John Beland - guitar, vocals; Gib Gilbeau - guitar, fiddle, vocals; Neil Worf - drums; Chad Watson - bass; Avery Burdette - keyboards; Larry Marvel - pedal steel
Along with Buffalo Springfield, Poco, and the Byrds (from which some of the members came), the Flying Burrito Brothers are widely credited as being among the founding fathers of the modern country-rock movement.
This is the second of two shows recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour in 1982 at the Sundown Club in New York. By the time they did this show, the band was essentially a traditional country act with some rock leanings. None of the members remained from the original line-up, but they maintained much of the original band's musical brilliance and traditional country integrity. Though the real appeal to many in the rock press had been the cutting edge writing and singing of the late Gram Parsons, there still is plenty of the Burritos' musical legacy represented to make this show worthwhile and special.
Though there are a few incomplete tracks in the recording, including one of the definitive Parsons songs, "Hickory Wind," this is still an exceptional performance by country rock innovators. Highlights include openers "Oh Lonesome Me," "Closer To You," and closing tracks, "Louisiana" and "Jolie Blon."
The Flying Burrito Brothers began when three former Byrds members, Gram Parsons (on guitar and lead vocals), Chris Hillman (on bass), and Michael Clarke (on drums); as well as Chris Etheridge on keyboards and Nashville session king, Sneaky Pete Kleinow on pedal steel, decided to form a band that would help pioneer the growing trend of marrying country and rock. Gilded Palace of Sin and Burrito Deluxe were among the best reviewed albums of 1969 and 1970, respectively, and in the minds of many, ushered in the contemporary country-rock movement.
In 1971, Gram Parsons left to pursue a short-lived solo career (he died of a drug overdose in 1973), but his mythical musical legacy gave the continuing Burritos (who now contained Rick Roberts on vocals and guitar) an association that made them fairly bankable despite the fact they failed to have any radio hits. The Parson-era version of the band split in 1972 after Hillman left to form Manassas with Stephen Stills, and later, a trio with Poco's Richie Furray and LA songwriter, JD Souther. Sneaky Pete and Chris Etheridge would be awarded ownership of the name and again resurrect the band in 1975, this time with guitarist Gib Guilbeau.