Music » Livewire

The Burns Sisters

Saturday, January 12, at the Beachland Ballroom.

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The title of the Burns Sisters' debut disc, Endangered Species, has proven to be prophetic. Seldom do folk/country/pop artists make much of a dent in America's mainstream music scene, and this long-embattled trio is no exception. These gals have imparted their signature brand of deep-fried, country-tinged rock and roll to the music industry with little fanfare since 1986. At that time, five sisters made up the group, and their rancorous rock failed to sway the record-buying public. The Burnses' label, Columbia, then lowered the boom on the group a week prior to the release of its sophomore album. Battered but not beaten, the Burns Sisters countered with a self-released disc, Songs of the Heart. But shortly thereafter, two of the sisters went their separate ways, leaving Marie, Jeannie, and Annie to carry the family's vocal torch.

And they have carried it well. The trio signed with Rounder -- where it remains today -- and released the acclaimed Close to Home on the Rounder-distributed Philo label in 1995. But it's the sisters' latest musical compilation, Out of the Blue, that has really captured the attention of contemporary music enthusiasts. From the sassy "God Made Woman" to the aching "Never Be Mine" and the spiritual journey of "Prayer of St. Francis," they've spun a musical tale of glorious harmony and lyrical fantasy. In concert, the women blend, separate, and illuminate their vocals, while their acoustic guitar and mandolin playing offers up a collection of sounds like you've never heard before. It's all proof positive that honest, heartfelt music hasn't yet gone the way of the buffalo.

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