B i l l   R i c h


Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Bill comes from the extremely musical Rich family. His brother, Herbie Rich, was one of the original members of the Electric Flag. His sister, Carolyn, is an accomplished vocalist. Bill played with several local bands, most notably the locally famous 7 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. He spent the next few years touring nationally with them, ending up in San Francisco where he met Buddy Miles. Bill spent many years playing with The Buddy Miles Express. He completed numerous successful national tours with Buddy (another Omaha native) and recorded two albums with him. All three members of The Buddy Miles Express (Buddy, Bill Rich and his brother, Herbie Rich) were inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame. In 2004 Bill was himself inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame.

One of the highlights of Bill’s career includes his association with Jimi Hendrix. He played various gigs with Jimi and recorded with him many times. Jimi produced “69 Freedom Special”, a song Bill wrote on the Buddy Miles album “Electric Church”. Bill re-recorded this song for his solo release “Bill Rich: The Fee-Vah”. And check out his his 2014 effort, “Bill Rich - Can You Pheel It?”

Bill began playing with the legendary Taj Mahal in 1972. This association has lasted over forty years. During his years with Taj, Bill has 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.

Prior to his long and fruitful assocation with Taj, Bill also played with Paul Butterfield. He toured with Butterfield and recorded two albums with The Paul Butterfield “Better Days” Band. He also toured with Geoff Muldaur, appearing on three albums with Geoff. An exciting live performer, Bill is also a prolific, in-demand session bassist. His discography includes work with John McLaughlin, Seals & Crofts, Maxayn, Jessie Davis, Jackie Lomax, John Simon, Roger Tilson, James Van Burern, Alvaro Torres and many others.

Bill toured with the Tony Furtado Band for two-and-a-half years, tastefully putting the funk in bluegrass. The band played quite a few major music festivals: High Sierra Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, Grand Targhee Festival and many more.

Bill’s latest CD, “Bill Rich: The Fee-Vah”, is a unique blend of blues and funk that will leave you mesmerized. It features the beautiful bass playing and lead vocal work that only Bill can produce. Taj says “It’s some serious music with some serious players.” Purchase “The Fee-Vah” and listen for yourself.

In 1972 Bill moved to Denver and made the Mile High City his home.

Photo © Phillip Weightman

1. Live at Yello Tokyo Japan 

Ellen Mcllwaine
2. Spontaneous Combustion -

Ellen Mcllwaine
3. Red Blues - Mary Coughlan
4. The Fee-Vah - Bill Rich
5. The Real Thing - Taj Mahal
6. Mo' Roots - Taj Mahal
7. The Most Recent Evolution - Taj Mahal
8. Taj Mahal and The International Rhythm Band Live and Direct Parts I & II - Taj Mahal
9. Happy Just To Be Like I Am - Taj Mahal
10. Expressway To Your Skull -

Buddy Miles Express
11. Electric Church - Buddy Miles Express
12. The Mighty Rhythm Tribe - Buddy Miles
13. Better Days - Paul Butterfield
14. Blues Boy - Geoff Muldaur
15. Having A Wonderful Time -

Geoff Muldaur
16. The Secret Handshake - Geoff Muldaur
17. Password - Geoff Muldaur
18. Devotion - John McLaughlin
19. I Ain't Doin' Too Bad - James Van Buren
20. Hurry Up And Slow Down -

James Van Buren
21. The Best Of James Van Buren -

James Van Buren
22. Down Home - Seals & Croft
23. Maxayn - Maxayn
24. Jessie Davis - Jessie Davis
25. Jackie Lomax - Jackie Lomax
26. Tony Furtado Band - Tony Furtado
27. Knett King Band - John Lindner
28. White Cat Heat - Tim Duffy
29. Guitar Haven - Cool John Furgeson

1. "mkutano", The Culture Musical Club

of Zanzibar - Taj Mahal
2. Homemade - Simone Michael
3. Martin Scorsese Presents

"The Blues" Jimi Hendrix -

previously unreleased recording

"Blue Window"
4. Taj Mahal Trio Live Catch - Taj Mahal
5. Baby Boo Got Gone - Sofie Reed
6. Time Will Come - John-Alex Mason