Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Flying Burrito Bros' "Christine's Tune"

Looking Cool in Nudie Suits

Here’s my weekly reminder to tune in to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) tomorrow from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Little Radio. Their guest tomorrow will be the Broken West. You probably already know that I’m a huge Broken West fan…..

Each week on the show, there’s a featured You Set the Scene pick. It gives me a chance to write about something I wouldn’t normally have an excuse to write about. On 3/6/08 my pick was the Flying Burrito Brothers’ “Christine’s Tune.” Besides my love for the Flying Burrito Brothers, a couple of things inspired the pick. First, I had a trip planned to Joshua Tree that weekend and when I think about Joshua Tree, I immediately think of Gram Parsons (due to that whole death thing). Second, the song’s about a wild party girl/groupie type and the night before I’d seen some female friends attack Scott McDonald for not calling them to tell them that the Gallaghers were hanging out at the Echo.

One of country rock’s pioneers, Gram Parsons was a dedicated fan of the Buck Owens/Merle Haggard, Bakersfield sound. When I first heard the Flying Burrito Brothers I was pretty stunned at how country it was. I grew up listening to classic country, but like a lot of people, had abandoned it in high school and college. After college I started to get more into Wilco and the Beachwood Sparks and went back to rediscover Parsons, the Burritos and Byrds. In turn, I went back and rediscovered Haggard, Hank, Willie and George Jones.

“Christine’s Tune” is the first track on the first Burrito Brothers’ record, The Gilded Palace of Sin. Every song on that record is pretty great with: “Flying Burrito #1,” “Sin City,” “Wheels,” “Dark End of the Street” the standouts.

While Parsons seems to get all the credit, but his co-writing/singing partner on “Christine’s Tune,” Chris Hillman will be at McCabe’s this Friday and Saturday. I saw him last year at Stagecoach and really enjoyed his set.

See the Burritos perform “Christine’s Tune” on Youtube

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