Bill Kirchen’s career began in 1967 when he co-founded Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. They recorded seven albums for Paramount and Warner Brothers, one of which (Live From Deep in the Heart of Texas) rightfully made Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Best Albums of All Time.” The original band established its place in the infancy of the Americana movement by being one of the first and only rock ’n’ roll bands to infuse their honky-tonk sound with pure, blood-and-guts country roots and Western swing. It’s Kirchen’s indelible guitar licks that define their top-ten charting hit, “Hot Rod Lincoln, ” a song that eventually took on a post-Cody life of its own.
Bill Kirchen has released a dozen CDs under his own name, and recorded and/or played guitar live with a who’s who of Americana and Roots Rock ‘N’ Roll, among them Gene Vincent, Link Wray, Bo Diddley, Hazel Dickens, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Narada Michael Walden, Doug Sahm, Hoyt Axton, Emmylou Harris, Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello.
Bill still keeps up an intense international touring and teaching schedule, recording and playing 200+ days a year. His latest recording “Transatlanticana”, released in the states on Red House Records, went immediately onto the Americana Top 40 Radio chart and stayed for 5 months., cracking the Top 10 in 2016.