With the sorrowful passing of Robert Hunter, I sense the cool winds of fall sifting through the leaves of the Grateful Dead tree. As the leaves change colors and begin to drift back into the cosmos from which they came, it is ever so easy to become submersed within reflection.
“So swift and bright, strange figures in light, float in air.”
Neal Casal, the fifty-year-old guitarist and songwriter, played his final act Saturday evening at the Lockn' Festival in Arrington, Virginia. Judging from the smiles of all those surrounding him onstage, nobody saw it coming.
Revered in the music community for his countless contributions to Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Hard Working Americans, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and Circles Around The Sun, not to mention his twelve solo albums, Casal was unknown commercially, but in high demand across the spectrum.
Throughout the years, few musicians have been able to curate raw energy, pure emotion and eloquent passion quite like Jeff Austin. The longtime mandolin player, frontman and smiling soul of Yonder Mountain String Band passed away, leaving a legacy of incredible music, memories and everlasting devotion to the bluegrass community.
"Well Glen Campbell was special because he was so gifted. Glen is one of the greatest voices that ever was in the business, and he was one of the greatest musicians. He was a wonderful session musician as well. A lot of people don’t realize that, but he could play anything. And he could play it really well. So he was just extremely talented. I will always love you, Glen!" – Dolly Parton
Ralph Stanley, a patriarch of Appalachian music who with his brother Carter helped expand and popularize the genre that became known as bluegrass, died Thursday from difficulties with skin cancer. He was 89.
Paul Kantner, co-founding member of Jefferson Airplane died today after suffering a massive heart attack just days earlier. Kantner had been with the Airplane and its later spin-off, Jefferson Starship for half a century. Kantner suffered his first heart attack back in March of 2015. After taking time off to recover, Paul returned to the stage later in the year to honor the 50th Anniversary on the Airplane. Kantner is survived by his two sons and one daughter, Paul was 74.
The world lost one of the most flamboyant and talented singer-songwriter’s on Sunday, when David Robert Jones, known as David Bowie died after a long battle with cancer. David Bowie made music over four decades, with the 70's and 80's being his heyday. In 1972 Bowie emerged as alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust, and released The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.