After all these years The Burner Boys are back. The Burners were an original band that broke up in 1971 after only two years together. The band may be just a memory but the songwriters in the band have never stopped writing great songs.
Most of the music The Burner Boys wrote and performed was never recorded. The songs listed here were written and recorded after the band broke up. They were written by Dave Jenneson and Al Hovden, and later with Peter Sinclair – who played guitar with the band often enough to be considered a “fifth Burner”. John Roles, formerly a member of two great Canadian bands – Chilliwack and Jerry Doucette – produced and arranged the song Dear John – Al’s beautiful song of rememberance for John Lennon who was a large influence in both his and Dave’s lives as songwriters.
- 1Old Fashioned Blues - A. Hovden/D. Jenneson - 1970Genre and Style: Burner Jug Pop/ Comments: Dave: Old Fashioned Blues was a tribute to the Burner’s jug rock roots. It came out of whole cloth. Most songs written early in the Burner’s career were eventually dumped, but Old Fashioned Blues, dedicated to the jug bands, juke joints and road houses of the 1930’s, held on to its place on the song list until the very end. It has a big chorus with a soulful verse yearning for the old days, yet is a fast, country funk dance song. Comments: Al: Throw your hat up in the air and hit the dance floor!
- 2Greaseball Heaven - A. Hovden/D. Jenneson - 1970Genre and Style: Country lament parody / Comments: Dave: I wrote Greaseball Heaven in prison when I discovered why the hippies had taken over and the greasers had vanished from the landscape like dinosaurs. They were all in jail. Although it satirized the greaseball culture the greasers in our audiences identified heavily with it and adopted it as a kind of anthem. It wasn’t unusual to see them falling into states of rapture and bliss listening to it. It remained a signature tune of the Burner Boys from beginning to end. Comments: Al: Probably the song we will be remembered for.
- 3Play It For Your Friends - A. Hovden/D. Jenneson - 1974This song was the "accidental single" that featured Al Hovden. Originally recorded for female vocalist Valerie Lord - and part of a recording session for her first single - the bed track was mistakenly recorded in the same key as Al's original demo. When Valerie started to sing the track it was too low for her so producer Don Marsh ordered Al into the vocal booth where he proceeded to record it in one take - much to Al's and everyone else's surprise as he had never sung in a professional recording studio before. The band - all in their early 20's - were to go on and become well known Canadian musicians: Al Harlowe (electric guitar) and Rocket Norten (drums) would become members of the great Canadian band Prism; Wayne Kozack (sax) would go on to arrange all the great hits as well as lead the horn section for The Powder Blues Band and Jim Elliot (bass) would go on to play for the original Prism band and then Tom Harrison's (Vancouver Province rock critic) band Bruno Gerussi's Medallion. Al played acoustic guitar on the session and sang the lead vocal. His future as a "well known" Canadian musician is still uncertain. The song was not promoted at all and was never heard from again except, curiously, when Dave Jenneson's father said he went back to visit family shortly after the release of the 45 single and claimed he heard it on a jukebox in the small Saskatchewan town he was visiting.
- 4Six Feet Under Water - P. Sinclair/D. Jenneson/A. Hovden - 1974This song was recorded by the Hans Staymer Band in 1974 and was a first for the songwriters as it was played on commercial radio. The Hans Staymer band was a real "A" band of Vancouver musicians including Robbie King on keyboards - a prodigy who was written up in Downbeat jazz magazine as a teenager, Doug Edwards on guitar who wrote the huge hit Wildflower for David Foster's band Skylark (of which Doug was the guitarist as well) and, of course, Hans Staymer himself, a Vancouver legendary vocalist.
- 5My Creole Belle P. Sinclair/D. Jenneson - 1976This version of My Creole Belle was recorded by the Al Harlowe band at Sculpture's In Sound Studio in North Vancouver around 1976. Featuring the great Kenny Pearce on guitar this has always been a favourite of the band and friends. Al started to make an animation for this as part of a promotional piece to send to Jack Black to try and convince him to play the part of lead singer Dave Jenneson in a possible movie based on Dave's book A Band Is A Beautiful Thing.
- 6Blue Telegram - A. Hovden/D. Jenneson - 2007 - original version 1971Blue Telegram was actually played by the original Burner Boys band in 1971 but was forgotten. A legend grew around this song as it was remembered as a classic part of the repertoire. Al and Dave re-wrote it shortly before Dave died in 2008. It was the last song they wrote together.Download
- 7Dear John - A. Hovden/J. Roles - 1998John Roles, formerly a member of two great Canadian bands – Chilliwack and Jerry Doucette – produced and arranged the song Dear John, Al’s beautiful song of rememberance to John Lennon who was a huge influence on both his and Dave Jenneson's careers as songwriters.
- 8My Beautiful LIfe - A. Hovden - 2011My Beautiful Life is something of a movie in song form as suggested by the title. This music is influenced in part by Paul MacCartney's solo band Wings. If the Burner Boys were still performing it would probably be on the set list as one of the "sweet" songs that Al was known for.Download
- 9Love Is Everything - A. Hovden/J. Roles - 2012A beautiful song to love written by Al Hovden and John Roles. This song went to #1 on the Broadjam indie chart and was published by Rex Benson, a US publisher known for his #1 hit for Kenny Rogers "Buy Me A Rose".Download
- 10What Did I Do Wrong - A. Hovden/D. Jenneson - 2012 - original version 1972What Did I Do Wrong was written just after the Burner Boys broke up - probably in 1972. The original demo has been a favourite amongst friends and fellow musicians. Al did this new version in 2012 and it is quite different from the original which was very simple - acoustic guitar, vocals, melodica and some percussion played by tapping on guitar. The new version has had mixed reviews from those that have the original demo - but great response from new listeners.Download