Colin Ray joins up with The Burnett Sisters

We reported earlier this week about Colin Ray and Jeff Parker dissolving their newly-established partnership as a result of the lack of work this year during the state and municipal shutdowns. If you doubt the impact of COVID on our industry, know that one of the greatest talents in our industry, Jeff Parker, is now painting houses to get by.

But Colin has good news for his future, joining up with his fiancé and her siblings as The Burnett Sisters Band and Colin Ray. The sisters and Ray have formed a new partnership for their professional undertaking, and Colin will assume responsibility for their representation.

The Burnett Sisters have been performing together for only a few years, but grew up surrounded by old time, bluegrass, and Gospel music near Boone, NC. Their dad instilled an appreciation for traditional music into them as children, and then each of them learned to play through participation in the Junior Appalachian Musicians program around home.

Two of the sisters, Kathleen (23) and Anissa (21), have graduated from the bluegrass program at ETSU, where the others, Anneli (14) and Sophia (16), seem destined to attend as well.

As a stage act, the four sisters combine their love for the bluegrass and old time sound with some blues and swing.

Colin is likewise an ETSU grad – he and Kathleen met during college – and was a part of the select ETSU Pride Band while in school, noted for his clear tenor voice. Before joining up with Jeff Parker & Co in early 2019, he worked with the Burnett Sisters on banjo.

He told us this afternoon that he will serve as a utility player with the band. “I’ll play some banjo, guitar, and mandolin. We’ll be doing a lot of swapping around, for some really cool sounds.”

Kathleen told us how fortunate she feels to be professionally aligned with her fiancé, and ultimately, husband. “We are uniquely blessed to get to play together, and travel the road together. We’re looking forward to 2021 and beyond!”

The new outfit is preparing to get started on an album project as well. Kathleen says that they plan to get into the studio in November. “We are looking towards a 2021 release on Bee Hive Records. All the material has been chosen; a few originals from friends, some old school stuff, and some new swing and blues. It will give a fresh picture of what we want to present to everybody in 2021.”

The Burnett Sisters Band and Colin Ray have a first date booked for later this year, November 6 at the Lincoln Cultural Center in Lincolnton, NC. It will be a half-capacity show owing to COVID restrictions in North Carolina, and tickets are available online.

For information on bringing them to perform for you, contact Colin Ray by phone (980-320-3849) or email.

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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.