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Alabama Music Makers: The Burnells ready release of new album

Music can be cathartic.

Mark Kelly has been a writer and a journalist in Birmingham for decades. He works at Alabama Power and is a regular contributor to Alabama NewsCenter.

Kelly is also a musician and a member of the band The Burnells (formerly The Happy Burnells), a band that enjoyed some success in the Birmingham area from 1997 to 2002 and reformed in 2018 and released the album “Room Enough” in 2019.

While the pandemic slowed down nearly everything else, for The Burnells, it accelerated work on new songs that led to a new album. “Turn to Now” was produced by Billy Lawson and recorded in Muscle Shoals at Wishbone Recording Studio.

Alabama Music Makers: The Burnells releasing new album “Turn to Now” from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The Burnells are Kelly on guitar and vocals, Gary Hyche on guitar and bass, David Kilmer on guitar, Mike Fields on bass and guitar, Jason Ruha on drums and percussion and Kat Beckham on lead and backing vocals. In addition, the new album features Muscle Shoals legends Spooner Oldham (keyboards and organ) and Travis Wammack (guitar) along with Stuart Oates (banjo, accordion and backing vocals), Brad Guin (horns), Jaimie Copeland (keyboards), Joyce Hand Gooden (vocals) and Lawson (guitar, lap and pedal steel, dobro, piano and percussion).

Kelly wrote or co-wrote all but one of the 12 songs on “Turn to Now” and while there is no song about the pandemic, longing, new-found perspective and reflection are dominant themes.


“Welcome to Nowhere Land” is the first single and is set for release this week. CD versions of the album should be available by the end of this month and a vinyl version will come out in July.

“Turn to Now” by The Burnells will be released on CD and vinyl. (contributed)

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

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