Burnett Sisters with Colin Ray closing up shop in 2023

Growing up in Boone, NC, the four Burnett Sisters developed both a love and a feel for singing bluegrass, old time, and gospel music together. Now after more than a decade performing and touring together, diverging young adult responsibilities have led them to announce that they will close down the act at the end of next year.

All four girls, Kathleen, Anissa, Anneli, and Sophia, started out learning to play old time fiddle, but soon began harmonizing together with that beautiful blend that only family members can achieve, and siblings in particular.

The proximate reason for them breaking up the act is that Kathleen, and her husband, Colin Ray, who has been touring with the Burnett Sisters as a featured vocalist this past two years, have committed themselves to a career teaching at the Lincoln Charter school in Lincolnton, NC, Colin’s hometown. The two met while attending the bluegrass program at ETSU, and were married last year.

When we caught up with Colin yesterday, he explained a bit more.

“Kathleen and I have become real involved with the school where we teach. Plus I want to devote more attention to my private music students as well. I’m teaching Spanish at the high school, and Kathleen is a long term substitute recently teaching high school math.

The other girls want to remain involved in music, and they are going to finish up the album we have been working on this past few years.

It was a very hard decision, because we all love what we were doing. Things were going well, and we were getting a lot of great opportunities, but Kathleen and I can’t commit long term.”

The Burnett Sisters will happily perform all of their 2022 dates, of which there are many, and are sill accepting more for this year. They will also fulfill their currently booked 2023 commitments.

“We have a busy fall, and are really looking forward to doing those shows.

Next year Kathleen and I are taking my Spanish students to Costa Rica during the summer, so we won’t be free to tour like we have been.”

You can see all their remaining show dates online, and makes plans to see this talented young group while you still can.

We’ll let everyone know when the final Burnett Sisters album is released, and what Anissa, Anneli, and Sophia may be up to next year.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.