to your songwriting? What’s your process in writing an album?

TB: Yeah. I like writing about discovering things or getting lost, which can easily be joined together, making it a combination of both. I also like to write about being trapped in overwhelming situations of some sort. Never get enough of that stuff.

As far as my writing process for an album, there is none. Not yet, anyways. I have yet to sit down and say “Okay, I’m going to write songs for an album now” Little Mornings. was more or less a collection of songs I’ve written throughout the span of 2 or so years.

What can we expect to see/hear from you in the next year/five years?

TB: I can’t promise you’ll see me at all at any period of time in the future. However, that’s just the realist in me. Ideally, you’ll see a lot more shows/tours, an album or two, and a picture of me high-fiving Kristian Matsson. I can promise you, however, that my sound will be more dynamic and the recordings will be of a hell of a lot higher quality. But in the immediate future, I’m releasing a revision I’m making of “It’s Winter For Me.” This version will include lyrics and a more “up to date” sound.

Thank you so much, Tre, for the interview. We look forward to keeping tabs on you, and hopefully we’ll have a chance to see you in the Pacific Northwest soon. 

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