Not to be confused with the jazz pianist and arranger of the same name who passed away in 1956, the guitarist Don Kirkpatrick haunts the Los Angeles recording studios, not the big-band stage. He became active on various types of pop recordings in the mid-'80s, racking up a series of credits with a band named Animotion, although he was never an actual member. Such is the lot of a studio picker, who in the '80s rock scene might have wondered if there was going to be room for an electric guitar at all in the arrangements among all the synthesizers and drum machines.
Perhaps this is the reason Kirkpatrick honed some skills as a background vocalist and songwriter, although such activity remains strictly a minority report in a career that is well past its second decade. Other artists who have made use of Kirkpatrick's guitar playing include singers Joe Cocker and Michael Bolton and the Christian rock diva Amy Grant. From early 2000, Kirkpatrick became a regular member of Rod Stewart's touring band. Some collaborators have credited Kirkpatrick with helping write songs during studio sessions, such as Michael Anderson, who makes this additional helpful comment about a song entitled "I Still Love You": "...the guitar playing is better than me so it's probably Donny."