Kenneth "Jethro" Burns
Kenneth Burns got his start in the popular Grand Old Opry Country Humor duo Homer & Jethro. Burns' phenomenal work on mandolin often took an uncomfortable back seat to the duo's hayseed humor, but even on humdingers "Throw Mama from the Train" and "She Was Bitten on the Udder by and Adder" evidence of Burns's artisan skill is writ large. After Homer Haynes's death in 1971 and at the prompting of folk artist Steve Goodman, Burns continued recording instrumental (in every sense of the word) works. These later releases highlight Burns' own approach to mandolin, an approach which blends country swing, jazz, and bluegrass. The instrument may never find a finer practitioner.