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Local Musician Killed In Motorcycle Crash

A Sonora man was killed yesterday in a Calaveras County motorcycle crash.

The California Highway Patrol says 47 year-old Ken Darby was riding his motorcycle northbound on the southbound side of French Gulch Road north of the Murphy´s Grade Road. Investigators say the motorcyclist saw an on-coming pick-up truck driven by 51 year old Steven Snowden of Murphys … but was was unable to avoid the head-on collision. The Sonora man was thrown from his motorcycle. He died from injures.

Darby was best known as a member of the local Black Irish Band. Ken played a wide range of popular music, from bluegrass to blues. Ken had the privilege of playing most of the larger concert venues in Southern California. including such luminaries as country music pioneer Cliffy Stone, rock legends The Strawberry Alarm Clock, as well as members of the Grateful Dead.

Born in 1957, Darby was raised in Los Angeles, and later moved to the San Francisco Bay area. During his twenty years on the L.A. music scene, and just about everything in between.

During that time, Ken, along with his two sons Travis and Tyler, moved to Northern California in the early 1990´s. There he met up with and joined The Black Irish Band.

In his many years with the Black Irish, Ken has played throughout the United States and internationally as far away as Singapore.