Don Rich was the hotshot guitarist for Buck Owens‘ band, The Buckaroos. He was also one of Owens’ closest friends, as well as his musical collaborator. His distinctive guitar sound helped to define The Bakersfield Sound. a musical style that has lived on and influenced a generation of musicians. Rich, who was known for being soft-spoken, often eschewed the spotlight, but would take a turn here and there on record and in performance. He recorded but one solo album, That Fiddlin’ Man, released in 1970, though he did collaborate with Owens’ son Buddy Allen on a collaborative album, We’re Real Good Friends, released in 1971. But Rich’s life was tragically cut short in 1974, when he was killed in a motorcycle accident. It was so traumatic a loss for Owens that he considered giving up music entirely, as he felt he couldn’t go on without him. Guitar Pickin’ Man, which is to be released by Omnivore Recordings on 16 December, compiles many of Rich’s turns from the vast Buckaroos catalogue.
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