Chris P James
Many “Secrets” To Find In The New Burrito Brothers Album
“The Notorious Burrito Brothers” is loaded with hidden (and some not-so-hidden) messages. We challenge you to find them.
There are things the listener should be aware of in order to really get what’s happening in this deeply thought-out concept album. So few musical artists these days make recordings with this creative mindset. The album is a complete statement with a beginning, a clear-cut ending, and a lot of poetic stops in between.
One reviewer obviously merely skimmed through the record and then, liking the sound of his own words, passed lukewarm judgement upon it. I hope there are people out there with an attention span longer than his because he caused us harm. This is life and death to us.
“The Notorious Burrito Brothers” is our statement. We’re proud of it and are well aware that it asks for some delving into. He called it “middle of the road”. Not true. Not even close. It is further on up the road. It is envelope pushing and out on the side but with a smooth sheen of top notch experienced musicianship that maybe fools some who are limited in scope. Nobody else sounds anything like the Burrito Brothers. They’re miles ahead of the “middle”.
The reviewer claimed he had no idea how a new song could be written with Gram Parsons. It was a put down. He did that rather than be a good journalist and find out. He completely missed that Fred Neil and Skip Spence are also represented. Probably doesn’t know who they are (because if he did it’s an excellent review point). He made no mention of the poetic “Acrostic” which features a lyric that is meant to be deciphered like code. He also caught nothing of the opus, “Wheels Of Fire”. That song is a collage of musical history references. The album title itself is loaded with meaning.
Too many people today no longer know how to let a work of art captivate them. We’re asking for attention spans to make a comeback. The instant gratification flaw is omnipresent. There are no flaws on “The Notorious Burrito Brothers”.
If you are a young musician in your twenties or thirties, you ought to give this album a real good listen and hope that you, when you get into older years could make a record like this. It encapsulates a strong career of dedication to the craft of music performance, recording and songwriting. Nothing less.
Who in heaven’s name is any reviewer to tell us this album is anything but exquisite? Find me a poorly constructed song. Find one sour note. Find the engineering, sound quality, to be anything less than top. Find something here that you could execute better. You can’t!
There are opinionated nay-sayers who refuse to accept us as the Burrito Brothers (even though we are and have been for quite some time now). They put us down without ever hearing a note we play. If they could drop this selfish prejudice they might discover that we’re very good at what we’re doing. We’re nailing it. There isn’t somebody else who could do it better.
Ray Davies asked, “Who’ll be the next in line?” Well, when it comes to the Burritos, it’s we. Do the haters just want there not to be Burrito Brothers? Why? Not carry on? Just close up the honky-tonks and let the message and the music end? Really?... No!
The Grampyres object to us because we’re not Gram. They misunderstand how we keep his name more alive than if we weren’t continuing. Gram liked the idea of the band carrying on without him. Why not (unless you suck at it)?
Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one. If you object to our band, please do us a favor and go away. We don’t ridicule your life choices. Quit making it a mission to publicly object. Where’s that at? Hateful. Try to walk in another man’s shoes. This is everything to us. We are filled with conviction and belief in it. Love us or leave us alone. It’s hard enough getting by in life without somebody taking it upon himself to knock us down for the “crime” of keeping the Burrito Brothers going. Once again we implore you to actually listen. Love is a river…
You’re wrong to claim our album isn’t something special. Simple as that. Perhaps it’s a pallet you don’t understand. Perhaps you want bro-cuntry or rap or death-metal… something too far from these sensibilities… then no, we’re not for you.
Reviewers can be so cold and misunderstanding. Miles Davis hated them. Many stellar musicians have been hurt by them. Too often they don’t realize how easily cruel words can hurt the sensitive musician. They haven’t a clue as to how much this life choice means to us. Those who do the hurting are almost without fail incapable of singing or playing anything. Dad called ‘em the “no talent leeches”. They should understand how difficult it is and have more respect for those who are good at the craft.
Other people may slap out downloadable tunes or album length collections of songs (once they’ve accumulated enough) but that’s not what’s happening here. What it is, is exactly clear (Spirit). We are making album length statements. The concept was pioneered in the progressive rock heyday. This album owes more to Pink Floyd than any latter-years version of the Burritos. We’re not a country group. We’re an uber-inventive classic rock group with pedal steel and bender guitars, acoustics and harmonies. Yes indeed, “Country” sensibilities are involved. That’s part of being the Burrito Brothers. But it’s not a country act. We’re not going to be limited to something that narrow. If they chose to promote and play some of our stuff, country would be advancing. But it looks a lot more like it’s occupied by niche people making the same record over and over. And the drug store truck drivin’ men operate the business end.
OK. The sermon is done.
Now. In the next blog we have the hidden messages in “The Notorious Burrito Brothers”.
Consequently, so long. Chris P Burrito