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The Burnett Sisters Band

Burnett Sisters Band

Bluegrass and old-time band Boone, NC (Watauga County)

The Burnett Sisters Band includes four sisters who grew up in Boone, North Carolina, learning old-time, bluegrass, and gospel musical traditions and perform together as a family band with strong instrumental prowess and tight harmony singing.

The Burnett Sisters Band sound is focused around the type of close vocal harmonies that can only come from the unique bond shared by siblings, complemented by tight instrumental arrangements and love of traditional songs. Blending styles including bluegrass, old-time, and American roots music, the Burnett Sisters Band perform old-time fiddle tunes, country songs, driving bluegrass standards, and a capella gospel numbers. The Burnett Sisters Band navigate this diverse source material, diving into the songs with an attention to detail and an appreciation for nuance that lends an authenticity and a feeling of genuine expression.

The Burnett Sisters draw inspiration from each other and the musical heroes they grew up hearing, including Doc Watson, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and June Carter, and John Prine. They are also influenced by Surry County fiddler Tommy Jarrell and folk singer Frank Proffitt. The four sisters received a foundational education in traditional music from their father and then through the Junior Appalachian Musicians program in Boone and other local teachers, such as Cecil Gurganus and John Cockman. They went on to teach other young musicians in the JAM program as they moved through the program. The sisters made a name for themselves on the competition circuit, netting first place awards for folk singing, fiddling, and dancing in competitions at Union Grove, Galax, and many other festivals and conventions in between.

With the release of their debut recording, Long Way From Home, The Burnett Sisters Band captured a snapshot of their eclectic live sound in the studio, with tracks spanning from Townes Van Zandt’s “Colorado Girl,” to Doc Watson’s classic rendition of “Walk on Boy.” The recording captures the polished, professional feel of their live shows, and the album landed at number one spot on the Airplay Direct charts in February 2020 and hit number five on the Billboard Bluegrass Album charts.

Anissa Burnett is a multi-instrumentalist who started playing fiddle at a young age. She has won numerous awards for her playing, including blue ribbons at the Appalachian Fiddlers Convention, Yadkin Valley Fiddlers Convention, and the ETSU Bluegrass Competition and second runner up at festivals including Surry County, Fiddlers Grove, and the Old Galax Fiddlers Convention. Anissa is a graduate of the Eastern Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music program, where she was the Faculty Nominated Outstanding Student Award winner for the 2019-2020 year, as well as performing in the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band and the ETSU Oldtime Ramblers.

Kathleen is also a graduate of the ETSU program, where she performed with the ETSU Oldtime Ramblers. She began playing fiddle at age four, and gained a lot of skill through the Junior Appalachian Musicians program in Boone, NC. She continued with the program through advanced fiddle classes and enjoyed learning the guitar as well, teaching in the program by the time she graduated high school. As the lead singer in the band, Kathleen also plays guitar and occasionally fiddle.

Being the youngest member of the band, Anneli has been sharing her musical talent since she began recognizing and singing the high harmony at just four years old. She is a multi-instrumentalist, focusing on mandolin with the band, in addition to regular features with her playing old-time fiddle. Anneli is an award winging flatfoot dancer, fiddler, and vocalist.

Attracted by its massive size and deep tone, Sophia began playing the big bass fiddle at the age of ten. Like the rest of her sisters, her first instrument was the fiddle, but she has broadened her musicianship to focus on the bass, as well as the piano and rhythm guitar.


The Burnett Sisters Band performing photo by Larry Neuzel
The Burnett Sisters Band performing
The Burnett Sisters Band
The Burnett Sisters Band
The Burnett Sisters Band
The Burnett Sisters Band