My city where I love to be,
My town so filled with spirit...
With these opening lines to his copyrighted song "Menifee Alma Mater," singer and songwriter Paul Burleson will pay tribute to his hometown to kick off the festivities at the Arts Council Menifee Showcase this Saturday, May 19, at Countryside Marketplace.
Burleson, a Menifee resident since 2005, will serve as master of ceremonies for the performances by local artists at the north stage of the food court, one of two stages to be used during the event. In addition to performing his Menifee "theme song" and presiding over the entertainment from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Burleson will take the stage himself at 12:30 p.m. to perform portions of his "Gold of Old Show."
A musical performer since the 1980s, Burleson has long been performing his tribute to the Old West in Southland venues. His Gold of Old show, featuring such Western classics as "Cool, Clear Water" and "Ghost Riders", illustrates Burleson's talent and dedication to the preservation of the American West.
"Menifee Alma Mater" is simply the latest addition to his repertoire.
It all came about a year ago, when Burleson was driving to Chino every day to pick up supplies for his strawberry stand in Menifee.
"During that drive, given the time I had alone in the car and knowing I would soon be performing at the (Marketplace), this song came to me... with great feeling ... I might add," he said.
"I really wanted to give our community something from inside of me that would let all of us know what a great town we live in and how lucky we are to be here."
Burleson's passion for his music and his hometown is evident in the lyrics of his newest song. Accompanying himself on the guitar, "Pauley Burley" sings of Menifee's green parks, "homes supreme" and thriving business.
"It's hard to say exactly what happens to me when I start writing a song, poem or story," Burleson said. "Almost always there's something emotional inside. Some feeling related to some experience that starts me writing it down, and usually the tune just comes with it. It is deinitely a 'feel' thing."
That song, and his Gold of Old Western tribute, is a peaceful commentary on what Burleson considers to be the good things in life.
"When I began performing (Western songs), I saw the values once established in the 1880s -- home and family," he said. "The lifestyle of today is anywhere and everywhere. Families often don't stay together. I think this show helps revive old values of home and family."
Arts Council Menifee Showcase
Saturday, May 19
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.