27 September 2022

Buddy Spurlock, 1941-2022

The Bluegrass Alliance c.1969: (l-r) Buddy Spurlock, Ebo Walker, Dan Crary, Danny Jones, Lonnie Peerce

The BIB learns with regret of the death last Wednesday (21 Sept.) of Buddy Spurlock of eastern Kentucky at the age of 81. The Bluegrass Alliance was a band that made a powerful impact on the US scene in the late '60s and '70s and provided a launch pad for the careers of Sam Bush, Tony Rice, and Vince Gill; and Buddy Spurlock was the banjo-player in the Alliance's lineup that recorded their influential 1969 LP (cover image above). His individual touch, tone, and licks were among the features that made the band influential. John Lawless's obituary on Bluegrass Today includes tributes from Doyle Lawson and Scott Napier, plus a recording of Buddy's composition 'Naugahyde', played by the Alliance. Scott Napier's memories - well worth reading in full - include these words:

Although he was not active on the music scene [after leaving the Alliance], he was very passionate about playing, and playing well. He influenced me in the fact that he was so good, but had a burning desire to improve, even though he had no interest in being heard.

© Richard Hawkins

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At 10:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He loved bluegrass and it had to be played in the purest form. There was no plugging in for him. He would disappear if someone mentioned plugging in.


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