He’s insprired guitarists as diverse as Hank Marvin and Albert Lee. He’s played with musicians from Rick Nelson to Emmylou Harris and from Elvis Presley to Elvis Costello. He is JAMES BURTON, surely the original guitar heroes’ guitar hero.
– Guitarist Magazine, England January, 1992
Rick Nelson did a few things exactly right in his lifetime one of them was teaming up with James Burton early in his career.
– Joel Selvin – author of Rick Nelson, Idol For a Genenration.
James Burton was and is guitar. He is still the hottest cat on the scene.
– Guitar World Magazine, 1984
In the ’60’s, Jimmy Page and I used to get together at my place or his and just roll on the floor listening to records. He was a Burton fan too, and carried a picture of James in his wallet.
– Albert Lee, GP Magazine, 1984
James Burton is a poet. He plays things on that guitar that are so simple… and there is nobody comparable to him.
– Emmylou Harris, GP Magazine, 1978
Those early sounds that we did, I just hated them. They sounded so puny. I mean, listening to James Burton playing on the Rick Nelson records… and we would come up with our stuff that was so feeble.
(reflecting on The Beatles’ early career) – George Harrison, GP Magazine, 1985
James Burton’s contributions to Rockabilly and the guitar in general have established him as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
– Mark Michaels, Rockabilly Riffs for Guitar, 1989
James Burton was one of my earliest guitar influences. The Rick Nelson stuff… things like ‘Believe What You Say’… is just mind boggling.
– John Fogerty, GP Magazine, 1986
James Burton is my number one guitar hero. I admit that my admiration bordered on the obsessive, trying to figure out that Burton sound.
– Jeff Cook, GP Magazine, 1985
Jim Sullivan (Tom Jones’ guitarist) thought he had affected a fair imitation of the Burton style and actually gave guitar lessons on how to play like James Burton. Some of his paying pupils were Jeff beck, Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore.
– BBC Radio, November 16, 1975 The James Burton Special Show
James Burton is always displaying an endless innovation, reaching for something he hasn’t done before… Never content to repeat himself, always pushing to the limits. That, Friend, is what is called music and it’s what has made him the towering guitar hero he is.
– Guitar World Magazine, 1987
The first year I played with James Burton, I was so much in awe, that a lot of the times I looked on the Hot Band as a vehicle to put the spotlight on James to say,hey everybody, I hope you realize who you are getting to hear
– Emmylou Harris, 1978
…James Burton, the greatest!
– Chet Atkins, 1990
You will never meet a finer gentleman, nor a better guitar player than James Burton.
– Carl Perkins, 1990
He’s the best guitar player there is.
– John Denver, 1990
I recently was playing it [GE Smith signature Fender Telecaster] with James Burton. That’s amazing. It’s like talking to Jesus. It’s insane.
– GE Smith, 2009