Born in Hamilton, Ohio on July 28, 1954. Steve started off playing in a school bands, including the Dixie Grits, formed around 1970 while he was at Richmond Military Academy. After they broke up he became bandleader, songwriter and guitarist for instrumental band Dixie Dregs, which included former Grits bassist Andy West. Formed while Steve was studying music at the University of Miami, the quintet later released six albums between 1977 and 1982, the last three simply as The Dregs. Straight after their dissolution in 1983 Steve formed a trio initially called Morse Code, which soon changed to the Steve Morse Band.

The new group had only just started when Steve embarked on a world tour playing an acoustic solo set, as opener for Al DiMeola, John Mc Laughlin and Paco DeLucia. Another (non-recording) side-project was Biff Baby's Allstars, put together to help promote Music man guitars. All of this helped Steve Morse to recognition among guitar players, a cult figure who earned great success in readers' polls in musicians' magazines.

In 1986 he joined US pomp rockers Kansas before becoming disillusioned with the music industry, and retiring to become an airline pilot. Despite that, he continued to perform sessions, joined Lynyrd Skynyrd for a show on their 1987 reunion tour which was subsequently released on CD, reunited the Dixie Dregs in 1988, and recorded and toured with Kansas (in addition performing as their support act in 1989 and 1991).

Steve formed a new incarnation of the Steve Morse Band in 1989, with Dave La Rue on bass and Van Romaine on drums, which has remained intact to this day, recording and touring purely instrumental sets; including an appearance at Deep Purple's Concerto concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in 1999. Steve has also found time to record and tour with the Dixie Dregs, as well as producing a string of solo albums.

In 1994 he joined Deep Purple as permanent replacement for Ritchie Blackmore, and has remained with them now for over ten years, contributing heavily to three studio sets and countless live albums. In 2004 he also recorded and played live as part of Living Loud, a band also comprising ex Ozzy Osbourne band members Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake, Australian singer Jimmy Barnes, and current Deep Purple bandmate Don Airey.

(thanks to Heath Barrett)


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