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Jethro Burns

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Album Review

Jethro Burns' career hardly came to a stop following the death of his longtime musical partner, Homer Haynes. Burns embarked on a number of different projects, including this self-titled LP for Flying Fish, released in 1977. Although the musicians joining him are also associated with country, half of the songs come from the world of jazz, including Zez Confrey's novelty piano piece "Stumbling," Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz," Duke Ellington's "C Jam Blues" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," and the Django Reinhardt/Stéphane Grappelli composition "Sweet Chorus." Unfortunately, Burns mandolin is all too often buried in the overly produced and occasionally rock-flavored arrangements, especially due to the loud, piercing electric guitar of Johnny Burns. The country selections, including traditional favorites like "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down" and "Back It Up and Push" fare somewhat better. Although Flying Fish usually achieved great results from combining musicians from the world of jazz with those from bluegrass and country, the lack of jazz players on this session proves to be the major shortcoming on what should have been an outstanding album.


Born: 10 March 1920 in Conasauga, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

As the mandolinist in the classic country comedy duo Homer & Jethro, Kenneth Burns was one of the finest instrumentalists of his generation, yet many people never realized that fact. Behind the country hayseed garb, the hick patter, and the outrageous parodies of popular songs, "Jethro" Burns and guitarist Henry "Homer" Haynes were expert jazz musicians whose exaggerated hillbilly appearance and zany sendups of songs belied the cleverness of their comedy and the extraordinarily high quality of their...
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Jethro Burns, Jethro Burns
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