RIP: Rick Morse, 1950-2016


Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Rick Morse died on Monday morning (November 7) after a battle with cancer. He was 66 years old.

A long-time staple on the Greater Nippertown music scene, Morse first stepped into the spotlight in the mid-’70s as the pedal steel guitarist with longtime country-rock favorites Badge, who have reunited for a few annual one-off concerts in recent years.

He played pedal steel, dobro and slide guitar with numerous bands throughout the ensuing years, including Bovine, the Rolling Blackouts, the Raging Buchanans, the Coal Palace Kings, Sea of Cortez, Sidewinders, Tern Rounders and probably a few more.

At the time of his death Morse was playing with two popular Local 518 bands, both of whom released new albums this year: Red Haired Strangers’ Doc Roots Elixir: Guaranteed to Satisfy and the Lazy Suns’ self-titled album.

Memorial contributions may be made to Saratoga Hospital Palliative Care Service, 211 Church Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

A calling hour will be held at 12noon on Sunday, November 20, with a service at 1pm at the Tunison Funeral Home, 105 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs. All are invited to attend a celebration of Rick’s life and music at the Parting Glass in Saratoga Springs immediately following the service.

Rick Morse’s obituary
FIVE FIRSTS: Rick Morse of the Lazy Suns

Rick Morse
Rick Morse with Red Haired Strangers @ the Tang Museum, 7/31/09

  1. Dana Monteith says

    Rick was a dear friend and an important contributor to my music. He will be remember for all his great riffs and classic hard driving sense of space. I am thankful to have shared the musical journey with him. He lives on through all the great recordings he has been part of and for that I am thankful for his spirit will continue to shine through the speakers for all of us to enjoy. RIP Rick.

  2. Tom Lindsay says

    Rick sat in with Chefs of the Future a number of times during our 3 year run in the 80s. I believe he was the only guest musician on our cassette album “Hub,” contributing great pedal steel to “Canada Street.”

    On those occasions when I would see him with Red Haired Strangers or Lazy Suns he would ask when we were getting the band back together. God bless him, he was the only guy asking for a Chefs reunion!

  3. Andy Gregory says

    This is very sad news indeed. The Red Haired Strangers and Lazy Suns records had some of his best playing.

  4. Todd Nelson says

    We will miss Rick. My heart goes out to his wife and family.

  5. Val Haynes says

    My G-d! I’m shocked. He was one of the only local musicians playing pedal steel in 1978 when I was joined my first band. a country-rock band called Chili Dog. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Very sad news, indeed.

  6. Geoff Ryan says

    Very sad…we’ll certainly miss Rick and his sometimes lonesome and sometimes screamin’ rock sounds-he humbly asked if he could play with the raucous Crabapple after one of our gigs, and proceeded to spend the next several years showing us that the pedal steel wasn’t out of place being played through an overdrive pedal. I’ll treasure those fine memories and see him on the next stage…

  7. Tom Raider says

    God bless you Rick, it goes without saying that you and your work are loved by many. I have yet to go a week without hearing your wonderful playing on the Lazy Suns record. I’m sure St. Peter got ya’ the best load in time and easiest access at the pearly gates.
    Play on.
    The fan you never met.

  8. Dave Maswick says

    A GREAT guy who will be missed by many. Rest in peace, my friend.

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