“The Year in Music
Best Local Groups
The year before it was Anthill, but now that group didn't produce a new album. The local scene had a lot of great bands releasing a lot of good indie stuff, but the one I enjoyed most was Combine The Victorius. It showed a knowledge of the past that it used to go forward. Pride Tiger, Cinderpop, Big Joe Burke and Panurge are more homegrown acts to be proud of.”
"Few people do this kind of country anymore. It's either slick and self-conscious or leaning in the direction of pop-rock. Burke is rough and twangy; guitar and pedal steel indulge in a gruesome duel while he sings of drinking till he dies, or gets nostalgic thinking about his prairie town. There is more enthusiasm than refinement, more up-tempo energy than introspection. A song such as "Statue" goes back to that place where country met rock 'n' roll, or Hank Williams met Elvis Presley. Burke's choice of covers is telling, too: Wilco (the new), Merle Haggard (the old) and George Jones (the sodden). Grade: B"
“BIG JOE BURKE
Quiver (YVR Records)
From the opener "Toe the Line" to the closing cover of "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down," the group proves its songwriting craft repeatedly. It's all very strong, but the ballads, such as "Home Sweet Home" or eerie "Car Lights," really stand out. B -- S.D.”
The Province Newspaper
“Big Joe Burke: Quiver (YVR Records)
As a follow-up to 2007's debut Love or Money, you'll still hear the honky-tonk that Burke does so well, but this time around it's a bit lower key. It serves as a testament to the talented restraint of the supporting musicians involved that their outside influences are left at the studio door with the resulting sound being one that is alt-country dusted with a few folk influences.
Quiver contains 13 songs, nine of which are originals penned by Burke. Covers include material by Merle Haggard, Gordon Lightfoot and unexpectedly, the Beatles, which works surprisingly well. Burke's cover of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" is a welcome addition to the disc as it's a frequent staple of his live sets and a complete showstopper of a rendition. Why this man has not yet been scooped up by Nashville is one of life's sweet mysteries.”
“Quiver (YVR Records)
Big Joe Burke played in Edmonton's underground punk scene over two decades ago, then headed west to Vancouver to pursue his musical fortunes, only to find life was getting in the way of his music. After a dozen-year break, he's returned to his acoustic guitar and backed himself up with some very talented twangsters. Quiver, thankfully, doesn't offer up jaded "Americana"; instead its roots are in the Jr. Gone Wilds, Lost Dakotas, and other Canadian alt-country sounds of the late '80s and early '90s. Twangin' songs of drinkin', smokin', drivin', and lovin' ("Car Lights," "Stone Cold Sober") are balanced out by introspective songs of hurtin' and livin' ("Home Sweet Home," "The Tide"). With his low-down baritone, Burke delivers original songs in a style familiar to those who frequented Edmonton's cherished Sidetrack CafÃ©, cut with covers of Lightfoot, Haggard, The Beatles, and Dylan, including a standout version of "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right."”