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Old 04-27-2021, 09:36 PM
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Default The Amazing Jethro Burns, Mandolinist Extraordinaire

I had forgotten what an amazing mando player this guy was. I also just read an appreciation of him from the who's who of American mando players. He introduced jazz playing on the mando, in the same way Grapelli and Django did with guitar and fiddle. Just stunning.

Would love you to share your comments.

scott memmer
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Last edited by Charmed Life Picks; 04-28-2021 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:37 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is online now
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Originally Posted by Charmed Life Picks View Post
I had forgotten what an amazing mando player this guy was. I also just read an appreciation of him from the who's who of American mando players. He introduced jazz playing on the mando, in the same way Grapelli and Django did with guitar and fiddle. Just stunning.

Would love you to share your comments.

scott memmer
Saw Jethro when he was the opening for The David Grisman Quintet in a very small venue maybe late 80's?

I thought I'd simply be entertained with some funny quips, but he came out and did an extraordinary set of classical music that totally changed my opinion of what the mandolin was capable of as well as my understanding of Burns as a musician.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:50 AM
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Saw Jethro when he was the opening for The David Grisman Quintet in a very small venue maybe late 80's?

I thought I'd simply be entertained with some funny quips, but he came out and did an extraordinary set of classical music that totally changed my opinion of what the mandolin was capable of as well as my understanding of Burns as a musician.
Rudy, yes, me too. What got me back into him was this article I bumped into the other day, quite by accident, in a random Google search. It's an appreciation and celebration over at Mandolin Cafe for what would have been Jethro's 100th birthday.

https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/c...l-Star-Tribute

Not only was Jethro a brilliant mandolinist, he was also hilarious and charming, a true consummate entertainer.

For the uninitiated, here are a couple tracks. The first one is with another consummate performer, Steve Goodman, on Steve's famous tune "The City of New Orleans." The second is an instrumental version of a staple of Jethro's repetoire, the "The Lady is a Tramp." Jethro would often introduce this tune in his show by saying, "This goes out to my first wife." Enjoy!



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Last edited by Charmed Life Picks; 04-28-2021 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:54 AM
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Some of the stuff he did with Steve Goodman was just amazing. Saw them one times back a long time ago at The Earl Of Old Town in Chicago.
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Old 04-28-2021, 09:11 AM
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Some of the stuff he did with Steve Goodman was just amazing. Saw them one times back a long time ago at The Earl Of Old Town in Chicago.
Yes, Caddy, they were kindred spirits, two witty and disarming fellas who could really play. To this day Steve is the single greatest solo performer I've ever seen (and almost everyone who ever saw him play says the same thing). At Goodman's Memorial Tribute Concert, Jethro said playing with Goodman was almost better than his 35-year run with Homer.

Thanks for sharing that.

scott
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Old 04-28-2021, 11:44 AM
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Scott: Thanks for sharing these videos and enlightening me. I was unaware that Jethro Burns played other genres of music other than bluegrass. I only associated his name with bluegrass. I'll have to explore more of his recordings.
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Old 04-28-2021, 11:53 AM
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Scott: Thanks for sharing these videos and enlightening me. I was unaware that Jethro Burns played other genres of music other than bluegrass. I only associated his name with bluegrass. I'll have to explore more of his recordings.
I had completely forgotten myself. It's long, but when and if you have the time time, read that article I attached from MC. It's every single one of our current greatest mando players, and they all say the same thing -- the first time they heard Jethro's playing, he was so advanced they didn't even know what he was doing.

Also, if you don't know about these guys (I assume you probably do), the closest players you would want to listen to would be Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grappelli (sp?). They were about thirty years before Jethro, but are considered the first jazz guitar and fiddle players.

I love this stuff. Hope you do too.

sm
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Old 04-28-2021, 01:59 PM
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Jethro had published some lesson books. He also didn't fit the mold of the typical bluegrass musician. Paved the way for a lot of genre busting guys of today, Grisman, Thile, Marshall, et al. That most people remember the humor just points out how out of the box he was.
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Old 04-29-2021, 11:53 AM
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Jethro had published some lesson books. He also didn't fit the mold of the typical bluegrass musician. Paved the way for a lot of genre busting guys of today, Grisman, Thile, Marshall, et al. That most people remember the humor just points out how out of the box he was.
Brick, yes, never seen one but I hear those books are the bomb. Do you have one?

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Old 04-29-2021, 02:47 PM
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No, but I've played exercises the YouTube guy said comes from them.
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Old 05-02-2021, 06:39 PM
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I knew both Burns and Goodman slightly during the late 70’s and early 80’s; I was gigging out on the Chicago Irish and folk music scenes and those two were omnipresent. As previously mentioned, both were great guys, very friendly and approachable.

I actually knew Goodman better than Burns but would see Jethro waiting between students at the Guitar Works in Evanston. In hindsight I wish I’d thought to get lessons from Jethro myself, but mandolin was a very low priority for me at the time and so - like a knucklehead - I never even thought about it.


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Old 05-03-2021, 11:30 PM
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The great Homer and Jethro:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eYIa9ZTCLQ

Chet and Jethro:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKI6zwS1TiA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxEz5kqEZTE
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Old 05-05-2021, 02:50 PM
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Those videos with Chet are special. Chet always had the Nashville studio heavy weights as his band. Saw him play just once. After Larry Carlton was shot and had to relearn to play, Chet invited him to open the show. Carlton said he didn't have a band.Chet told him to bring his charts. I watched his rhythm section read charts the whole set. Keyboard, bass, and drums, average age maybe 70. Just a peek into how good the Nashville guys were.

And you had to see it when Chet played Yankee Doodle Dixie. Jethro could hang with those guys just fine.
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Old 05-06-2021, 03:27 PM
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Search YouTube for the 1980 Austin City Limits show. David Grisman Quintet with Mike Marshalland Mark O'connor. Remember when he was guitar flatpicking champ? Second half Johnny Gimble, Tiny Moore and Jethro Burns.
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:48 PM
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Search YouTube for the 1980 Austin City Limits show. David Grisman Quintet with Mike Marshalland Mark O'connor. Remember when he was guitar flatpicking champ? Second half Johnny Gimble, Tiny Moore and Jethro Burns.
Brick, I was able to find that show previously. Really terrific. Jethro was one in a million.

thanks,
scott
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