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Flying Burrito Brothers' Gib Guilbeau dead at 78

Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gib Guilbeau joined the band's revamped lineup in 1974

Former Flying Burrito Brother Gib Guilbeau has died aged 78.

Born Floyd August Guilbeau in Sunset, Louisiana in 1937, he picked up music from an early age and began playing violin in his teens. He grew to become a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who helped pioneer the fusion of rock and country in a number of music projects.

He made a name for himself as a longtime member of The Reasons and pop singer Linda Ronstadt's backing group, Swampwater, establishing deep roots in the music scene before drummer Gene Parsons recruited him for the Burrito Brothers in 1974.

Despite that he joined the band after its widely-acknowledged classic era, his 10-year tenure with the Burrito Brothers saw them enjoy a second wave of success in the early 80s with a string of country chart hits, before they folded in 1984. He returned for another stint that lasted into the late 90s. He last appeared with the Brothers on their 1997 album California Jukebox.

Guilbeau's cause of death was not confirmed, but the Burrito Brothers issued a statement, saying: “Gib was a beautiful guy, great singer and songwriter. One of the last of the early wave (1968-75) of Flying Burrito Brothers. He died last night.

"It was an honour to play a couple of times with him. Thoughts and prayers go out to Ronnie and the rest of the Guilbeau family. Thanks, Gib, for the music."

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