“Winners of the 2004 Telluride bluegrass band championship, the Burnett Family Bluegrass band has released an exceptional album of high-energy bluegrass that sounds fresh and exciting without coming across as forced or immature as many family band projects can. Two elements contribute to this. First is that the band waited until the three children reached their mid- to late teens before recording. Second, they wisely brought in bluegrass veteran Dennis Caplinger to produce the record and add a couple of finishing touches to their distinct sound.
Collectively, the Burnett girls have a noticeable Dixie Chicks vocal style, very reminiscent of Natalie Maines. Whichever one sings lead (there’s no indication on the CD jacket) does take that singing style (with its frequent swoops from lower to higher notes) too far, but there’s no question she’s got a great bluegrass voice that will only improve with maturity.
Young Ryan Burnett shows off his considerable banjo chops on Béla Fleck’s classic “Slipstream,” where his siblings manage to keep pace on fiddle, guitar, and mandolin on the very demanding tune. Two other instrumentals by mandolin maestro Chris Thile (“Clear The Tracks” and “Shadow Ridge”) also show that the Burnett kids are well apace the tidal wave of instrumental talent sweeping through the ranks of young bluegrassers today.
While possibly not a masterpiece, “Bend The Wind” showcases the band’s many talents very well. Keep an eye out for this hot young band, from the high desert of northern Arizona, as they mature.”
Bluegrass Unlimited – January 2006