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The Zen Road Pilots are a three-piece band in the classic tradition. They combine the psychedelic blues of the sixties with gorgeous melodies, and great songs with high-flying jams that inspire the mind and motivate the feet. Add two world-class singers, and you have yourself a huge sound in a very small package. The driving force behind this band is the rock-solid rhythm section, comprised of the intricate bass playing of Ira Walker and the relentless attack of drummer Tom “Fee” Falletti, who have a lock on the pocket. Soaring over this sturdy foundation are the high-flying guitars of Monty Byrom, who deftly combines ripping psychedelic guitar riffs with sweet, soulful melodies.
The members of the Pilots are three-quarters of the popular eighties rock band, Billy Satellite, which had a couple of hits on Capitol records with their songs, “Satisfy Me” and “I Wanna Go Back”, for which they made videos that showed on MTV in its infancy. They did very well but got caught in a shake-up at the record company that prevented their follow-up effort from ever reaching the street. Flash forward twenty-five years to a benefit reunion concert that found the boys basking in the glory of days gone by and left them inspired to create new music together born out of brotherhood and bonded by time.
In the years between, Monty Byrom was the front man for two successful bands over the next ten years. New Frontiers, & lead singer for MCA Records’ phenomenon, Big House. The sultry country rock and blues band dazzled the industry with gold sales of their self-titled debut album in 1997, capping their successes with an Academy of Country Music nomination for “Top New Vocal Group of the Year” in 1998. Later, Byrom joined forces with Eddie Money, playing and producing on five records with the “Money Man,” and has had the good fortune to write with and produce several top artists, including David Lee Roth (Van Halen), Brent Mydland of the Grateful Dead, Rita Coolidge, and Barbra Streisand. Monty has also recorded with Beth Hart (Jeff Beck), Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmidt (The Eagles), and Motown’s Waylon, and many others.
Ira Walker’s journey led him through stints with Bay Area bluesman Sy Klopps, and The Trichromes, featuring Neal Schon (Journey), Bill Kruetzman (Grateful Dead), and legendary lyricist Robert Hunter, but it was his crafty independent release, “Yahoo Bar-B-Q”, that won him universal acclaim among his peers. He has also written and performed with a star-studded list of music icons, including Steve Miller, Eddie Money, Carlos Santana, Brian May, and Joe Satriani, among others. Most recently, Walker was nominated for a Grammy as a producer, and he has been honing his singer/songwriter chops with impressive solo performances of his unique style of blues, soul, and rock.
Fee Falletti immediately found a home with longtime musical partners, Danny Chauncey (38 Special) and Brad Gillis (Night Ranger, Ozzy Ozbourne) in the world-famous Alameda All Stars, and became one of the friends in Gregg Allman and Friends. After a year in Tom Johnston’s Doobies offshoot, Border Patrol, Barking At Flies with Montrose lead singer, Paul Holgate. Fee has also played with Bay Area stalwarts, Michel Bastian (Big Brother) and David Kaffenetti (Spinal Tap), and guitarists, Marke “Jelly Roll” Burgstahler and Nicky Del Drago (Hearsay). When Fee isn’t on the road you can find his band, Fee Falletti and Friends rocking Bay Area nightclubs.
The Zen Road Pilots combine a relentless rocking attack with heartfelt, honest performances. Whether up-tempo or down-in-the-pocket, this band rocks hard. Their songs are uplifting and moving and will invite you to become Pilots of the Zen Road.