Growing up knowing the likes of such legends as Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King and Buddy Buy, it’s no wonder Edmonton-based musician Troy Turner ‘Guitar Burner’ wields a powerful, authentic artistry.
Turner, who also had an uncle by the name of Ike, will be playing in The Beat at the Stettler Hotel from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on July 26th. Advance tickets can be purchased at The Beat for $15 and will be $20 at the door.
On July 27th, the band will also be performing at the White Sands Community Hall. That evening features Red Deer band 4 Fortune Hunters with Lawrence Laycock.
There will be a midnight lunch served which is included in the ticket.
For the White Sands show, folks can purchase advance tickets for $35 by calling Patrick at 780-233-1320. That show starts at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, as mentioned, Turner is indeed the ‘real deal’.
Hailing from southern Louisiana, he was mentored by the best. And it shows in his velvet voice and wicked guitar playing. He eventually studied at Berklee in Chicago, but as his bio points out, his true teachers were his pals – Stevie Ray Vaughan, Edgar Winter, BB King, the Rafel family, Ike Turner and many others.
He’s also been busy on the European scene, too.
Turner has performed in Amsterdam, Belgium, Paris, Italy, Germany, Russia and Finland and introduced these countries to his style of fired-up New Orleans Blues, funk and rock and roll.
Turner first started singing in the Starhill Baptist Church choir at the age of five.
“I grew up in church, playing guitar at the age of six and piano at the age of four,” he said, adding his grandmother was an evangelist so there were plenty of opportunities to hone his skills at church each week.
“We probably had about three services every Sunday,” he recalled. “So I do come from a music background – all of my aunts and uncles – they all played.”
Influences were everywhere during those early days, from soaring gospel to sizzling blues to bluegrass to the flat-out fun of honky-tonk.
Music was an entrenched part of the community.
“By Grade six I was starting with the tenor saxophone along with the piano and guitar – lead guitar and bass, too. I now wanted to be in the marching band as well.”
He later replaced the class tuba player – adding to his ever-growing repertoire.
“I was the smallest one in the band,” he recalled with a laugh. “I was the shortest – a little chubby boy.” But he mastered the instrument in a couple of weeks.
Other school grades may have suffered a bit, but teachers saw an emerging gift. One of his teachers told Turner’s grandmother that young Troy could pick up pretty much any instrument and tackle it in no time at all. “He told her he had pulled out a trumpet, a saxophone, a clarinet – and that I would just pick them up and learns to play something on them. “He called it a God-given talent.”
From then on, the focus was much more on honing his musical talents via church choirs and perfecting his instrument playing as well.
He even started working with older choirs, and he was still just a young kid at the time.
“I had a serious baritone voice even as a little boy,” he recalled. “So it felt good walking down the aisle with older people and looking at the kids my age,” he added with a laugh.
Turner kept on with his musical journey, and then had something of a revelation – he discovered the compelling nature of the blues.
“My grandmother always played B.B. King and Albert Collins, and they all came over to the house when I was a little boy,” he said, adding that Uncle Ike (Turner) would also drop over now and then as well. So the musical influences were, as mentioned, amazing to say the least. Recording opportunities and tours would become his life’s work, and ultimately, it’s been an unforgettable ride from his earliest days.
Turner couldn’t have found a mission or calling more fitting to who he truly is.
And it’s not just about breaking new ground in music – it’s also been something of a spiritual journey, too.
He sees his music as a means to pass on a positive message into the lives of listeners. “I hope I’ve planted a seed for them to see there’s a better way to enjoy their lives.”