The Beautiful Losers are back

Popular local band plays American Legion Saturday night

It's been a year and a half since The Beautiful Loser Society has played around the Cortez area. The announcement of their return has spread like wildfire throughout the community. This band was missed.

On Saturday, March 30, starting at 8 p.m., the Beautiful Losers will bring their americana, country style of music to the American Legion Hall. Throes of fans are expected, as no one knows when this band will play next.

Chuck Barry, vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the band, has been busy running Stone Free farm with his wife Rosie Carter. Danny Bankston, drummer, runs a trucking and excavation company. Kevin Chelf, lead guitarist, is a carpenter and Justin Richert, bass guitarist is a full-time musician.

The guys only break out a couple times a year to gig and when they do - people notice.

"We used to gig a lot," Barry said. "But life happens. We all have other jobs."

Barry and Chelf have been a part of the band from the start. Bankston has been with the band for 10 plus years and Richert has been on board for three years. Barry said they have gone through a few bassists.

"That's the Spinal Tap position in our band," he said with a chuckle.

Regardless, the Beautiful Losers have created a cult following in the Four Corners area. Excitement is brewing about their performance. They have also created quite a stir in Europe.

Barry has been familiar with the Austin, Texas music scene for quite some time. He has made friends in all the right places. DJ's and producers from Austin helped Barry put together three albums over the last five years. The most recent album, "The Desperate Promenade," was released late December. It spent January and February in the top 20 on the EuroAmericana chart. It is also in its third month on the Freeform American Roots chart here in the United States.

"Europeans are really keen on americana and country music," Barry explained. "There is an American music phenomenon there that has created a greater appreciation for the type of music we produce. And I have friends who only gig in Europe, not in the states."

The Beautiful Losers also use Internet outlets such as Spotify and Pandora to get their music to the public. Barry mails their albums to college stations, Americana radio stations and local stations seeking air time. And he gets it.

"DJ's on community radio can choose to play whatever they want," Barry said. "That's good for bands like us."

Barry learned a long time ago, what it takes to get his music to the public. Just like self-publishing, Barry is spending his own money to produce these albums. Mailing is expensive, especially overseas. The digital age of downloads has become a friend to the band who are now dipping into technology to better distribute themselves.

Barry started writing his own music about 20 years ago. He never wanted the Beautiful Losers to be a cover band - though they do perform a few. For Barry, songwriting is the most enjoyable part of making music. He and Bankston both have basement studios where they do tracking before Barry sends it off to Austin for mixing and mastering.

"I'm sort of a bonehead on the computer," he said. "I can do the basic recording but the other studios that work with us, that's the special sauce."

The album's are Barry's baby. The rest of the guys love to play, but their busy schedules allow Barry to conduct most of the album marketing.

"My goal (with the albums) is to break even," Barry explained. "It's just a fun hobby. We have good jobs that we enjoy. This is just extra."

rachels@cortezjournal.com