I've spoken many times about how generous and faithful the artists and fans of the Texas/Red Dirt scene are, and now, here's another chance to help out those that need us most. Below I am going to share with you the message that explains the life and legacy left behind by the passing of Amber Burton. She was a mother, a sister, a fan, and above all else, a friend to many artist's, and I hope you can let this message speak to your heart. The video's I'm including are simply, yet importantly, songs that spoke to her. I hope you too can hear their message.
Amber was a fan and supporter of Red Dirt/ Texas Country music and traveled all over Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas catching shows from the artists she loved and their music, which helped keep her strong during her fierce battle with Colon Cancer. When Amber passed, she left behind her six year old son, Hunter, a sister, two brothers, both her mother and father, and countless loving, caring friends. This event is held in honor of her memory and her passion for the music, as well as, to help raise funds to be used to support the young son she left behind.
While speaking with Heidi Burton, Amber's sister, I asked her what spawned the whole idea for this heart-felt event, and these were her words to me.
"Well, that's kind of a tough one. Amber was a very private person, very independent. When she was first diagnosed, she was a single mother living in OKC with her 5 year old son. I automatically dropped what I was doing in Kansas to go move in with her. She did chemo every other week, and one of the main things that kept her going was the music. I watched her struggle, trying to maintain her job, and keep up with medical bills. I thought, there has to be something I can do to lift her spirits and help her financially. I had NO idea what I was doing, but over the years, we had become friends with some of the musicians. I thought hey, it doesn't hurt to ask. And so this idea was born. This scene is so much like family, everyone is always willing to help each other out."
Selfless devotion to a person or cause is always a success, no matter what the goal. Heidi has that, and through her love, and compassion, the event began to take shape. "I knew if this was actually going to happen, I needed to find a venue. It just seemed natural to ask one of the most famous Red Dirt venues, and our home away from home the Wormy Dog Saloon. To my amazement, they didn't think twice, and agreed to host the event."
One of Amber's favorite songs was "Cleveland" off of Rich O'Toole's freshman release Seventeen. "Amber loved that song." Heidi said. "Even though he rarely plays it live, we always managed to get him to play it for us."
The first artist Heidi approached about spearheading this event was, William Clark Green. Heidi explained to me how that evening happened. "Well, one weekend Amber and I were hanging out at home on a Friday night with no plans. My mother had Hunter, so we figured we needed to find a show to take in while we had a chance. She always kept a planner with shows all over the mid-west. We had heard so many good things about William Clark Green, she said hey, he's playing in the Stockyards tomorrow, you wanna drive to Ft. Worth? So we packed up and headed south. We had never met Will and the band before, but we talked to them after the show, and WCG was in awe that we had driven from out of state to catch their show. In private, I explained Amber's situation to him and asked if I put together a benefit in OKC, if he and the guys would be willing to play it. Without batting at eye, he said he was in."
Heidi continued to share with me, "When Amber passed away, we chose to spread part of her ashes at the Texas/ Oklahoma border right on I-35. She always said as she crossed that line that it was a breath of fresh air. She loved Texas and everything about it. William was one of the last people she spoke to on the phone. When Amber passed, I called to let him know our plans, and a few days later, he met us at the border with guitar in hand, and played "Caroline" as my brothers and I spread her ashes."
The world lost it's Red Dirt Angel on July, 27, 2011. Please come join us September 16, at the Wormy Dog Saloon in OKC, to help celebrate her life and her legacy. This is Texas Red Dirt Roads.
For more on the event visit the Facebook event page: Kickin' Cancer in the Colon
To make a donation to the cause visit: Amber's Allies
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