Spencer Burton is a country-infused folk musician when performing under the moniker Grey Kingdom. He and his backing band played a set of mellow beauties at the Dakota Tavern for CMW on Thursday night.
Burton, born in Hamilton, Ontario, was raised in Kelowna, B.C., and then became a resident in the Welland, ON music scene through his teenage years. Years of playing and touring in the acclaimed band Attack in Black led Burton to reflect. Reflection turned to writing, writing turned into the formation of Grey Kingdom, and that led to the birth of an album titled Eulogy of her and her and her (Dine Alone Records).
The album was an outlet for storytelling songs that resulted from experiences gleaned through years of constant touring, constant movement with Attack in Black. A release of sorts.
Obviously Burton had more to say. Three additional albums have since been released (The Grey Kingdom, The Weeping Suns and Light, I’ll Call Your Name Out “Darkness”) and he continues to write and to perform in clubs and festivals with artists like Sarah Harmer and Jason Collett.
Burton’s CMW set was a lovely collection of original songs that had a natural grace about them. Each song flowed easily into the next.
The only unfortunate part about the show was perhaps the timing; Burton was on just before popular local band Flash Lightnin’ and the crowd was revved up for heavy rock. The venue was at capacity and the chatter made it difficult to hear this quieter, slower band at times. The laid-back and somewhat somber character of the songs were perhaps ill-timed for this night, but regardless, Burton performed the songs with emotion and a certain gentleness that I found touching.
It’s worth a mention that Aaron Goldstein played the steel guitar for Burton. Goldstein is a member of Tom Wilson’s project LeE HARVeY OsMOND, has recorded and played with the Cowboy Junkies and played live with City and Colour. Here is Burton performing Sun Like Moon Light for Streaming Café.