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Burns Sisters Band

Wild Bouquet – 2006 (Ithaca)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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If the label name wasn't a giveaway, the Burns Sisters (Annie, Jeannie and Marie) do indeed hail from the Finger Lakes region of New York and over the last decade have become mainstays of the folk festival circuit with a sound that highlights their natural sibling harmonies with arrangements that manage to be tastefully eclectic, electric and acoustic - sometimes all at the same time. "Wild Bouquet" is perhaps their most ambitious and accomplished effort to date, and at 15 tracks spread out over 62 minutes, there's plenty of it.

They have been unabashedly political throughout their career, and for those who need music to reaffirm their own worldview, well, let's just say the Burns Sisters are only marginally more likely than the Dixie Chicks to be invited over to Toby Keith's for a barbecue, and leave it at that.

There's plenty here to savor, though, thanks mainly to the sisters' exquisite vocal and writing talents. Annie's "Nowhere To Fall" stands out as a catchy tune that will swirl through your consciousness. And, there's enough fiddle, mandolin and Dobro (from Kevin Maul, longtime stalwart in Robin and Linda Williams' band) to keep the interest of hard-core country fans. Folk, country, Americana, call it what you will, but it's all very tasty.