Buddy Cage

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Buddy Cage
Born (1946-02-18) February 18, 1946 (age 72)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada[1]
Genres Country rock
Instruments Pedal steel guitar
Years active 1960s–present
Associated acts New Riders of the Purple Sage, Great Speckled Bird, Stir Fried

Buddy Cage (born February 18, 1946) is an American[2] pedal steel guitarist, best known as a longtime member of the New Riders of the Purple Sage.[3][4][5] In 2001, he married his wife Leslie Cage.

Popular both as a performer and session musician, he has played with many bands and recording artists, including Anne Murray, Bob Dylan, Brewer & Shipley, David Bromberg, and the Zen Tricksters.[6]

Musical career[edit]

Buddy Cage learned to play pedal steel guitar at a young age. By the mid-1960s he was working as a professional musician.[7][8] When the folk music duo of Ian and Sylvia decided to go electric in 1969, he joined their band, known as the Great Speckled Bird.[9] Great Speckled Bird was part of the Festival Express concert tour in 1970.[10][11] From 1969 to 1972, Cage also recorded four albums with Anne Murray, and one album with Brewer & Shipley.

It was on the Festival Express tour that the New Riders of the Purple Sage became acquainted with Cage. The New Riders were a psychedelic influenced country rock band that had been founded by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, along with John Dawson and David Nelson. The New Riders and the Dead would perform concerts together, with Garcia playing pedal steel for the New Riders, then playing electric guitar and singing with the Dead. Near the end of 1971, Garcia left the New Riders, enabling them to headline their own concert tours. Buddy Cage was invited to join the band as Garcia's replacement.[7][9][12][13]

Cage was the New Riders' pedal steel guitar player from 1971 to 1982, except for a period of about a year in the late 1970s. The New Riders were quite popular. They toured extensively, and released a number of albums. During this same period Cage continued working as a session musician, recording with various musical artists, including David Bromberg and Robert Hunter. In 1974, Bob Dylan asked him to play on recording sessions for the album Blood on the Tracks.[14][15]

In the years after Cage's departure from the New Riders, he continued working with many different bands and musicians, including Solar Circus, Stir Fried,[16] the Brooklyn Cowboys, the Zen Tricksters, and Mike Gordon.

The New Riders of the Purple Sage, led by John Dawson, but without Buddy Cage or David Nelson, had continued touring and recording albums from 1982 until Dawson's retirement from the music business in 1997. In 2005, Cage and Nelson re-formed the New Riders of the Purple Sage.[17][18] The band continues to perform concerts throughout the United States.[19] They have released three albums — Wanted: Live at Turkey Trot, Where I Come From,[20] and 17 Pine Avenue. Cage is also still working as a session musician with other artists, including collaborations with Boris Garcia, George Hamilton IV, and Richard Buckner.

In 2005 Cage participated on a special tour "steeling & sliding' with Derek Trucks, Dan Tyack, Sonny Landreth, Johan Jansen and Rene van Barneveld in the Netherlands. http://www.effenaar.nl/agenda/5067/steelin-slidin-met-derek-trucks-the-derek-trucks-band-dan-tyack-sonny-landreth-buddy-cage-johan-jansen-rene-van-barneveld



  1. ^ Gray, Michael (31 May 2006). The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia. Continuum. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-8264-6933-5. 
  2. ^ Cage, Buddy (May 24, 2011). "Wiki feud". Road Cage. Retrieved May 24, 2011. 
  3. ^ Bashe, Patricia Romanowski; George-Warren, Holly; Pareles, Jon (1995). The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia Of Rock & Roll. Fireside. p. 708. ISBN 0-684-81044-1. 
  4. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2002). The Great Rock Discography. Canongate. ISBN 1-84195-312-1. 
  5. ^ New Riders of the Purple Sage Biography Archived December 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. at New Musical Express
  6. ^ Buddy Cage at AllMusic
  7. ^ a b Bossert, Robbie. Buddy Cage Interview at The Cool Groove
  8. ^ Liner notes for Hard Times – Mickey McGivern & the Mustangs Featuring Billy Adams (Arc #766), 1967. "Buddy Cage at a tender age of 21 is considered one of North America's No.1 steel, lead guitarists. Buddy, a Torontonian, demonstrates why on this recording."
  9. ^ a b Hanegraaf, Hans. Buddy Cage Interview at American Music Belgium, March 23, 2002
  10. ^ Buddy Cage Interview at IGN Music, July 22, 2004
  11. ^ Buddy Cage on IMDb
  12. ^ Jackson, Blair (1999). Garcia: An American Life. New York: Penguin Books. pp. 224–225. ISBN 0-14-029199-7. 
  13. ^ McNally, Dennis (2002). A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead. New York: Broadway Books. p. 413. ISBN 0-7679-1186-5. 
  14. ^ Gill, Andy; Odegard, Kevin (2005). A Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan and the Making of Blood on the Tracks. Da Capo Press. pp. 186–187. ISBN 0-306-81413-7. 
  15. ^ Ramone, Phil (2007). Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music. Hyperion. pp. 156–158. ISBN 0-7868-6859-7. 
  16. ^ Budnick, Dean (1998). Jam Bands: North America's Hottest Live Groups. ECW Press. p. 238. ISBN 1-55022-353-4. 
  17. ^ Greenhaus, Mike. "Buddy Cage and the New Riders Ride Again", jambands.com, June 23, 2006
  18. ^ Dembinsky, Ryan (June 12, 2009). "Interview: Buddy Cage of the New Riders", Glide Magazine. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  19. ^ Robbins, Brian. "Buddy Cage: Still Steeling Away", Jambands.com, April 26, 2009
  20. ^ Buddy Cage Interview at The Best of Website

External links[edit]