Sensibility If The Civil Wars are indeed breaking up, then they're going out…
- Posted on Feb 10th 2011 2:00PM by Steve Baltin
Angela Weiss, Getty Images
The 10-time Grammy winner was honored by two of his recent collaborators, Elton John and Leon Russell, who sent video messages that earned some laughs. A particular highlight was when John, who called Burnett "the best producer out there," ended his message by quipping, "I love you and let's run away together." Russell's was also hilarious, as he joked, "I'm not sure what this award is for."
The award, given by the Producers and Engineers Wing of the Academy, was to honor Burnett's body of work, and all joking aside, everyone agreed it was well-deserved. Iconic engineer Eddie Kramer, who's worked with the likes of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, said of Burnett, "I admire him. He's one of the finest producers in the business today. He deserves every accolade that thrown at him." Soft-spoken rocker Ray LaMontagne also came out because he "always wanted to meet [Burnett]. Jay Bellerose, who plays drums in the Pariah Dogs, he's always talking really highly of him and that's really it. I love the records that he makes."
On top of working with everyone from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss to John Mellencamp, Jakob Dylan and Willie Nelson, Burnett has also been involved in the music of such films as 'Cold Mountain,' 'Crazy Heart' and the surprise smash soundtrack to 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' The turnout reflected that range, with Lisa Marie Presley, actress Eliza Dushku and her boyfriend, former basketball player/actor Rick Fox, stopping by for free sushi, a chocolate tasting bar, and a beautiful performance by the Burnett-produced Secret Sisters.
During his impassioned speech, Burnett earned some laughs of his own, joking, "I wrote all this down, but I'm a little drunk now." Still, that didn't dilute his message in any way, as he blasted the industry for poor sound in the digital age and said of those only interested in digital sound, "You don't care about music and I don't want to make music for people who don't care about music."
What was clear is that after four decades, Burnett's passion for music is as strong as ever -- and that's why his peers admire him so.