When bassist Brent Rademaker met guitarist Chris Gunst at a party in Burbank in the mid-1990s, the two immediately bonded over their mutual love of ’70s West Coast country pioneers Flying Burrito Brothers. After working together in a string of more or less successful bands, Rademaker and Gunst founded Beachwood Sparks intending to explore that special brand of California country that emanates from the canyons and hills. Ever since, the band has existed in different iterations centered around the trio of Rademaker, Gunst, and multi-instrumentalist Dave Scher.
Reminiscent of The Byrds, The Eagles, and Flying Burrito Brothers, the psychedelic country rock of Beachwood Sparks has inspired countless other musicians. November 26 marks the release of the band’s fourth studio album, Desert Skies, even though it was recorded in 1997. Here are eight facts we learned about the alternative country trailblazers.