Singer-Songwriter Megan Burtt On New Album, Colorado Symphony Collaboration

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Photo: Megan Burtt
Singer-songwriter Megan Burtt

Denver singer-songwriter Megan Burtt will step onstage tonight with an extraordinary backing group: the Colorado Symphony. The orchestra's "Turn Over the Keys" concert will add a symphonic layer to songs by Burtt and fellow Denver artists Ian Cooke and Land Lines.

The performance at Boettcher Concert Hall kicks off a busy summer for Burtt, whose influences include Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt. In August, she’ll release her second album, “The Bargain.”

Burtt wrote many of the songs in response to a serious illness she suffered in 2008 and her slow recovery.

She spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner. Click the audio link above for the interview or scroll down to watch a recent video by Burtt.

On what it’s like to perform in a maximum security prison

“It feels like a real honor to have an audience that doesn’t really get (to hear) live music. And also, I’ve never played for a more grateful audience. They’re pretty starved for entertainment.”

On hearing her songs with orchestral accompaniment for the first time

“I was crying like a little girl. It’s just incredibly humbling to hear your songs being backed by so many people. It’s hard to put words to.”

On embracing what makes her voice unusual

"I hear my voice now as being unique and I love playing with the dynamics of it. ... That has become fun for me, as opposed to heart-wrenching -- which it was at one point, wishing that it was some big, gospel-y voice."

Watch Burtt and her band perform a cover of the song “Odds” by Mutemath: