Clarence Gatemouth Brown, RIP

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The blues/country/Cajun/jazz/funk/miscellaneous musician survived the hurricane, then died of natural causes on Saturday. Like the fiddle virtuoso Vassar Clements, who passed away last month, Brown played American music without regard for genre boundaries, especially after he left the R&B-oriented Duke/Peacock Records.

I saw him on a bill with Taj Mahal and Michelle Shocked back around 1991, and it's still one of the best concerts I've ever attended. Rest in peace.

NEXT: Disillusionment

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  1. What a shame. He lived a few days too long--it would have been better if he'd died in his own bed, the day before the hurricane, than spend the last week of his life as a refugee exiled from the city he loved.

    (This may be a double post--the Daily Server Breakdown is earlier than usual, today.)

  2. Saw him a couple of times in joints that held no more than 100-200 people, and they were among the best performances I've ever seen; what a virtuoso. He is missed already.

  3. I wish that I could have seen him live. RIP

  4. I had the benefit of seeing him in all sorts of venues, from small clubs to festival gigs, as Houston was a frequent stop. He was a gruff old fart, but I saw him sit through endless lines to sign autographs (assuming you bought the CD, of course).

    No one ever came away from a Gatemouth performance without at least one "Damn!". And just to remind you who was boss, he always pulled out "Take The 'A' Train" to get them drooling. Truly the personification of the word "entertainer".

  5. Gatemouth plays guitar on Professor Longhair's "Rock 'n Roll Gumbo."

    I know three children who wouldn't exist were it not for Gatemouth Brown.

    I was a friend of the groom. She was a friend of the bride. Our matchmaking friends sat us next to each other at the reception. Drinks turned into ...

    ... skiing stories. "You like to ski? OK, next time it snows, I'll take you skiing."

    No snow that winter, so, weeks later, I took her to see Gatemouth Brown-an excellent first date. Time, money and surgical procedures brought Elvis, Iris and Walrus. We never skied that season.

    A year later, we finally went skiing. Luckily, by then our relationship could survive a bad date. We were not good ski partners.

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