I just so happened to run into Shreveport's own Rock and Roll Hall of Famer this afternoon.
It was at a house fire. James Burton's son, Jeff, lives next door to a home that went up in flames in Highland. No one was hurt, but Jeff did kick down a door to make sure no one was inside. He got in the newspaper for it, and no, it wasn't just because of his big time musical connection. He tried to do something helpful. But Mom and Dad Burton were around after the blaze.
As the elder Mr. Burton approached me, I felt kind of funny. When I'm not in reporter mode (and am not wearing this Times badge to set me apart), I rarely have a problem coming up with something to say. Today's issue was not nerves at all, it's just that the reason we were in the same place was that there was a big fire, not a concert or music store or even a press conference.
Fortunately he was really down to earth (as a fellow Webster Parish boy should be -- he was born in Dubberly) and wasn't reclusive with a pesky journalist around. We started chatting it up. There are lots of questions I could ask a true piece of musical history, but I really don't think they would've been too original. (The guy played for Elvis and undoubtedly has been asked thousands of questions about the King.)
So I asked him something I wanted to know, but probably something any good music fan around here really wants the answer to: Will he be joining Emmylou Harris onstage when she plays the Revel?
Sadly, he probably won't. (I think Teddy Allen will join me my glumness.) Burton told me he thinks he will still be in Europe. And that's what the schedule on his Web site says. He was in her legendary Hot Band in the '70s.
It was fun to see an accomplished musician outside his element. He was actually really grandfatherly. He said "God bless you" twice, and offered this advice about being around fire trucks: "Don't run over those hoses when they're in the street. You'll get a big ticket." Who would've thought I'd pick that up from James Burton?
Fortunately for me and Teddy, either way, Emmylou is still coming. (Sept. 29 -- yeehaw!) I really can't wait.