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FRENCHY BURRITO: Bio

Frenchy Burrito aka Greg Carroll Costanzo was raised in Chicago, the son of a Naval aviator. One of his first heroes was Clarence Darrow, the great Chicago defence lawyer; another was folk hero and notorious bank robber John Dillinger. Realizing that law school wasn't in the cards (and neither was bank robbing) he got a guitar and turned his sights to songwriting instead, and wrote a song about the fabled outlaw, called The Ballad of John Dillinger. “To me Dillinger was more like Robin Hood than a criminal”, says Frenchy. His first gig, at a place called The No Exit Cafe (a perfect existential beginning) started him down his lifetime path of musical exploits. A lucky break came when a high school classmate (Rick Mann guitar player for the band The Flock) invited Frenchy to a recording session at Chess Records. He was just an observer but the experience had a lasting effect. Quickly coming to the conclusion that John Prine and Steve Goodman had the folk scene sewed up in Chicago, Frenchy migrated to Pittsburgh in hot pursuit of a coed he met at Northwestern University. Arriving in Pittsburgh he banged around coffee houses, bars and university stages, even starting a couple of working bands (The Only Remaining Steel City Country Band and The Folk Pistols). Oddly he bumped into the late great Townes Van Zandt and they became "fast hard friends", hanging out, going on the road, a trip to Townes cabin in Nashville and long distance phone conversations. Townes was an inspiration and he encouraged Frenchy to keep at the music. Frenchy also formed a songwriting alliance with Warren PA native, folksinger songwriter, the late Rodd Willings. They were friends for over 30 years and wrote numerous songs together. Rodd passed away in 2003. Frenchy currently has new and old recordings and film projects in the works.