At the age of 75, Rusty Young, died last Wednesday, April 14. The cause of death is said to be heart failure.
Rusty Young grew up in Colorado. At the age of 6 he had already begun playing lap steel guitar. By high school, Rusty was proficient enough to teach others to play the steel and the guitar. In 2013, Young was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.
Young is best known for his association with the Americana/rock band Poco. Poco was a band formed due to the break-up of Buffalo Springfield. Poco was born in 1968. Other founding members of Poco were Richie Furay and Jim Messina, both ex members of Buffalo Springfield. As a songwriter, Young wrote the Poco songs, “Rose of Cimarron,” and “Crazy Love.” Poco and it’s members were pioneers of the California sound which became known as “country rock.”
Country rock was popular in the 1960s and early 1970s. The pioneering musicians who began to record country flavored records had grown up listening to early country and rockabilly in the 1950’s, and were greatly influenced by the early rock & roll in the 1960’s. In some of their early recordings, The Beatles, even recorded some songs with this strong country influence. Other artists and groups in this country rock genre include The Byrds, Gram Parsons, Neil Young, Grateful Dead, Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, and Poco.
These Bands and the bands who came after them into the late 70’s greatly influenced the alternative country movement. Much of the music I prefer today comes from this sub genre.
Alternative country is defined as Alternative country, or alternative country rock (sometimes alt-country, insurgent country, or Americana) is a loosely defined subgenre of country rock, which includes acts that differ significantly in style from mainstream country music, mainstream country rock, and country pop.
The term has been used to describe country music bands and artists that are also defined as or have incorporated influences from alternative rock and cowpunk, indie rock, roots rock, bluegrass, neotraditional country, punk rock, progressive country, rockabilly, punkabilly, honky-tonk, outlaw country, folk rock, indie folk, folk revival, folk punk, hard rock, R&B, heartland rock, and Southern rock.
As I have mentioned before, my favorite kind of music contains those lyrics that I relate to. Of course, I have to enjoy the beat and the rhythm of the song. I like a song that allows my mind to get totally lost in it’s composition. Country Rock can usually do all of that for me.
I am thankful for pioneering musicians like Rusty Young who weren’t afraid to try something different.