2006-06-15 / Front Page

Burkham releases new CD

KELLY RAY BURKHAM KELLY RAY BURKHAM Kelly Ray Burkham has the look of a country music singer - most importantly, he has a voice that'll make you want to hug your mama, jump on a train, spend the night in jail, buck dance on the courthouse steps, and cry in your Starbucks' frappucino with two shots of expresso.

Burkham, who uses his first and middle names on stage, has recently released his third CD titled From the Heart of Kelly Ray.

He is the son of Judy Burkham of Lincolnton and the late Wade Burkham of West Lake, Louisiana.

One of the amazing things about Burkham's CD, besides his voice, is that he wrote all of the songs on the album. The titles include "Somewhere in Between," "Never Hurt Again," "I'm Not Blind," "I Want to be Your Only Man," and "Phone Call From Daddy," the first song he ever wrote.

The CD also features Burkham's daughter, Krissy, 16, singing back-up harmony on "Phone Call From Daddy" and other songs. Krissy attended school in Lincoln County for two years and is a talent in her own right, having been designated as the "Top Female Vocalist" at the Colorado Country Music Festival. Most recently, she was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Rocky Mountain Vocal Jazz Camp this summer.

Apparently, music runs in the Burkham family. "I was brought up in a musical family," said Kelly Ray. "My dad sang, played the rhythm guitar, and wrote songs. I always admired him and wanted to follow in his footsteps."

At a very young age, Kelly Ray began playing the drums in his father's band. By the time he was 20, he was writing, singing, and recording his own songs as well as "fronting" his own bands. His other CDs are titled Home Grown Country and Country Favorites.

For the past 17 years, Burkham has lived in Colorado where he worked as a glazier on sky scrapers until he decided to devote himself to music full time. Currently, he and his band, known as "Kelly Ray and Santa Fe," perform all over Colorado and the surrounding states.

In fact, Burkham, who has received numerous awards for his musical accomplishments, was named the "Entertainer of the Year" at the Colorado Country Music Festival.

"These honors are nice, but the greatest reward is knowing that I'm writing songs that touch people's lives," said Burkham. "Every song tells a story of some kind and in doing so, re-connects listeners with their own memories. Seeing my music make people happy and enjoy themselves is what drives me - I love to entertain."

Songs from Burkham's latest CD can now be heard on area radio stations. Fans may also listen to Burkham's songs as well as download their favorites for 99 cents each by visiting www.broadjam.com. Those who wish to obtain an autographed CD may contact the artist at www.kelly ray40@ hotmail. com.

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