Obits — March 9, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Buren Fowler, former Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ guitarist and R.E.M. sideman, 1959-2014

Buren Fowler

Buren Fowler — who played lead guitar in Southern rock act Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ from 1988 to 1993 after working as Peter Buck’s guitar tech and an occasional second guitarist on two R.E.M. tours — passed away Friday night, according to messages posted to both Drivin’ n’ Cryin’s official website and Facebook page.

A memorial service is planned for April 5 at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Ga., according to Drivin’ n’ Cryin’.

No cause of death has been revealed.

Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ posted the following message on its Facebook page on Saturday:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our brother-in-arms Buren Fowler. Words alone cannot express the sense of loss that we all feel. He will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his dear wife Paula and his family. We love you Buren. Godspeed.

Frontman Kevn Kinney added, in a tweet, “Beautiful soul… we will miss him.”


Fowler had remained in Athens, where he also did guitar repair and taught the instrument as well, according to his Facebook page. His time with R.E.M. dates back to the mid-80s, when, according to “It Crawled From the South,” he served as a guitar tech with the band an played occasional second guitar on the Pageantry and Work tours in 1986 and 1987, respectively.

He joined Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ after that, and played with that band for five years, during which time the group recorded Mystery Road, Fly Me Courageous, Smoke and Wrapped in the Sky.

Below, we’ve posted a full 90-minute Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ concert from 1988 featuring Fowler, as well as a clip from R.E.M.’s Work tour, during which he played second guitar onstage.






  1. So is he responsible for that infectious intro that hooked me to the song “Fly Me Courageous”? Don’t know much of the band’s music, but this is was one of my favorites of the alt-rock 90’s. RIP Buren

  2. Doug Harwell

    A beautiful and wonderful soul that I had the pleasure of having in my life for a while.

  3. Those Cotton Club shows were something else. What sad news.

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