Posts Tagged ‘The Burritos’

CD Review: The Burritos’ “Sound as Ever”

September 20, 2011

By Dave Carew

Sound as ever” was a valediction Gram Parsons used when closing letters to family and friends. It’s an obscure reference—you basically have to be a Gram freak (like me) to get it, and to, hence, get the connection between Gram Parsons, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and this outstanding debut album by the Nashville-based band The Burritos.

Twenty years from now, when music historians pose the question: “Who, in Nashville during the early 21st century, most kept the musical legacy of Gram Parsons alive?” I will—if still kicking around—answer unequivocally: Chris James and Walter Egan, both of whom now are members of The Burritos. Among the many things each man has done to keep GP’s flame burning has been to play and/or host numerous Gram Parsons Tribute shows. Chris also has written at length about GP in his much-loved music magazine Shake! And Walter frequently has graced his recent shows with the song “Hearts on Fire”—which also appears on this record—which Walter gave to Gram in the early 1970s and which later appeared on Gram’s second solo album, Grievous Angel.

What really counts, though, is how much The Burritos, on this record, delve into the mystic richness of the legacy and use it to create new musical gold. Song after song on Sound as Ever is an absolute gem of the “Cosmic American Music” genre. The unforgettable songs just keep on coming—with “Beggar’s Banquet,” “Angeline,” “The Hundred Year Flood,” and “Song and Dance Man” being particular examples of writing that is—by turns—emotive, country-soulful, and just damn way-cool.

I can offer no higher compliment than this: If Gram Parsons and the original Flying Burrito Brothers could have warded off the demons and produced a great follow-up to their classic The Gilded Palace of Sin, it may very well have sounded like this fantastic new album.

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

Newly launched band “The Burritos” to carry on the musical tradition of Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers

June 3, 2011

By Dave Carew

A new Nashville-based band including local musician Chris James and Walter “Magnet and Steel” Egan, calling itself The Burritos, has been signed by SPV Records in England, and will release its first album in July.  The new record will feature all original songs, written in the musical tradition of the legendary Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers.

The Burritos played a set at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville last week, and will be a featured act on Monday (June 6) at the RiverFest in Wichita, Kansas.

Chris James was kind enough to share some of the band’s back story with Underground Nashville:

“I was contacted by SPV Records in England about a year ago and asked if I might be able to put together a new version of The Flying Burrito Brothers for their label,” James says. “Their requirements were that we cleared each proposed member’s resume with them . . . .  The other determining factor with the record label was that we had to make a real strong album. I agreed that our best defense against those who might claim we have no business calling ourselves The Burritos is to be so darn good at it that it’s hard to knock. If the record wasn’t great, SPV wasn’t going to put it out.

“Fortunately they (and certainly we) feel that we delivered an excellent album.”

The band’s line-up is Chris James (keys & vocals), Walter Egan (guitars & vocals), Rick Lonow (drums & vocals) and Fred James (Chris James’ brother, pedal steel guitar, guitars & vocals).  It is the first time that a band in lineage with The Flying Burrito Brothers actually has real brothers playing in it.

The band is so new its web site is still under construction.

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and copywriter.



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