Still Full Of Beans!
Meathook Williams | Warwick, Massachusetts | 08/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"They're Back! Well, sort of. The only original member left is pedal steel genius "Sneeky Pete" Kleinow. But the new core band of Kleinow, fiddler Gib Guilbeau,multi-instrumentalist John Beland,singer Larry Patton, and drummer Gary Kubal sparkle on this superb recording. And they're joined by such far flung luminaries as Buck Owens, Charlie Louvin, and Waylon Jennings. Jo-el Sonnier , the cajun star, jumps into the cockpit to play squeezebox for Guilbeau's beautiful waltz "Sweet Susanna". Also from the swampland comes Sonny Landreth with his trademark distorted slide guitar work on "Back To Bayou Teche" and he wails! The title song is a potential country standard featuring Beland's husky voice in a nostalgic paen to the country music of thirty years ago. Next up is "Buckaroo", as you might expect the number Owens guests on. He does the pickin' (and grinnin') as Kleinow dazzles all with deft pedal-jumpin'. Fellow steel man Al Perkins features on a couple of cuts with his down home lap steel. And surviving Louvin brother Charlie lights up the stage with his still formidable voice. Perennial outlaw Jennings growls through "I Ain't Livin' Long Like This", a roadhouse rocker. I think he's got a few years left in him yet. Lowell George's megaclassic "Willin'" is handled admirably with nice organ work from Tony Harrell. Neil Young's "Dance, Dance, Dance" recieves the cajun treatment with more inspiring fiddling from Guilbeau. Other high points include "San Fernando Road", "Two Hearts", and the on-your-feet "Take A Walk On The Edge". Although they seem even more "country" than they originally did, "California Jukebox" rocks. It's a no frills amalgam of American music that has wide crossover potential played by grizzled veterans and splendidly produced. Somewhere Gram Parsons is smiling."
Am very pleasantly surprised by this album.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While this Burrito formation has been together off and on for nearly 20 years, this was the first opportunity that I've had to listen to the John Beland-Gib Guilbeau-Sneaky Pete Burritos and this is indeed a pleasant surprise. Beland, Guilbeau and Larry Patton may not be Chris Hillman or Gram Parsons, but they are veteran musicians whom in this album have carried on the Burritos tradition in all its glory. Beland himself is a first-rate singer-songwriter (just listen to his vocals on "San Fernando Road" and Patton's rendition of his nostalgia laden title track). In addition I was astonished to note that Beland himself served with one Glenn Frey and J.D. Souther in the pre-Eagles Longbranch Pennywhistle, as well as stints with Linda Ronstadt and Rick Nelson - his credentials are first-rate. The jangling guitars are reminiscent of California Country Rock at its best. Also check out the guest appearances of Buck Owens, Waylon Jennings, Charley Louvin, and Al Perkins on a number of tunes, including Jenning's duet with Patton on "I Ain't Living Long Like This"! I would strongly recommend purchasing this album along with Hillman's (and Herb Pederson's) "Bakersfield Bound" and the Electric Range's fine debut to see how well California Country Rock sounds - even as we approach 2000."