Famed pedal steel guitarist Bucky Baxter, who toured with the legendary Bob Dylan, has died at the age of 65. Baxter's son, singer and songwriter Rayland Baxter, confirmed the news in an Instagram post. He also shared some photos of his late father playing the guitar.
"Bucky Baxter is Gods most beautiful invention," Rayland Baxter wrote in the post. "He is my father. He is my everything, and now he is an angel." Rayland concluded his message by writing, "My heart is broken, yet I am blinded by joy." According to Rolling Stone, Bucky Baxter passed away in Nashville, Tennessee. No other details have been made available at this time.
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Baxter was born in Melbourne, Florida, in 1955. In the '70s, he began to study pedal steel guitar. Fast-forward to the 1980s, Baxter connected with iconic country musician Steve Earle, and ended up playing on 1986's Guitar Town, Earle's highly-regarded debut album. Baxter would go on to play on Earle's Copperhead Road (1988) and The Hard Way (1990) albums as well. He also regularly toured with Earle.
In the early '90s, Baxter met Dylan, who had requested steel guitar lessons. This led to him joining Dylan's band as a steel player, and multi-instrumentalist. He went on the road with Dylan for the Never Ending Tour, playing over 750 shows worldwide. He also played on Dylan's hit MTV Unplugged concert in 1995, as well as on the Grammy-winning album, Time Out of Mind, from 1997.
In a past interview with On the Tracks — a fan magazine dedicated to Dylan — Baxter spoke about his relationship with the reserved music icon. "I just worked for him. And we had a good working relationship," he said, "but I never went to his house for Thanksgiving or anything." Baxter added, "I think that’s why I lasted so long — I conducted myself professionally and let him be. I never bugged him."
Baxter left Dylan's band in the late '90s, going to record his own solo instrumental albums, Most Likely, No Problem. After that, he began working with alt-country artist Ryan Adams, playing on the singer's Gold and Demolition albums. Baxter went on to play with a number of other stars, such as Kacey Musgraves and Old Crow Medicine Show, as well as on Rayland's 2018 album, Wide Awake.