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The Burrito Brothers / Blog

The Burrito Brothers® Bios

Trace the winding paths of Country music and Rock & Roll back a few decades, and you'll likely find that some of your favorite music happened at the intersections. Those crossroads are home turf for The Burrito Brothers, a band that celebrates the legacy while serving up its own fresh contributions. Their current CD, Sound As Ever, is a back-to-the-future visit to where those two musical roads connect today. Country Rock's big bang came in the late '60s, when a few brave young souls bucked the psychedelic trend with steel guitars, story songs and hippie-themed outfits styled after those of Country's flashiest stars. Among the movement's leading lights was a fresh-faced, somewhat troubled visionary named Gram Parsons. He called his band The Flying Burrito Brothers, and while Parsons only lived long enough to see the beginnings of the style's development as a full-fledged genre, the band soldiered on in various incarnations through the wild ride that was American music in the ensuing years. Today's Burrito Brothers are veterans who all rode that roller coaster; sometimes in the front car, often closer to the rear - but always gravitating toward the genuine article regardless of style. Three members - Chris, Walter and Rick, toured and/or recorded with earlier incarnations of the band, going back to the mid '80s. Chris James (vocals, keyboards) is a longtime Nashville resident and perennial sideman for artists like Bobby Bare, Carlene Carter, The Rascals, The International Submarine Band (recording) and Blues/R&B legend Johnny Jones (among many others). A dedicated (addicted might be a better word) student of every-and-anything related to pop music since early childhood, Chris is nearly un-stump-able on the minute details of American and British pop history. Note to would-be trivia rivals: you'll lose! Walter Egan (vocals, guitar) cracked the combination to the big-time in 1978 with his smash hit, "Magnet And Steel" and his collaboration with Stevie Nicks on their album Fundamental Roll. His Burrito bona-fides came much earlier, though; a friend of Parsons, Egan co-wrote "Hearts On Fire," which Gram covered on the iconic Grievous Angel, and shares a "posthumous" co-write with him,"Carolina Calypso" (featured on Sound As Ever). Egan was also a member of The Brooklyn Cowboys and a later version of the band Spirit. Drummer/vocalist Rick Lonow, another Nashville journeyman, has been a session drummer for elite producers and artists ("Cowboy" Jack Clement, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, John Prine) for many years. He toured the world with The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Crystal Gayle, The Bellamy Brothers, among others. Rick also co-wrote "Call It Love," a major hit for Poco in 1989. Fred James (guitar, steel guitar, vocals) is a five-time Grammy-nominated songwriter who arrived in Nashville in the early 1970s and fell in with the new wave of songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and Billy Joe Shaver. He�s played with Dr. Hook, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, The Memphis Horns and many other touring and recording groups. James (yes, he's Chris' brother) has produced dozens of Blues, Soul and R&B recordings, and played on and produced The International Submarine Band's Back At Home. Rusty Russell (bass, emergency vocals) has been a Nashville-based musician & music journalist since 1984. He's toured widely in the US, Canada and Europe, sharing the stage with Little Anthony & The Imperials, Mike Farris, The Wiggins, Clinton Gregory and many other regional and national country acts and blues artists. Russell's songs have been recorded by Johnny Rodriguez, Sherman Robertson, Charles "Wigg" Walker and Michael Burks. The Burrito Brothers are currently touring in the US and playing occasional shows in Nashville. So you don't have to travel far to reach the intersection of two great American musical forms; The Burrito Brothers deliver!