By Chad L. Hutchison

From Bob Dylan to Madeleine L’Engle, Jason Burton finds his musical inspirations in many places, just not the obvious places most people would think he gets it from.Many people know Burton because of his Eastern position as the assistant director of campus recreation – Adventure Programs. Yet he does have another side to him as a musician, and he likes to keep the two sides separate.

“I’ve never wrote a song about rock climbing,” said the man who is an avid rock climber and is in charge of the climbing wall in the Fitness and Wellness Center.

He does write story songs even if they are not about his adventurous lifestyle and sometimes not necessarily about his life.

“Poetry, whether a song or poem, has to have an outpouring of emotion of some sort. No matter what that (emotion) is,” he said.

He considers himself a singer songwriter who writes music that is serious and folksy. That is why he said you will never catch him singing a cover song of “My Humps” even though it would be funny.

Live Wire Cafe employee Waylon Clemmons described Burton’s musical style as reminiscent of David Gray. However, Burton doesn’t play piano.

Burton first started playing classical violin when he was in the fourth grade. Since then, he has used his hands to caress music out of the banjo, mandolin and even accordion.

If you catch him playing on the stage, it’s just him and his guitar. At one time it was a little different.

Once Burton had aspirations of being a rock star. He even took a break away from Eastern when he was a student here because he wanted to chase that dream.

However, he came back to Eastern after the “rock star thing” didn’t work out for him.

“I really didn’t like that lifestyle,” he said about not caring about smelling like cigarettes all the time and living out of a van.

“Now I just want to play,” he said.

Since his rock star days he has played with the local band The Union City All-Stars and even performed by himself at the annual Christian concert event Icthus a few years back.

If you want to check him and his guitar out you can come out and see him play 8:30 – 10:30 next Thursday at The Live Wire Cafe on Main Street.

Reach Chad at