All in the Family

Bend The Wind (Independent)

The Burnett Family

By Bob Mitchell

I had the pleasure of hearing the Burnetts during the 2005 IBMA showcase in Nashville. "Pleasure" is the key word in that sentence, because they are a first-rate bluegrass family band that fills its programs with musical precision and enthusiasm. In fact, the Burnetts have the distinction of being the only family band to ever win the Telluride Band Competition in its 32-year history.

Brian (father) provides a steady guitar and a high lonesome tenor; Ryan (son, 16) contributes banjo, fiddle and mandolin; Connie (mother) supplies a rock solid bass; Rachel (daughter, 20) plays fiddle, mandolin and guitar and sings most of the lead vocals; and Jessie (daughter, 17) rounds out the band with her exciting mandolin, fiddle, guitar, banjo and harmony vocals. The press kit describes Jessie as the "shy one." That may be true when she doesn't have an instrument in her hand but her drive and technique leave no doubt that she has a bright future in Bluegrass. Rachel is also going to be a force to be reckoned with. Not only is she a talented multi instrumentalist but also an extraordinary vocalist who puts honest emotion into each song.

The recording is truly a family project with each member making a substantial offering to the band's sound and soul. My favorite tracks include a spirited cover of Bela Fleck's "Slipstream," a soulful cover of Bill Monroe's "Walk Softly On This Heart Of Mine," and a captivating cover of Hank William's "My Sweet Love Ain't Around." Other highlights are rousing versions of "Lady Muleskinner Blues," "Train Train" and "He Taught Me How To Yodel."

Connie was so excited about being part of the prestigious IBMA showcase, she took photographs of the audience to share with friends and relatives who were unable to attend the concert. If you were unable to attend the show, the Burnetts would like to share their music with you. A copy of this CD will allow you to experience the sounds of an exciting new band.

For more information, check out www.burnettfamilybluegrass.com.