A long-established and widely respected U.K. folksinger, Dave Burland began performing on the London circuit in 1968 with a repertoire that pulled from both traditional and contemporary sources. Within a few years, he signed with producer Bill Leader's Leader Records alongside folk contemporaries like Nic Jones and Dick Gaughan. His 1971 debut, the all-traditional A Dalesman's Litany, was lauded by critics and voted Melody Maker's Folk Album of the Year. Throughout the early '70s, Burland toured widely and recorded two more releases, the first a self-titled set of more traditional fare followed by 1975's Songs and Buttered Haycocks, which included tunes by David Ackles, Mike Waterson, and Richard Thompson. A year later, he became a member of the British folk group Hedgehog Pie, with whom he recorded their final release, Just Act Normal. During this period he also teamed up with Dick Gaughan and Tony Capstick to record Songs of Ewan MacColl.
Returning to his solo career in 1979, Burland offered You Can't Fool the Fat Man followed a few years later by Rollin', which focused more on contemporary songs by artists like Bob Geldof and Randy Newman. He remained a popular touring performer in the U.K. His 1992 LP, His Master's Choice: The Songs of Richard Thompson, paid homage to one of Burland's favorite songwriters, while 1996's Benchmark saw a welcome return to classic traditional folk. In addition to playing with Sara Grey and Roger Wilson in the Lost Nation Band, he also hosted a BBC radio program and founded a folk festival in Leeds. Throughout the following decade Burland largely dedicated himself to his non-musical career, accepting the occasional gig here and there, including a 2010 revival of Hedgehog Pie. Finally, in 2017, Burland emerged with a new recording project. Credited to Dave Burland & the Awkward Squad, Okkard featured collaborators Dave Fisher and Bryan Ledgard. ~ Timothy Monger