Meet Someone Different-News & Observer News- by Dan Holly
Just when you think North Raleigh is predictable, along comes William D. Burton. When you walk into the Starbucks at Pleasant Valley Promenade shopping center and see this older African American strumming a guitar, you expect, perhaps, blues (though he hardly looks the 63 he admits being! Instead you get a song like,”thoughts” with lyrics like “If you let your mind wander any way you please, soon your thoughts will wander yonder and pretty soon you’ll sneeze. If you let your mind ponder on what you think you need, mental garden you will plunder by producing Need Weed Seeds.” His songs delve into politics and relationships along the lines of Tracy Chapman- but with a with more wit and playfulness! Told that his music conjures up Chapman, Burton chuckled'”It’s not that angry!” he said! He ocasionally lapses into the motivational speaker that he is; his day job is an Empowerment coach” for Inspire,Inc. a North Raleigh- based coaching and training agency! But describing Burton as a motivational coach by night hardly begins to capture his life! It is filled with diverse accomplishments and anecdotes that are a little far out. He said that he has lectured at more than 15 universities, helped lead workshops with Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup For The Soul series & The Secret and opened for Muddy Waters on the road. He’ll tell you about being plucked from the parking lot of a Grateful Dead Concert on new Years Eve at the Oakland Coliseum to be the opening act for Steven Stills, formerly of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young or playing at a private party for now Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Cat Stevens aka Jusuf Islam! Burton Seems to get the biggest kick telling the tale of how some middle-aged couples were listening to his music recently at Starbucks when a group of kids came in. The couples who were African American sat and listened while the kids, who were White, danced! “This is America!” Burton said with a wide grin on his face!

Reply Edit Remove