(hennemusic) Deep Purple has officially welcomed guitarist Simon McBride as the newest permanent member of the band. The announcement follows news in July that Steve Morse would be leaving the lineup after more than 25 years to care for his wife, who is battling stage 4 cancer; McBride stepped in to cover for Morse earlier this year before the change became permanent.
"We are thrilled that Simon has agreed to join," says Deep Purple. "Simon's playing is up there with the greats. Of course, Steve can't be replaced, the same as Ritchie, and Steve has a long legacy with Deep Purple. In Simon we have not found a replacement, but an extraordinarily talented and exciting guitarist in his own right.
"The reception from audiences over the Summer has already been great and we are looking forward to the forthcoming dates in the UK and Europe across the rest of the year. It is clear that Simon also holds great respect for those before him. We are all excited for what the years to come hold for the band."
Read McBride's statement and more here.