13 July 2007

Hot Burrito Number One -- Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons' Cosmic American Music is one of the genre labels here at the Gold Coast Bluenote. This musical blending of the highest quality Country & Western, folk, soul -- his Aretha covers are breathtaking -- and '68-to-'71 era progressive rock generated a metamorphosis spawning two of today's most important popular genres: Alternative Country and Country Rock. Are you down with that? Gram is the visionary that planted the seeds of the socially aware music that stand both beside and also with the work of Woody Guthrie and Robert Johnson.

Gram Parsons died of an overdose in 1973 at the age of 26. But never forget that Emmylou Harris wrote her first important song to tell Gram, now in a "Better Place", that the hardest part of her life -- going forward -- would be 'knowing she'd survive'.

Emmylou, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Dylan, James Taylor, Tom Rush, Keith Richards, John Fogerty, Steve Earle, and a host of others did survive to tend the garden Parsons staked out. Even Frank Black (post coming here soon) -- the man who made punk sound like elevator Muzak -- has now turned to making Cosmic American Music. John Phillips and Ronnie VanZant, to mention just two, are now six feet under.

Gram and company, we will never forget you.


For commentary on and music from Gram, see these YouTube links:

EmmyLou Harris on Gram Parsons

Flying Burrito Brothers -- Juanita

Flying Burrito Brothers -- Chistine's Tune

Also, a must-see film is Grand Theft Parsons (thanks, LR).



Hazy Dave said...

Chris Hillman is still alive and well!

Paco Malo said...

My bad. I gonna fix this error right now. Thanks.