jason tyler burton

Where My Headwaters Run


This is Peak Lake. This is the Wind River Range. This is Wyoming. This is where it begins. It is the Green River, the main stem of the Colorado. This is where snow melt streams become the water course that carved the Grand Canyon. and so much of the landscape in between.

We all have our own headwaters. Things that carve us and make us what we are. For some it is family and a rooted sense of place. For some it is a wandering, restless pursuit. For some it is a spiritual journey that leads to another world. It is our job to understand this relationship. To seek out what it is that makes us. Some do it with books. Others with the internet and photographs. Some seek in churches. For me, it’s a map, a van, a notebook, and a guitar.

I fear that too many people don’t seek out their own headwaters. We forget to look for the source. The Source. We get lazy. We live Thoreau’s maligned lives of quiet desperation. We forget to listen to our own lives, dreams, and yearnings.

These are the things that inspire me to write songs. I have just finished a new album that describes the journey I have seen from the road, living as a nomad, and the people I’ve met and stories we’ve shared along the way. I am very inspired by people who are seeking out their own headwaters and a new version of the American dream. 

That is just my story. Now I want to hear yours.


“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” - C.S. Lewis


Making music with my friends is one of my favorite things to do. I’m so grateful there are people willing to listen. Sometimes I fall into the comparison game, but i remember that is hurtful. I recall that the things I have are wonderful, the fact that people like the music I make is just amazing, and that they care enough to join me on my own journey is a gift. So thanks for coming along for the ride. Can’t wait to share these new songs with you.

Here’s a sneak peak of what the new album is sounding like. A complete listen of the final mix (not mastered) of the first track!

This will only be available for preview for a week. So listen now, and share quickly if you enjoy! 

May I humbly recommend a pair of headphones. Thanks for listening.

For fans of Noah Gundersen, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Paul Simon

Made with SoundCloud

After a long break from my guitar and tumblr, here is what came of it. bearschapter made a wonderful post recently about not measuring your life against an edited one. While she was concise and brilliant and needs no expounding, I still ran with the idea for this little tune.


Don’t you measure yourself
Your own beauty or wealth
Against anybody else that you meet

We are all liars you know
Hiding our demons below
So careful what we display on our shelves

So come let me buy you a drink
Put your feet up darling tell me what you think
Don’t just say what you think I want to hear
Let truth tumble (heh) from your mouth, just be near… oh just be near

So don’t lie to me
And don’t hide from me
Look in the mirror
Until you like what you see

And while I have no idea if this is a good song or not, whether I’ll keep it or not, I thought it was worth sharing with ya. Oh yeah, and check out my sweet saltandsteel trucker cap!

Thanks Bear. Thanks Tumblr. Keep it real. Keep it honest. Be well.

I figure we’re all a little broken. Sometimes we just need to embrace that brokenness and maybe find someone who loves us in spite of, and maybe even because of, our imperfections and unlovable moments. Chances are, they’re broken too. 

Here’s a little sample of The Waltz from my upcoming album, Headwaters. Featuring cello, violin, bass, drums, and great duet vocals from Katy Taylor. Take a listen and tell me what you think.

Made with SoundCloud

Jason Tyler Burton. Silver Linings. Live at Red Earth Recording Studio. Just outside Zion National Park. The weather that moved in as we were recording this was just perfect for the tune. Enjoy!


A rough draft of a new song. Recorded by Dave Tate at his Red Earth Recording Studios in Springdale, Utah. Let me know what you think here or on YouTube. - JTB

Jason Tyler Burton

So excited the recording and mixing is finished. So, Tumblr, here’s an exclusive sneak peak of the title track just for you. Thanks again for your inspiration.

From the bridge:

“All that I hope for
is that all that I want
becomes someday just those things I need
Like a small house in the pine trees
And a big heart for the world
A warm fire on a cold day
And my arms around my girl
Where my headwaters run” - JTB


A Finer Line.

Ben Sollee and Me playing my tune A Finer Line live in the Red River Gorge of Kentucky at Sky Bridge Station during the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition fundraiser on December 13, 2014. The crowd was a little rowdy, but boy we had a good time! 


Jason Tyler Burton “The Leaving Kind” | NPR Tiny Desk Contest Entry

I finally uploaded my entry to the nprmusic tiny desk contest. I struggled over which song to pick, and finally just went with one of my newest. I have no expectations out of this contest entry, but it’s fun to dream. And that’s the spirit of this song as well… no expectations, but maybe a little wishful thinking. It’s a waltz for the single folks or a maybe a hymn for being alone, even if that’s not exactly what we really want. I hope you enjoy. This one is sure to be on the next album. - JTB

Headwaters (demo)
Jason Tyler Burton
Headwaters (demo)

Back in the fall of last year, I set up my computer and a mic and recorded some demos of songs that would eventually end up on Headwaters. Here’s the title track, with just me and guitar. Simple and bare and my voice nearly breaking. The song is about a search. It’s a spiritual journey maybe, but also a plea for something that feels like home. I hope you find yours. But more than that, I hope you enjoy the journey.

I’m packing up to leave for Wyoming tomorrow, which is where the idea for the album came to me. I’ll be playing music at the bar where I tried out many of the tunes from Headwaters for the first time. I’m excited. The van is loaded down with fishing and climbing gear and musical instruments.

Be well all. As always, I’d love to hear from you. The ask box is always open.


Watch on jasontylerburton.tumblr.com

I wrote a new song last week. I still like it though its a bit more country than my usual writing. I usually know if a song is a keeper after about a week or two. Help me decide.

“Why, Wyoming” by Jason Tyler Burton

I’ve learned it takes an empty landscape
To make my heart feel full
And black coffee is the only drug I need
I’ve learned a lot of things the hard way
Those are the lessons that I keep
And the end of your rope
Is the best time to make the leap

I asked her where and she said where the wind blows wild
I asked her how and she said however we can
I asked her what and she said whatever makes us happy
I asked her why and she said…  Wyoming

I’ve learned that goodbye is the word I hate the most
I’ve learned to trust the leadings of my heart
The speed of my horse is as quick as I need to go
And life moves fast so you better take it slow

I asked her where and she said where the wind blows wild
I asked her how and she said however we can
I asked her what and she said whatever makes us happy
I asked her why and she said…  Wyoming


This is me singing my song The Waltz. It remains one of my favorites. It was inspired by my favorite passage in East of Eden. I hope you find a little hope in it. That’s why I wrote it. For hope.

The CD Release Party for The Mend will be held at the amazing Carlberg family home/art space in Old Town Berea. The space is above the Fudge Factory which just makes it that much cooler. Take I-75 to Exit 76, head toward Berea, make a left on N. Broadway and look for the Fudge Factory on your right near the bottom of the hill. Park and find the little alley and stairs leading up to this amazing listening room and dance floor.  The show is free of course, and CDs will be available for $10. See you there?