Rusty Young (musician)

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Norman Russell "Rusty" Young (born February 23, 1946, in Long Beach, California) is an American guitarist, vocalist and songwriter best known as one of the frontmen in the influential country rock and Americana band Poco.

A virtuoso on pedal steel guitar, he is celebrated for the ability to get a Hammond B3 organ sound out of the instrument by playing it through a Leslie speaker cabinet and as an innovator of producing other rock sounds from the instrument.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Young was raised in Colorado. He began playing lap steel guitar at age 6, and taught guitar and steel guitar lessons during his high school years. During that time, he also played country music in late night bars. Rusty played in a well known Denver psychedelic rock band "Boenzee Cryque".[3]


In the late 1960s, a former guitar student became the road manager for Buffalo Springfield (Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Jim Messina, Richie Furay, Dewey Martin, and Bruce Palmer). The band was looking for a steel guitarist for the Furay ballad "Kind Woman" and Young was hired.

Befriending Furay and Messina while playing and recording with Buffalo Springfield, with them he became a founding member of Poco in 1968 upon the former band's demise. Drummer George Grantham rounded out the original Poco lineup.[3]

The band's membership fluctuated over the years. After founding guitarist Richie Furay left the group, Young took on more song writing responsibility, along with Paul Cotton and Timothy B. Schmit.

Poco members have been prolific songwriters, releasing more than 25 original albums.

In 2013, Young was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. At the end of 2013, Young announced his retirement.[citation needed] but it turned out that it was a short lived retirement.

A few shows were booked into 2014 including three farewell shows in Florida. One of those shows was a performance in a recording studio in front of a live audience for a DVD document of the band's live show.[citation needed] Young said there could be some one-offs in the future after that, but the band would not be actively touring as before.[citation needed]

Young and Sundrud write and record music for children's story videos as the "Session Cats".[4] Young continues to do guest performances with former members of Poco and other country rock artists. Rusty released his first solo album in 2017 on Blue Elan Records, Waitin' For The Sun.


  1. ^ "Poco - Poco | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 1970-05-06. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  2. ^ Gressel, Janine. "Poco Plays Pretty Music at Eagles, July 3, 1969". Seattle Times.
  3. ^ a b Chadbourne, Eugene. Rusty Young biography at AllMusic. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  4. ^ "Rusty Young's". Retrieved 2016-11-03.

External links[edit]