It seems inevitable that Ken Burton would wind up playing in a Yes tribute band… his favorite 70’s album was the Yes Fragile album, and the first band he played in professionally covered two Yes songs: Roundabout and Sweet Dreams. Burton’s love of progressive rock extended to Jethro Tull, Genesis, and Focus (a high school project he played drums for covered Hocus Pocus). Read more about Burton on his web site.
Ken Burton started playing in high school, taking lessons from a local Montana teacher, Dr. Ralph Campbell, and participating in clinics at the University of Montana. Burton was the lead drummer in the Polson High School Stage Band, playing swing and jazz, soloing and performing with the highest honors in statewide competitions. After high school, and music education at the U of M, Burton helped form the progressive rock band Papa Tuba, which covered artists from the Grateful Dead to Yes, Frank Zappa to Led Zeppelin, as well as many original tunes. Papa Tuba performed over a three state area, as well as outdoor festivals with over a thousand attendees (not a bad accomplishment for a drummer not yet 21 years old).
Burton left Papa Tuba to move to Oregon, where he played for a groundbreaking church – Life Church, of Salem Oregon –- playing an early incarnation of in what would become the current wave of church praise and worship music (his music director and senior pastor, Mike Herron, is currently an artist and touring worship leader). Burton also helped form the Salem, Oregon band No Lies, which covered the mainstream of what was current CCM, as well as many original numbers. No Lies performed in both Oregon and Washington in many church and non-church venues (again, serving as a forerunner in crossing over from the “sacred” to the “secular.”)
After 15 years helping lead instrumental worship in Oregon, Burton moved back to Western Montana, where he started a retail music business and music school, and formed a band with some of his musically accomplished children, called the Noisy Boys. Also in western Montana Burton joined the blues band The Ruminators, featuring Doug Ruhman on guitar.
In 2003 Burton moved to his current home in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he played with the tribute act Simply Shania and continues to play for multiple churches and music conferences from the Miami metro area in Florida to the Treasure Coast. Burton is also currently playing with the Yes Tribute Sound Chaser.
Current Kit (All Ludwig, natural maple unless noted):
- 70’s American Classic Maple 14×24 Bass Drum
- American Classic Maple 8×10 Tom, 70’s 10×14 Tom, 16×16 Floor Tom, 16×18 Floor Tom/Bass Drum
- American Black Beauty 6×13 Snare Drum
- Supraphonic Chrome over Brass 5×14 Snare Drum
- Supraphonic Hammered Bronze 6.5×14 Snare Drum
- Acrolite (70’s) 5×14 Snare Drum
- Super Sensitive 5×14 (60’s) Snare Drum
- Ludalloy 10×14 Converted Marching Snare
- Sabian cymbals: 21″ AAX Stage Ride
- 20″ HH Natural Raw Ride;
- 19″ AAX Studio Crash
- 19″ Paragon China
- 18″ Aero Crash
- 18″ Paragon Crash
- 18″ AAX Xplosion Crash
- 17″ Vault Crash
- 16″ Paragon Brilliant Crash
- 16″ AAX Xplosion Crash
- 15″ HHX Evolution Crash
- 15″ HH Medium Thin Crash
- 15″ AAX Metal over HHX Groove Hi-Hats
- 14″ HHX Evolution Hi-Hats
- 14″ Paragon Hi-Hats
- 13″ AAX Stage Hats
- 10″ Chopper
- 10″ AAX Xplosion Splash
- 10″ Portnoy Splash
- 8″ AAX Xplosion Splash
- 2011 3 pc Oak over Maple Keystone Kit 24/16/12 in Black Abalone wrap
- Roland SPD-SX with two external pads and kick trigger
The 70’s maple kit has been assembled and designed to play out as anything from Classic Zeppelin to Club 4 piece to full 7 piece. Here’s a photo of my Ludwig fusion configuration…
Burton plays Remo heads exclusively except for Evans Emad2 bass drum heads. Burton uses Equation Audio microphones and headphones, as well as BeyerDynamic Headphones. You can contact me at ken@TributeToYes.com or at 561-255-9776.