Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Piano Spotlight: Anthony Burger

Now we come to one of the most recognizable pianists in all of Southern Gospel music, Anthony Burger, long time pianist for the Gaithers and holder of one of the most remarkably epic album covers I've seen:

There, you're welcome.

Anyway, Anthony Burger had great arrangements that literally "burned it up" sometimes literally with a smoke machine. I guess that's my only little thing about his arrangements, sometimes they get a little too showy for my taste. But you have to admit a smoke machine is pretty cool!

I actually use one of these licks in my arrangement of Meeting in the Air because it's just that awesome! I love how Anthony's music is so fast and technical. Although, sometimes it's just a little too fast, in my opinion. Playing too fast is also something I struggle with at times...

Here's Anthony's arrangement of Goodbye, World, Goodbye because as I said, every gospel pianist has to play this. Also, Matthew Holt, current pianist for the Gaither Vocal Band, uses this arrangement in Gaither concerts.

Although this clip with the Kingsmen, whom Anthony started playing with at age 16, is hilarious, it serves as a reminder to me as a pianist to just let the singers sing. (Also, that tenor tho!)

I'll probably do a whole blog post on this series of lessons, but boy, are they amazing and helpful! It's so much fun to do songs in different styles, and I've learned so much about different styles from watching this video 50 a lot of times!

I love when pianists tell their life story through song. Someone else does this, but I forget who right now. Anthony Burger's story is so powerful, yet he tells it in such a down-to-earth and funny way. Also, playing like Stevie Wonder is like the best thing ever!

My goal is to someday arrange this song as powerfully as Kim Collingsworth and Anthony Burger have done!

Well, there's some of my thoughts on Anthony Burger. While not my favorite pianist, I love many of his arrangements and all he did for putting Southern Gospel piano more on the map, so to speak. I can't wait to see him in Heaven!

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