An Introduction to a Country Rock Blue Plate Special
by Brad Fischer
From out of the past comes a fresh but familiar form of music from the exciting new group Burrito Deluxe. Created from the signature sound of the late "Sneaky" pete Kleinow, pedal steel guitar legend and co-founder of the Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman and Chris Ethridge whose California-style country rock influenced such later bands as the Eagles, Pure Prairie League, Poco and now Burrito Deluxe.
The core of this new band began in Nashville in the year 2000 with "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, Carlton Moody, Walter Egan and Richard Bell. Kleinow christened the band Burrito Deluxe, taking the name from the title of the Flying Burrito Brothers 1970 album. Sadly, he passed away on January 6, 2007, but priot to that time the band released two critically acclaimed albums: 2002's GEORGIA PEACH, a tribute to Gram Parsons, and 2004's THE WHOLE ENCHILADA, which included keyboard genius Garth Hudson of The Band.
AND THE GROUP PLAYS ON.
Burrito Deluxe now carries the mantle of country rock that "Sneaky" Pete created with the release of their latest album DISCIPLES OF TRUTH the year which was recorded for Luna Chica Records and produced by the renowned Greg Archilla (Neil Young, Santana, etc.). Referring to Paige Cofrin, president of Luna Chica Records, Carlton Moody said, "He's kind of the chief Burrito." Best of all, "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow plays on four ot the album's twelve tracks.
The CD is a lively eclectic mix of classic country, blues, juke joint and good ol' American roots music from a seasoned group of musicians who've been making great music for years in various bands. In fact, Burrito Deluxe music can be best described as bluesy, twangy, rocking, funky, rootsy, and organic, with plentiful mandolin, dobro and accordian alongside the keyboards and electric guitars. Another beauty of the group is its flexibility. Although the core members of Burrito Deluxe will stay the same, there will always be an evolution of new players with an illustrious musical heritage. People like "Supe" Granda, founder of the Ozark Mountain Devils, and bassist Jeff "Stick" Davis, a founding member of the Grammy award-winning group Amazing Rhythm Aces.
And while no one can replace "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, there will be featured guest steel guitaritst who will carry on his sweet signature sound that is the heart of Burrito Deluxe. What's more, one listen to any Burrito Deluxe album proves that these musical trailblazers are still finding inspiration and new directions in the sound they helped to create.
JUST WHO ARE THESE CORE GUYS ANYWAY?
Amazingly enough, the core group of Burrito Deluxe is pretty much international. Carlton Moody lives in Marne La Vallee, just outside of Paris, France, and Richard Bell makes his home in Canada, while Walter Egan hangs his hat in Nashville.
Apart from being co-founder, Moody provides lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars and mandolin for Burrito Deluxe. And he's as easygoing as his warm baritone vocals. He caught the musical bug early, learning to play guitar at age seven and performing with his younger brothers, David and Trent, on their parents' TV shows in Charlotte, North Carolina. He also became proficient on dobro, mandolin, banjo and piano and by age sixteen toured as a solo act, opening for such stars as Jimmy Buffett during his college years at the University of North Carolina.
An accomplished and nationally recognized songwriter, he's into all music styles from bluegrass and gospel to country and Southern rock. "I love all of it," he says. Then he added, "I've never been one to say I only want to be a singer or a songwriter or a producer. The joy for me is to be able to do it all!"
Award-winning hit songwriter and singer Walter Egan is widely known for his 1978 smash hit "Magnet and Steel," and has had five other chart singles including "Hot Summer Nights" and "Fool Moon Fire." A graduate in fine arts from Georgetown University, he taught himself to play guitar from a Kingston Trio Songbook. He became involved with Burrito Deluxe when "Stick" Davis, with whom he had played in the Brooklyn Cowboys, asked him to accompany the band to a Gram Parsons tribute in Waycross, Georgia. "I liked everything about Burrito Deluxe," Egan says, "I'm writing songs better than ever, playing guitar better than ever, singing better than ever. That's why it's cool being among Burrito Deluxe."
Rounding out "the core" is classically trained pianist and organist, Richard Bell. He began playing piano at age four and later graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music. But then became an icon in the rock 'n' roll world. He was a member of Janis Joplin's Full Tilt Boogie Band. Later he joined rock legend The Band and played keyboards on their albums JERICHO, HIGH ON THE HOG and JUBILATION.
Bell says, "Burrito Deluxe is a great bunch of guys. I pretty well enjoy everybody I play with. If I don't enjoy them, I don't play with them." Philosophically he adds with a mischievous chuckle, "Playing music sure beats drywall!"
Burrito Deluxe is currently planning to tour the United States and Europe as well as releasing further singles from their DISCIPLES OF THE TRUTH album.
In fact, they have already scheduled performance dates here in Nashville. You'll be able to catch their wonderful performances at CMA Music Fest on on June 8th at 10:30 a.m. on the CHEVY ALL ACCESS MUSIC TOUR at the Nashville Arena Plaza, on June 8th at 9:45 p.m. at On The Rocks and on June 9th at 8 pm at Cadillac Ranch. For ticket information contact Clif Doyle at (615) 885-5998 or e-mail CDAnashville@aol.com on the web.
Take it from me, be there, you'll eat it up!
Visit BURRITO DELUXE at www.BurritoDeluxe.com