Billy Rich is one of the world's premiere electric bassists, known by his peers and fans for his unique style of playing bass. He came from the extremely musical Rich family. Billy's brother, Herbie Rich, was one of the original Electric Flag band members, and his sister, Carolyn, is an accomplished vocalist. Billy began playing music at the age of seven. He played guitar for seven years and then switched to electric bass. The rest is history.
Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Billy played with several local groups, most notably the locally famous Seven Wonders with his siblings. Shortly after graduating from high school, he went on the road with The Whispers who came through Omaha looking for a bass player. Billy spent the next few years touring with The Whispers from city to city, ending up in San Francisco where he ran into Buddy Miles, another native of Omaha, Nebraska. This led to years playing with The Buddy Miles Express. The Buddy Miles Express included Omaha, Nebraska natives Buddy Miles, Billy Rich and his brother Herbie Rich, all three inductees into The Nebraska Music Hall of Fame.
During that time Billy completed several successful national tours and recorded two albums. One of the highlights of Billy's career includes his association with Jimi Hendrix, with whom he played various gigs. Jimi produced "69 Freedom Special," a song Bill wrote on the Buddy Miles album, Electric Church. Billy has re-recorded this song for his new CD, Bill Rich The Fee-Vah.
In 1972 Billy began playing with Taj Mahal, and the association lasted over thirty-two years. During the years with Taj, Billy developed an international following through his tours in Europe, South America, Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other exotic locations such as the Fiji Islands. Bill continues to tour with The Taj Mahal Trio.
In addition to his long and fruitful association with Taj, Billy also collaborated with Paul Butterfield. He toured with Paul and recorded two albums with The Paul Butterfield Better Days Band. He also toured the country with Geoff Muldaur, appearing on three albums with Geoff. Billy is a prolific and popular studio musician in addition to being an exciting live performer. Billy's album credits also include work with John McLaughlin, Seals & Crofts, Maxayn, Jessie Davis, Jackie Lomax, John Simon, Roger Tillson, James Van Buren, Alvaro Torres, and others.
Bill toured for two-and-a-half years with the Tony Furtado Band, tastefully putting the funk in bluegrass. Together, they played a lot of the major festivals: High Sierra Festival, Telluride Blue Grass Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, Grand Targee Festival and much, much more.
For more information on Bill Rich, review his website at www.billrichmusic.com