In 1966, Randy Burns was dropped off on the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal Street, with a bag over his shoulder and a guitar in his hand…ready for anything  Randy had gotten his start a year earlier at The Exit Coffeehouse in New Haven, Connecticut but soon left to join the Urban Folk Revival in Greenwich Village. The first three months he slept in flop houses, on subways and park benches in Washington Square Park. Every week he played the open mic nights at the original Gerdes Folk City, The Gaslight Café and The Bitter End. Impressed by his talent, Clarence Hood, the owner of the legendary Gaslight hired Randy as the permanent opening act. At only eighteen he was opening for the biggest folk stars in the country, artists he’d only heard on records. Randy shared the stage with John Hammond, Tom Paxton, Dave Van Ronk, Eric Andersen, Spider John Koerner, Steve Gillette, Sonny and Brownie, Phil Ochs, Carolyn Hester, Washboard Sam and many, many others. During this period, he recorded three albums with a small independent label.

As the Folk Revival was fading, he formed the electric folk rock group, Randy Burns and the Skydog Band . Within months his first major label album was released on Mercury Records and two albums soon followed on Polydor Records.  

Randy Burns and the Skydog Band played all the legendary clubs in the country, the Cellar Door in DC, The Bijou Theater in Philadelphia, The Troubadour and Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles, The Bitter End and Electric Circus in New York, The Quiet Night in Chicago, The Hungry Eye in San Francisco, Berkeley Folk Festival with Buddy Guy and the Hollywood Bowl with the Smothers Brothers.

Rolling Stone Magazine said, ‘Nobody, but nobody, sings anything like Randy Burns.’ The New York Times called Randy “Vocally Convincing.”  Billboard Magazine wrote that “Randy’s voice is so intrinsically right that it wraps the listener in a pool of contentment.” When Randy played The Troubadour , the Los Angeles Times said, “Randy is the best country flavored rock singer since Graham Parsons, who was, and is, as good as anyone before him.”

Frustrated with the music industry, Randy returned to his folksinging roots and hit the road again as a folksinger. For years he was literally homeless – ‘It would have been a waste of money,” he says, “I was singing so many places that I’d leave a bag of clothes wherever I usually played so I could travel light.”  A headliner at Kenny’s Castaways, in the late 70s, owner Pat Kenny arranged for Randy to tour Ireland. It was off to Dublin, where he played coast to coast two years in a row. A pure folksinger again, Randy played for many seasons on Block Island Rhode Island, and of course he returned and played New Haven many, many times. The places and list of clubs he’s played is endless, and he still has dedicated fans everywhere.   

After fifteen years, Randy is back with a brand new CD out on Music Maker along with several other projects in the works. Recently Randy returned to New Haven where he had a sell-out performance that was met with rave reviews.

 If you were around New Haven, New York or Los Angeles in the 60s, 70s and 80s…you’ve probably heard stories or have your own stories to tell about him. They’re all still true. Randy Burns is a folksinger’s folksinger, always was and will always be.