Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Alum Chris Darrow Dies
Chris Darrow, a country-rock pioneer who made his mark over the '60s and '70s, most notably as a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, has died at the age of 75. No cause of death has been released yet.
Darrow was born in South Dakota in 1944, but grew up in the Southern California suburb of Claremont, where he first honed an interest in folk and bluegrass music. He formed the Dry City Scat Band in 1964 while pursuing college and graduate school, and during this time became acquainted with Chris Hillman of classic rock legends the Byrds, who had a profound influence on his transition from bluegrass to rock music.
Darrow went on to form the genre-bending rock band Kaleidoscope, recording several albums before his joining influential country-rockers the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1967. He worked with the band on two albums, and also appeared in the Clint Eastwood musical, Paint Your Wagon. In1969, he formed the Corvettes, which became the touring band for Linda Ronstadt, who herself was quickly exploding as an influential artist in the country-rock scene.
Darrow also had a prolific solo career, releasing a total of 10 records between 1972 and 2006. He worked with such notable artists as Leonard Cohen and James Taylor, and mentored younger singer-songwriter and fellow Southern Californian Ben Harper.
Information on Darrow's passing and survivors is limited. He is lauded by many friends in the music industry on social media, including some such as Everloving Records who have directly worked with him on reissues of past work.
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