An American guitar giant has departed: John Dawson Winter III has died at 70. American Blues Scene shares a message from the blues legend’s PR company:

Johnny Winter has passed away on July 16th, 2014, in his hotel room in Zurich, Switzerland. His Wife, family and bandmates are all saddened by the loss of one of the world’s finest guitarists.

Jenda Derringer, wife of longtime Winter associate Rick Derringer, added the following on her Facebook feed, via Blabbermouth:

(Johnny) was not in good health and was very frail and weak.

Read the entire ABS article right here.

And listen to Johnny Winter play the blues today.

Former Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ guitarist and REM sideman Buren Fowler has died. Though he’d maintained a lower profile of late, Fowler was very visible for a time. From Slicing Up Eyeballs:

His time with R.E.M. dates back to the mid-80s, when he served as a guitar tech with the band an played occasional second guitar on the Pageantry and Work tours. 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.

No cause of death as been released.

Read more and check out a complete Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ concert at SUE.

Right here.

We’ve lost another true giant among guitarists: Flamenco legend Paco de Lucia has died at the age of 66. Born Francisco Sanchez Gomez, the guitarist had an impact that reached well beyond his instrument in his Spanish  birthplace, Algecrias. Via BBC News Europe:

Algeciras is to hold two days of official mourning. Its mayor, Jose Ignacio Landaluce, called the musician’s death an “irreparable loss for the world of culture and for Andalusia.”

Author Emma Martinez, in a sidebar of the BBC article, reflects on de Lucia:

For me, as for the vast majority of my contemporaries, Paco was, is and forever will be the ultimate flamenco guitarist. As a classical guitarist (retired), for me he also became simply the world’s greatest guitarist regardless of genre, and one of the world’s best composers for guitar.

Read more at BBC.

Right here.

Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Bob Casale, a founding member of Devo, has died at 61. Brother and bandmate Gerald Casale said the following in a a statement, via Rolling Stone:

Bob was there in the trenches with me from the beginning. He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer and talented audio engineer, always giving more than he got. His sudden death from conditions that lead to heart failure came as a total shock to us all.

Read more at RS.

Right here.

We have lost an American icon: Folk legend Pete Seeger has died at the age of 94. His impact is difficult to quantify, but this clip from the Washington Post gets at the matter:

For more than 50 years, Mr. Seeger roamed America, singing on street corners and in saloons, migrant labor camps, hobo jungles, union halls, schools, churches and concert auditoriums. Mr. Seeger was a recognizable figure for generations of listeners. And with dozens of top-selling records and albums, he became one of the most enduring and best-loved folk singers of his generation. He also was one of the few remaining links to two of the 20th century’s early giants of American folk music: Huddie Ledbetter, the black ex-convict from Texas and Louisiana better known as Lead Belly, and Woody Guthrie, the minstrel songwriter from Oklahoma.

Read more at the Post.

Right here.

Jazz guitarist Ronny Jordan has died at 51. Jordan was a pathfinder in the “acid jazz” scene, as Mojo describes:

Jordan was in thrall to Grant Green, Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery. (He) came to further prominence when he appeared on Gangstarr leader Guru’s groundbreaking Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 album in 1993. Fusing hip-hop with jazz instrumentation, the album became a cult classic in the UK and placed Jordan in the company of such players as Donald Byrd, Branford Marsalis, Roy Ayers and Lonnie Liston Smith.

Mojo also quotes a Facebook statement from Jordan’s family:

We are still coming to terms with the loss of our brother. We are taking steps to manage Ronny’s personal affairs and so we ask if you could kindly bear with us as we deal with his matters in the background.

The cause of death has not been announced.

Read more and listen to Ronny Jordan at Mojo.

Right here.

The world of guitar lost many notable citizens during the year 2013. I was prepared to post this list yesterday when yet another was added to the roll. Here are the guitarist deaths covered by Pointy Guitar over the past year:

John Wilkinson
Jef Lee Johnson
Dan Toler
Alvin Lee
Peter Banks
Jason Molina
David Parland
Hugh McCracken
Jeff Hanneman
T-Model Ford
J. J. Cale
Allen Lanier
Philip Chevron
Jan Kuehnemund
Lou Reed
Jim Hall
Eric “Guitar” Davis
Benjamin Curtis

I also personally lost two musical associates this year. Longtime student, bandmate, and friend Tommy Anderson stopped fighting demons and left us in the spring. On the short list of those I’d consider protégés, Tommy was the first. And singer/songwriter/guitarist/friend Abigail Henderson of Kansas City bands Gaslights and Tiny Horse passed in August. RIP to all of the above.

So, 2013, good riddance. You can take that type of bullshit with you.

Here’s a wonderful document of Abby & Tiny Horse.

Multi-instrumentalist Benjamin Curtis has died at 35 after battling cancer. Curtis was a member of School of Seven Bells and previously played guitar the band Secret Machines, in addition to being the drummer for Tripping Daisy and UFOFU. The Oklahoma native had ties throughout the U.S. and his departure will be felt widely. From the Dallas Observer‘s DC9 at Night blog:

After he announced his Lymphoblastic Lymphoma diagnosis in February, musicians from Texas, Oklahoma and New York alike rallied around Curtis. Last night in New York, Curtis lost a year-long battle with cancer at the age of 35.

Read more at the Dallas Observer.

Right here.

Chicago blues fixture Eric “Guitar” Davis has been killed at 41. The guitarist, who had recently signed a deal with Delmark Records, was found behind the wheel of a vehicle on Chicago’s South Side. From The Blues Magazine:

(Davis) who was given his first guitar lesson by Buddy Guy, was found dead in his car with bullet wounds in his neck and torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 6am.

Read more at The Blues right here and at Billboard right here.

Jazz great Jim Hall has died at 83. According to an Associated Press report, via ABC:

His wife of 48 years, Jane Hall, says he died early Tuesday in his sleep at his Manhattan apartment after a short illness.

Hall began recording in 1957 and appeared on more than 70 albums as a leader or sideman.

For more, jump over to ABC.

Right here.

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