Spencer Burton appears in "Here in a Small Town." SUPPLIED

Spencer Burton finds balance in the country, takes cares of his chickens

A fixture on the Niagara music scene for almost two decades, Ridgeville’s Spencer Burton is now the subject of a short video. Burton is an interesting subject, for he has managed a delicate balance between his music career, his life raising his own food on his Pelham farm, and his family life. This balancing act was chronicled by reporter Sam Piccolo in a Voice feature article in 2017, in which Burton is as excited about a new chicken coop for his prize layers as he is about a new album of his music. This balance of life and career is now the subject the video, produced by a former Pelham resident.

Benjamin Burns, on set. SUPPLIED

Benjamin Burns, a commercial video producer raised in Pelham and now based in Grimsby, has taken up the theme of Spencer Burton as a man who combines a successful music career with small town living and raising a family. In the film, Burton reveals that while success for many of the musicians he has worked with in the past meant life in big cities and a crowded touring schedule, for him, success is enjoying a quieter life in Ridgeville, while continuing his musical expression on a smaller stage.

In a series of slow motion montages, Burton is seen walking his land and doing farms chores, while interview segments portray a thoughtful, genuine appreciation for the lifestyle that he has created, “Here in a Small Town,” the film’s title, taken from one of his songs.

A musician outstanding in his field, the musician is out standing in his field. SUPPLIED

Burns grew up with Burton’s music and followed him for 15 or 20 years before deciding to create the video. He operated as an independent videographer in Grimsby for a dozen years, starting with wedding videos “to pay the bills until I could get some good equipment and move on.” He produces commercial videos for corporate clients from Canadian Tire to Hellman’s mayonnaise, and decided to produce his video about Burton as a creative outlet, far removed from the constraints of commercial production.

He admires Burton’s ability to balance the many facets of his life while finding success on his own terms.

“Spencer,” Burns says, “proves that you don’t have to move to the city to be successful in a music career, and by staying in Pelham he shows that you can be successful in music and in life.”

Producer Chris Paco. SUPPLIED

Asked what he hopes the video will accomplish, Burns says that he’d like people to realize that success can mean different things to different people, and that the music scene in Niagara is still going strong.

Burns says that “Here in a Small Town” will go live on YouTube sometime this week.


UPDATE: Here in a Small Town” on YouTube