Colin Ray and Kathleen Burnett engaged

We are delighted to announce the engagement of a new bluegrass power couple, Kathleen Burnett and Colin Ray.

Kathleen has performed with her family for several years as The Burnett Sisters, and Colin partners with established bluegrass entertainer Jeff Parker as Jeff Parker & Colin Ray.

The two lovebirds met in college, studying bluegrass at East Tennessee State University. “We met at school… he held the door for me when I was entering Sam Wilson Hall,” says Kathleen. “I don’t really remember it, but that was when he says we first met.”

During their years at ETSU, Colin and Kathleen had classes together, and became friends long before they were a couple. “My sisters and I had regular get togethers, and we invited Colin all the time,” Kathleen tells us. “I had been dating someone else, but I always thought a lot of Colin, and thought that any woman would love to have a man like him… extremely kind, very chivalrous.”

Colin said that since they sang together often, with him playing banjo with the Burnett Sisters many times, lots of people thought that they were already a couple. “It just sort of happened,” he said. “A lot of people thought we were together, but we really weren’t.”

But they are now. A wedding is planned for the summer of 2021, but in talking with them this morning, it quickly became clear that the details had not yet been set. Some advice for Colin… your input really doesn’t matter.

Ray and Burnett currently live in Johnson City, TN and plan to remain there after they are married. “We both just stayed there after school,” said Colin. “It’s very easy for travel, two hours to everywhere.” “We’re thinking of moving back to North Carolin at some point,” said Kathleen. “We’re both from there.”

For now they intend to continue on with their current professional music plans, but Colin suggested that they may pick up some shows as a duet.

Here’s the two of them singing the country classic, My Kind of Woman, My Kind of Man.

Congratulations to Kathleen and Colin!

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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.