Stacy Burk is a country music artist from Van Alstyne, Texas. His musical influences are George Strait, Don Williams and Jim Reeves – you can hear that in his voice. He’s a genuine cowboy – you can see that in his confident demeanor. He’s been around the block and is now back after leaving a record deal with Warner Bros. Their plan was to package Stacy as the real singing cowboy, the next big country artist. Unfortunately, all of that had to be left on the table to attend to his ailing mother. Burk walked away from it all, traveled back to Texas and stayed with his mother in her final days. Her passing put his life in perspective and his musical endeavors on hold.
Stacy grew up on a farm in Van Alstyne, TX, where his mother recognized her only child's talent and encouraged him to sing and play guitar. Stacy was always around horses. As a kid you never had to look farther than the pasture to find him. If he wasn’t out riding, he was tending to chores, being a kid and singing around the farm. "My mother joked and told me that if I didn’t quit singing she was going to enter me in a talent show. I didn’t quit singing so that's exactly what she did. She always supported me." At the age of 12, she entered him into his first talent show. Stacy sang Ronnie Milsap’s "Almost like a Song." They both knew music was his destiny.
While in high school, he played in a band called "Something Special" and performed at the National Future Farmers of America Convention in front of 24,000 people for 2 years in a row. Stacy won many talent shows all over Texas, with one placing him on the Today Show with Willard Scott.
He later went to college and earned a Bachelor's degree in Equestrian Science & Nutrition from Sul Ross State University in Far West Texas (Alpine). The "Cowboy College" has a 468-acre ranch that serves its animal science programs. While attending college he worked on a 48,000 acre cattle ranch and also shod and trained horses.
With the constant pull to have a career in music, Stacy took off on an adventure and found himself in Branson, MO, nicknamed, "The Live Music Show Capitol of the World". His career took off immediately as he found success while performing every night at Silver Dollar City in Echo Hollow averaging 4,000 people a show. He also entertained at the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre and with Lori Locke at Mutton Hollow. In 1992, Branson awarded him with "Male Newcomer of the Year" and "Duo of the Year" with Lori Locke.
After nearly 1200 shows Stacy took off to the place where country music dreams come true… Nashville. Stacy pounded the pavement and in short time the years spent sharpening his skills paid off. Stacy landed a record deal with Warner Brothers Music.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck soon after. Burk’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. Finally getting to the place where he had spent a lifetime trying to achieve would have to wait as he decided to put it all on hold and return to Texas to be with his mother
After the passing of his mom, Stacy left Texas to do some soul searching. He always loved the west and decided to move to Colorado where he started a courier business called "Cowboy Carriers". As he built his business, he also sang on a Chuck Wagon Show and spent the next decade writing songs while being surrounded by the great Rocky Mountains.
Stacy’s passion for horses and desire to help others led him to a Southwest chapter of the Boys & Girls Ranch. There he served as the equestrian director. This Christian program provides hope to children and their families. With equine therapy, the children are helped to develop new skills and gain confidence through self-discovery.
It was there he found himself telling the kids to go after their dreams and passions that he suddenly realized he was teaching a value he was not following himself. "The kids changed my life. I was trying to show them how to live their dreams, but I wasn't living mine. This hit me hard and I knew I had to take action to overcome the fears that were keeping me from moving forward in my life. I couldn't live with regret anymore… I had to step out on my own and take the chance that I could have a career in country music."
Now, Stacy was ready to continue that dream his mother ignited in him. Like the perfect country song, Stacy loaded up his truck with his lifesavings, his guitar and his dog in search of the career that had already eluded him once before.
The years between Nashville then and Nashville now have changed; the industry, the music and the man are all different. Stacy Burk sacrificed and persevered. He’s a modern traditionalist, defined by his classic country vocal style and contemporary interpretation of songs, all of which will be showcased on his upcoming debut album.
A driven and focused artist, Stacy delved into multiple music catalogues searching through almost 4,000 original compositions to find songs suited to create his vision of the ideal country album.
"I wanted songs that were competitive in today’s market, which would give me an entrée onto country radio. I was looking for genuine country songs and I was happy to find that publishers had those songs to pitch. I really like what Keith Urban is doing. He is singing songs about romance in committed relationships. I like Hunter Hayes in that he is finding fans with modern lyrics that are constructive and respectful. I have a set of principles I live by. I’ve spent the last years working with kids, and just want my music to be something that is positive for them." With his usual Texas bred diligence he found the few songs he believed in.
Through a professional music consultant, Stacy was introduced to industry icon, Josh Leo (Alabama, Reba McEntire, Restless Heart, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Martina McBride, Kathy Mattea and LeAnn Rimes), and convinced him to produce his record. Leo, the industry proclaimed "Renaissance Man" recently celebrated another #1 song with Love and Theft’s "Angel Eyes" – the 23rd #1 song that Leo has touched in his 30-plus-year-music career as a songwriter, producer and musician.
Leo – "When Stacy called me, I told him there was no way I can do this for him….and then I heard his story. Not making a record because of his mom made me realize what a good soul he really is. We need more people like Stacy Burk in the world."
Stacy spent over 6 months in Nashville working on the album living in a hotel room with his dog Rio. Named after the Rio Grande that runs through the ranch where Stacy worked, Rio is an Australian Shepherd and Border Collie mix – a rescue dog that Stacy adopted. He’s now three years old and after attending every day of recording, he’s a recording studio veteran. The bond between them led Stacy to name his company Rio Records.
Through a mutual friend Stacy reached out to Los Angeles based director, Dave West. Stacy was looking for a story or concept for a video for the song, "Til Your Boots are Dirty" and had seen two of West's short films ("Puddlejumper" & "The Do Over"). West came up with the idea of taking a ‘city boy’ to the country and over the course of the song he gets his ‘boots dirty’ and transforms into a ‘country boy.’ West and Burk polished the idea and then brainstormed on how to find a way to have the song and specifically the video to pop through an incredibly crowded landscape. They understood that going "viral" is not something you can really plan, but prepping yourself to be able to maximize social media is.
Through his multiple seasons working as a producer on Dancing with the Stars, West befriended Maksim Chmerkovskiy. One call to Maks explaining the story was all he needed to come onboard.
Chmerkovskiy – "The concept of the video is kind of perfect for me. I'm a very unlikely cowboy, so the transformation was real. And the opportunity to play a role in Stacy's big comeback is definitely an honor."
The video was shot at the JMJ Ranch in Thousand Oaks, CA in November of 2013 and released on January 28th, 2014 at youtube.com/stacyburkmusic
"I’m not sure what’s next or where this all takes me. I would just like to share this with the world… Lord willing. There are some really great songs on this album : "Till Your Boots Are Dirty," "Bigger Heart," "I Wanna Move You," "Some Summer." I’m getting a lot of positive feedback. People like that I cut some real country songs. We had a lot of fun making the album, but it took lots of hard work. It’s a dream come true, so always keep your dreams alive. It's the ones deep in our hearts that are God-given, and sometimes dreams take lots of persistence, sweat and tears… but it's worth it! Why live with regrets?"
"I want to be an inspiration to my son Dustin and to hopefully encourage others to go live their dreams. The first step is the hardest. It takes a leap of faith. I finally overcame my fears and relied on God. I am doing this because of my love for people, music and what God put in my heart."
"I picked the best songs to identify me as an artist… songs about love, hope and enjoying life. God has brought the right people to support me, for which I'm very thankful. Rio and I left the ranch to pursue a dream. It’s been a struggle at times, but in the end, I can honestly say I followed my heart."
If you like genuine, heart-felt country music sung by a true Texas cowboy with a low, soothing voice… then you'll love Stacy Burk. He has the ability to set your soul in motion and touch your heart with songs about life, love and country.