Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Top 10 James burton solos/riffs/tunes?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by TelZilla, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. TelZilla

    TelZilla Friend of Leo's

    Jan 21, 2007
    Cleveburg, USA
    After actually taking the time to learn the hello Mary Lou solo, I want to add a little more Burton to my arsenal. So let's see yer list.

  2. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    James Burton is one of my favorite players, and "Hello Mary Lou" is one of my all time favorite guitar solos. I NEVER thought I could learn to play it - at one time I thought it was impossible - but like you, I actually have learnt to play it after almost 45 years, and after seeing the James Burton instructional DVD I may add :oops: . (I use flatpicking though, not fingerpicking).

    I can't give a Top 10 list, but a couple of my personal favorites are "Oh, Las Vegas" (Emmylou Harris) and "Promised Land" (Elvis Presley).

  3. Telecicle

    Telecicle Tele-Meister

    Dec 5, 2005
    New Orleans, LA
    10 isn't enough

    I think his solo on Ricky Nelson's "It's Up to You" is sublime. The little faux piano lick at the end of the "Fools Rush In" solo is pretty bad. The solo on "I'm Walkin" is smokin, too. I have heard some stuff he did with Merle Haggard, and some early Waylon Jennings that was really killer, but I don't know any specific song names.

  4. WickedGTR

    WickedGTR Friend of Leo's

    Jul 12, 2005
    Hillbilly Hollywood
    Corn Pickin' and Lonesome Fugitive, for starters.

  5. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

    Nov 13, 2006
    The hottest James Burton solo ever (in my opinion) is on Ricky Nelson's Milk Cow Blues. He used the same licks on Merle Haggard's Working Man Blues, but Milk Cow Blues is the best. He's doing his trademark muted drone while picking higher notes with his fingers.

  6. momotrucker

    momotrucker Tele-Meister

    Aug 11, 2006
    'Fools Rush In'...every time i stumble on this one i play it over and over.

  7. uncletele

    uncletele Tele-Meister

    Feb 2, 2007
    enola, pa
    If you can get a hold of the "Grevious Angel" CD by Graham Parsons, James does a ton of tasty work with Elvis' back-up band on this landmark country-rock album. This is the work that featured a then unkown singer named Emmylou Harris. She dosen't sound too shabby on harmony vocals either!

  8. Buck@r00

    Buck@r00 Tele-Meister

    Feb 23, 2006
    Kathleen GA
    For Ultimate Chickin' Pickin'

    James Burton did the lead guitar intro for the Buck Owens hit "Open Up Your Heart"

  9. igorBG

    igorBG Tele-Holic

    Dec 27, 2003
    Belgrade, Serbia
    My choice: "Working man blues", but here in Serbia, you cannot hear much of his music, and countru music at all. OK, I have Rickie Nelson, The Best Of collection, and every Elvis song I could find.
    Someone here has recomended me Working Man Blues riff, and it is great? If someone has detailed tab of that song, please send me on

  10. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 6, 2005
    i really dug his sole on am old lp of rodney crowell. the tune was leaving louisiana in the brought daylight. i thought: what the hell is this! crazy and brilliant playing.

  11. zooropamofo

    zooropamofo Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2006
    Long Valley-Birches
    I love his work on Promised Land by Elvis.

    Also, any live version of Steamroller Blues, again with Elvis.

  12. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 13, 2004
    NW Atlanta
    How about his chicken pickin' on "Papa Gene's Blues" by the Monkees, of all groups.

  13. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

    Nobody's mentioned Susie Q yet? 15 years old and he pulls off one of the hot riffs of all time. Huge guitar sound for the time, too.

    Travelling Man (with Ricky Nelson) is a good'un too. His tele had the pickups out of phase in the middle position (early Teles weren't meant to have both pickups on so I guess they didn't concern themselves with that when they wound them) and the solo has an almost stratty quality.

  14. Guido

    Guido TDPRI Member

    Nov 30, 2005
    Eugene Or
    My Favorites Are

    #1 Love Lost (James Burton Solo 45 from 1965) RARE is what I was told
    #2 Summertime
    #3 Everlovin
    #4 Fools Rush In
    #5 It's Late
    #6 Travelin Man
    #7 Hello Mary Lou

    Too many to choose from

  15. MandyMarie

    MandyMarie Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Austin, TX
    I can't stop with TEN!

    1. "Mystery Train/Tiger Man" - live at the International Hotel w/ Elvis. He absolutely KILLS the second's chickin' pickin' to the tenth degree. THAT solo, IMO, should be the definition of the words "chickin'...pickin'..." :D

    2. "C.C. Ryder" - live at Hampton Roads w/ Elvis...holy guacamole, I was listening to this last night and I about crashed my car I was so caught up in his guitarin'! I love when he's a total mad man and just goes crazy!!!...*blush*

    ...somebody stop me! :oops:

  16. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    One of my favorites is on Judy Collins' "Someday Soon"

    It is so economical...

    To put in in Sgt Joe Friday's words, "Just the notes James, just the notes."

    Or something like that.

  17. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 29, 2005

    Never knew that, but it makes sense thinking of how it sounds.

    JB did so much great work with Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Haggard early days, its so hard to pick just a few, and it probably would change on a different day.

    Two that really caught my ear on first hearing were Promised Land, and Hello Mary Lou.

  18. FredDairy

    FredDairy Friend of Leo's

    Mar 25, 2007
    Here's all my favorites in no particular order.

    1. Hello Mary Lou - Nelson
    2. Travelin' Man - Nelson
    3. Fools Rush In - Nelson
    4. Young World - Nelson
    5. Blood From a Stone - Nelson
    6. I Got a Woman
    7. Hey There Little Miss Tease - Nelson
    8. Today's Tear Drop's - Nelson
    9. Everytime I See You're Smiling - Nelson
    10. String Along - Nelson
    11. Hello Mr. Happiness - Nelson
    12. Milk Cow Blues - Nelson
    13. History of Love - Nelson
    14. Belive What You Say - Nelson
    15. It's Late - Nelson
    16. Just a Little Too Much - Nelson
    17. Mighty Good - Nelson
    18. Open Up Your Heart - Buck Owens
    19. Lonesome Fugitive - Haggard
    20. Papa Gene's Blues - Monkees
    21. Corn Pickin' James Burton & Ralph Mooney
    22. Moonshine - James Burton & Ralph Mooney

    I could Probably come up with another 20.... I will when you learn all these ;)

  19. olewichita

    olewichita Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    austin, tx
    worried about you baby - maylon humphries


  20. FredDairy

    FredDairy Friend of Leo's

    Mar 25, 2007
    This thread made me pull out these two cds. James usually gets all his Rick Ne lsoncredit for his good playing on the earlier rockabilly Nelson stuff. But I have to say his playing on this poppy stuff is much better. The leads go beyond just playing over blues chords. Just playing along with these albums are like a lesson in what true "lead guitar" is.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.