B. JOHN BURNS, Songwriter (Des Moines music)

About John Burns Contact Me Rockin' the IMT Des Moines Marathon A Little Night Music My Song List The Infamous Bad Review Strangers on a Train A Special Holiday Message from John Burns The 23rd Annual Linda Vista Multi-Cultural Fair and Parade "Dreams From My Father" "FIve Small Towns" My Guest Book B. JOHN BURNS, Songwriter (Des Moines music) Other (More Positive) Publicity The John Burns Photo Gallery 3 Sample Posters from John Burns' Performances The John Burns Photo Gallery The John Burns Photo Gallery 2 Irish Boys My Rejected Ohana Steakhouse Jingle Blog

from deep in the heart of Johnston, Iowa...

In the fall of 1972, during my junior year of high school, I sat down at the Cable-Nelson piano in the basement of my parents' house and laboriously penned my first song, "Last Airport Home."  A few days later, I wrote another, and then another -- and then another. . .

I never stopped.

Then, in January, 1976 I played a borrowed Wurlitzer electric piano at the Wakonda Country Club on Des Moines' South Side with a band called Now and Then.  That was my first professional gig.  On Halloween Night of that year, I got a call from the legendary Baby Lester in Omaha, beckoning me to join him on the road as a member of Baby Lester and the Buggybumpers.  I followed him to Odebolt, Iowa, Independence, Missouri (twice), Fayetteville, Arkansas, Worthington, Minnesota, Albuquerque, Abilene, Atchison, Kansas, Buffalo, Wyoming, Tiffin, Ohio, Pierre, South Dakota, Indianapolis, Wilkesboro, North Carolina, Green Lake, Wisconsin, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Humboldt, Iowa and, yes, Kokomo.  I'd like to say I never stopped playing.

Okay, there were a few stops and starts from time to time -- but I'm playing NOW!! 

And, yes, I am the brother of marathon champion Mary Burns-Prine, owner of the Women Runners Website and author of The 2008 Women Runners' DAILY JOURNAL & CALENDAR.  But I'm determined to make it on the quality of my songwriting, rather than my sister's celebrity, so I pretty much try to keep it a secret.  How's that, Mary?


To order a copy of my CD, "Mutants That I'll Never Understand," send a note with your mailing address to

B. John Burns

P.O. Box 30035

Johnston, IA 50131

You may also order copies of "Undefeated," "Ridiculously High," "Year of the Jumping Flea," "Up Here on the 19th Floor" and "High Adventure on the Road" from the same location!!


Check this site often for exciting news about upcoming shows!!

Click here to find out a little more about John Burns, songwriter.  

Visit my photo galleries to see some of the people I've worked with over the past thirty-some years.  Find posters of my upcoming performances.  Read my nostalgic accounts of some of my great music business adventures, including the stories about the infamous bad review, some of the more positive publicity I've received, strangers on a train, a little night music, and  performing at the 2006 through 2014 IMT Des Moines Marathons.

Check out the list of songs played at my performance, and listen to my home-grown demos of about a dozen or so of them.


Amici Espresso

The Village Bean Coffee Co.

Cafe Milo

Being There Coffee House (Altoona)

Crave Italian American

Saints Rest Coffee House (Grinnell)

Ritual Cafe

Palek Studio and Gallery

Jacob's Place

Hull Avenue Tap 

Grounds for Celebration (Beaverdale)

House of Bricks (Songwriters' Night)

CoffeeCat (Mason City)

West Des Moines Elks Lodge

Linden Street Coffee House (Lamoni)

Lot 33

Michael's Pizza  

El Bait Shop

Blue Rock Cafe (Hudson, OH)

The Beaver Tap

Annelise Winery

The Game Sports Bar

Cafeteria & Co. (Urbana, IL)

Rehab Bar and Grill

Letsch Law Firm Art Gallery 

Chocolaterie Stam Des Moines

Green Grounds Cafe

Okobji Grill (Johnston)

Flanagan's Bar and Grill

Wesley Acres Retirement Community

The Royal Mile

Woody's Smoke Shack

The Greenwood Lounge

Mojo's at River Music Experience (Davenport)

ArtsCentral (Waukee)

Hotel Pattee

Mom's Place

Uptown Bill's Coffee House (Iowa City)

Des Moines Farmers Market

The Brew (Manchester, Tennessee)

The Java House (Iowa City)

Kort House Lounge and Liquor (Leon)

Beaver Estates Retirement Community

Tally's Restaurant, Lounge and Catering

Charles H. MacNider Art Museum (Mason City) Annual Arts Festival

Prairie City Farmers Market

Grafton 123 House of Coffee (Grafton, West Virginia)

Windsor Heights Community and Events Center

Ruby's Pub (Stuart)

Bayside Community Center (San Diego -- Fundraiser)

Art on the Prairie (Perry)

Hotel Vetro (Iowa City -- Fundraiser)

The Vaudeville Mews

Neutral Ground Coffee House (New Orleans)

Northland Galleries (Art Shows)

Picasso Coffee House (St. Charles, Missouri)

Natural Living Expo

Friday Night Live (Mason City)

The Keg Stand

333 Restaurant (Grenada, Mississippi)

Smokey Row Coffee House and Ice Cream (Des Moines)

Smokey Row Coffee House and Ice Cream (Pella)

Smokey Row Coffee House and Ice Cream (Pleasantville)

Smokey Row Coffee House and Ice Cream (Oskaloosa) 

Java Monkey (Decatur, Georgia)

Undergrounded (Clarion, Iowa)

Kirkwood Hotel Lobby/Art Show

Illahee Hills Retirement Community

Scornavacca's Restaurant (Private Party)

C & D's Welcome Cafe (Redondo Beach, CA)

Illegal Grounds (Denver)

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe (Washington, DC)

Savvy Coffee and WIne Bar (Solon)

Java G's (Clive)

The Alley Upstairs at Cafe Allegro (Seattle)

Pegasus Coffee House and Gallery (Bainbridge Island, WA)

C & P Coffee Company (West Seattle)

Mars Cafe

Starry Night Coffee House (Johnston)

Java Joe's

Linda Vista Multicultural Fair (San Diego)

Cafe Diem (Ankeny)

Cafe Diem (Ames)

The Iowa State Fair

Black Sheep Coffee Cafe (South St. Paul, MN)

Harvest Moon (Dallas Center)

Grounds for Celebration (Urbandale)

Aura (private party)

Capital Square Atrium

Gordon's Food Products, Des Moines, IA (private party)

Gateway West/Art Show

Marshalltown Coliseum (Unity Unplugged)

Memories Hall, Marshalltown (Unity Unplugged II)

The Des Moines Playhouse

The Foxboro Grill

Sylvan Amphitheater, Greenwood Park (Dickstock)

The Beaverdale Fall Festival

Hoyt Sherman Auditorium

Crystal Tree Restaurant (private reception)

Embassy Club (private reception)

Des Moines Marathon

Drake Half-Marathon

Friedrich's World Coffees (Urbandale)

The Regatta Inn (Clear Lake)


Upcoming Performance(s)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 5 to 8 p.m., Woody's Smoke Shack, 2511 Cottage Grove Avenue, Des Moines, IA

Saturday, August 1, 2015, 7 a.m. to noon, Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market.  4th Street South of Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA.  

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 7 to 9:30 p.m., Chocolaterie Stam, 2814 Ingersoll Avenue, Des Moines, IA, no cover

Saturday, August 14, 2015, 6 to 9 p.m., Letsch Law Firm and Art Gallery, Gallery Night, 112 N.E. Ewing, Grimes, IA, no cover

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 7 to 9 p.m., Friedrich's World Coffees, 4632 N.W. 86th Street, Urbandale, IA, no cover

Thursday, August 20, 2015, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.,  Budweiser Stage, Iowa State Fair, Des Moines, IA

Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 5 to 8 p.m., Woody's Smoke Shack, 2511 Cottage Grove Avenue, Des Moines, IA

Saturday, September 5, 2015, 10 a.m. to Noon, CoffeeCat, 111 S. Delaware, Mason City, IA.

Friday, September 11, 2015, 6:30 to 9 p.m., Palek Studio and Gallery, 506 East 6th Street, Des Moines, IA.  Gallery Night.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 5 to 8 p.m., Woody's Smoke Shack, 2511 Cottage Grove Avenue, Des Moines, IA.  

Friday, October 9, 2015, 6:30 to 9 p.m., Palek Studio and Gallery, 506 East 6th Street, Des Moines, IA.  Gallery Night.

Sunday, October 18, 2015, 8 a.m., IMT Des Moines Marathon, Grand Avenue at Butler House, Des Moines, IA.

Saturday, October 31, 2015, 8 a.m. to noon, Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market, 4th Street South of Walnut, Des Moines, IA

Saturday, November 14, 2015, Art on the Prairie, Regional Art Work and Live Music at Various Locations in Downtown Perry, November 14-15.

Saturday, December 26,2015, 7 to 9 p.m., Uptown Bill's Coffee Shop, 730 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City, IA.  

"Mt. Helix", written by John Burns on the then-brand new Korg Triton

Send me an email!!

If YOU want to receive email announcements about my upcoming performances, send me your email address!! Leave a note in my guest book, so I can see who's been visiting my site.


You can now visit me on Facebook and check out my Electronic Press Kit!!


And I'm available to play at YOUR event or venue at a price affordable to ANY  budget!!

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