A gadabout halfheartedly searches the byways and backroads of America for his lost love.
A teenage boy thinks he's finally going to become a man, only to crash his new Camaro.
A third-grade child gets bullied into acquiescence and lifelong subservience.
These are just a few narratives that lead editor Paul Riley of Country Music People magazine (U.K.) to call the Book of Vanities an "entertaining winner!" all the while taking a gander at the lines between heroism & humiliation, courage & cowardice, love & loss, and hope & despair.
The first tour supporting his new album brings the Dauphin of Mississippi to Hokitika's Old Lodge Theatre for an intimate night of songs accompanied by the Good Doctors-- the Crafty Italian of Florence, multi-instrumentalist Dr. Giacomo Giorli (Infamous Bourbon Boys, Melling Station Boys), and Dr. Claire Ellen Lukens on background vocals.
2 sets with an intermission.
Read a review from this tour by Ambient Light's Rob Harbers (Auckland):
About the Dauphin of Mississippi: Raised by Gospel Singers in the wilds of southern Mississippi and having moved to Wellington after a decade in Wyoming, critics and audiences compare his songs to John Prine, Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, Bonnie Raitt, and Guy Clark. His first album, (2017's self-produced Prodigal Songs for the End of Days), a furious genre-bending romp through an America collapsing under late-stage capitalism, netted him WyCMA finalist nods for Album, Songwriter, and Americana group of the year in the most conservative state in the union. 2019 's The Book of Vanities, produced by Josh Gray of Ivy Hall Studio in Nashville, features the likes of 14-time Grammy winner Dan Tyminski on fiddle, Flatpicking wunderkind Seth Taylor on mandolin, and living Bluegrass meme Tony Wray on banjo and guitar.
This show is part of his New Zealand Bucketlist Tour, 9 dates across NZ sharing bills with the likes of Bill Hickman, Lost Bird, and legend Darren Watson, from September to December before moving back to his imperiled homeland in January. Bucketlist Item: I've been thinking about Hokitika since I first read the Luminaries before moving here. As a storm lover coming from wet and muggy Mississippi, I've been more than intrigued by a place with twice the rainfall of my home, and how it has shaped life here--the history and culture of the place.
The advice of others:
“Dauphin, Jason Burge. Great, great songwriter. Quite an ability to draw in listeners with narratives in the songwriting. Beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous.” - Grady Kirkpatrick, Wyoming Public Radio
"Treat yourself to an evening with a man who will definitely entertain you. He'll make you laugh. He'll take you deep, and remind you that you have a soul." - Jamie Macphail, Sitting Rooms Sessions, Hawkes Bay, NZ
“One of those relaxed country voices that need to be heard a fine songwriter, melodic foot-tapping country music delight several quality ballads. Buy this album. 4.5/5 Stars”
Paul Riley, Country Music People Magazine (U.K.)
"Plays a mean guitar and sings songs and tells tales that’ll have y’all laughing, crying, and all points in between! His songs are hugely literate and intensely melodic. But for that one lucky roll of the dice, he’d be known far and wide." - Rob Habers, Ambient Light, Auckland, NZ
“Where has this guy's writing been all my life? Cracking tales delivered beautifully.” - Darren Watson, New Zealand Bluesy Soul Legend (Getting Sober for the End of the World, Too Many Millionaires)
"After listening to the Book of Vanities for a month or so, I just love it. Jason's voice reminds me of John Martyn, who I just love." - Shady, The Americana Show on Radioactive 88.6 FM
"The songwriting is enough to make you lower your beer to the table and take in the moment." - Mike Morris, Fridays in the Asher