In My Heart

Will Indian, 1953 - 2014

Will Indian
Photo by Herb Belofsky


Will Indian was a great musician and a great friend. I first knew Will in the Rhythm Rats -- we shared a booking agent and did many shows together. Through the years whenever our paths crossed Will was always kind, gracious, hilariously funny and a true gentleman.

He could also rock big time. He played in dozens of projects, toured Europe with more than one, and his own new band, The Nortons, who were in residency in Austin for years, at the Hole in the Wall and later the White Horse.

Will was a mentor and guitarist to James Hand. The last time I saw Will he was playing with Hand and was rockin' -- and as gracious and sweet as ever. Sincere condolences to Will's family.


Sarah Elizabeth Campbell, 1953 - 2013

Sarah Elizabeth Campbell
Sarah Elizabeth Campbell
Photo by Mandy Mercier

Sarah Elizabeth Campbell was one of my best friends. We met in around 1986 at Christmas time, she was a native Austinite living in California, I was moving from Austin to L.A. for a few years. But we bonded and got together several times that season and had great chemistry. When I moved back to Austin in 1992, Sarah had moved back too. We both sang regularly with Champ Hood and the Threadgill Troubadours for many years. Sarah also hosted her weekly "Bummer Night" shows at La Zona (owned by Marcia Ball and Gordon Fowler), later moving her show to Artz Ribhouse for a long time, and finally a great combo was put together – Sarah and Christine Albert, with special guests each week – at El Mercado, doing "Mystery Monday" duo shows for the past 14 months.

Sarah remained beloved in northern California as well, and performed yearly at the Strawberry Festival, and elsewhere. Sarah was a warm and enchanting singer, but to me she was much more. A dear, middle-of-the-night friend, a hilarious companion, a sister-in-arms. I miss her more than I can express.

Eve McArthur, 1943 - 2013

Eve McArthur was one of my first friends in Austin in the early 1980s. She was working for the Center for Battered Women at the time and at her encouragement, I became a volunteer. Later Eve moved on to a great job with the SXSW organization and was and is beloved by many. The Chronicle tells her story better than I can, but she is a great loss to us all. Love to her daughter Erin (also a mainstay of SXSW), and Eve's son Aiden.

Here is a link to Margaret Moser's story about Eve and our other dear friend, Sarah. Sadly, after Sarah's benefit she was not with us much longer. But both Eve and Sarah Elizabeth were huge forces in music and are beloved and missed by everyone.

Traci Lamar Hancock by WinkerTRACI LAMAR HANCOCK
March 12, 1960 - May 12, 2012

This is a stunning loss. Traci and her family, the Supernatural Family Band and later, Texana Dames, have been loving friends to me since I first came to Austin decades ago. Traci was a gifted and passionate musician, and she and her beautiful Family have given so much to so many for a long time. Couples literally met and married at their gigs!! May they all continue to shine, with now the glow of Traci's incredible spirit among each of them, and all who were privileged to know Traci and her joyous, wacky, beautiful, totally life-affirming ways. Deepest love and condolences to Tommy, Charlene, La Conni, Joaquin, Louie, Holli, Traci's son Nastaste, and all of the Hancock Family. Traci fought a valiant fight and now sings with the brightest angels.



Photo by Winker with an Eye

Calvin Russell, 1949 - 2011

We are very sad to learn of the passing of our dear friend and soul brother, Calvin Russell on Sunday, April 2, 2011. A huge talent, who was recognized abroad far more than he ever was in his own native Austin, Calvin had soul, integrity and class all the way. Despite his outlaw ways, Calvin, like his friend Blaze Foley, never compromised his artistic vision or his personal dignity. A great artist, a great and supportive fellow musician, a great person. RIP Calvin, 1949-2011. There was a Tribute to Calvin Russell Concert at Ruta Maya Coffee House, Sunday afternoon, April 16th.

Check out calvinrussell.net, and Calvin's many videos online for more about our friend.

Ronald Edward Yaklich

Ronald Edward Yaklich, 1948-2010

 

Ronnie Yaklich, great love through college, then reconnection in 1997 and engagement to marry -- always a huge part of my life and a larger-than life soul. A great joy and impossible sorrow at this time.

Ronnie passed away on Christmas morning, December 25, 2010, in his sleep after a grueling battle with cancer and the side effects of his treatment. Ronnie was also the "angel" who funded my first CD ("Wild Dreams of the Shy Boys,") without which so many things would have been impossible. That was only one of hundreds of wonderful things Ronnie did for me, and with me.

Love to him forever and may he shine always. Deepest condolences to Ronnie's family and countless friends in Colorado.


Susan Bright

Susan Bright passed away suddenly after a brief illness (December 2010.) Susan was a mentor, supporter, friend and colleague to me as she was to so many writers, musicians and artists of every kind -- and she was the champion of the "real" Austin! In particular Susan adored Barton Springs (and its trees), she was very active in civic activities including SOS. Susan was also an antiwar activist (Women in Black, organizing vigils, marches and demonstrations) and was a talented jeweler and worldwide "treasure finder" along with her artist husband, John and their 2 sons. Susan was the publisher of Plain View Press.

2009

We have lost so many this past year. Stephen Bruton an internationally acclaimed musician and a good friend; Robin Shivers also a lovely friend and incredibly generous philanthropist, Robin founded HAAM, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians among her many other civic activities; Amy Farris who was touring with Dave Alvin, a lovely "fellow fiddler" and a truly sweet person; Bill Narum, a great poster artist (and fine artist) since the 1960-70s and a huge contributor to Texas music and culture -- including designing the ZZ Top logo. Bill was my friend since 1980; and Vic Chestnutt, a fine songwriter, among many others. Of course Rusty Wier a dear friend with whom I played many gigs and sit-ins, a Texas treasure; and the brilliant and amazing Tina Marsh.

Please support health care for Austin musicians, go out and hear live music, and enjoy the wonderful Austin music scene. They would want you to.

photo of Willy DeVille by Linda Nafey
Photo by Linda Nafey

Willy DeVille (né Billy Borsey) 1950-2009.

Willy and I met when we were teenagers and were in bands (with Richard and Linda Nafey, Vinnie LaRocca, Marie Poisson, and others), and hung out as friends for many years in Connecticut and New York. His first wife, Susan ("Toots") (RIP) was a good friend as well, and went to school with my sisters at Windsor Mountain. Billy and I worked together in a little "boutique" that sold clothes, posters and other things (!) where he would sit on the counter and play guitar. We went (with our dates) to the Woodstock Festival and left early, since Willy pronounced it too uncool (after we drove all night to get there!!). We went on tour, played gigs, had rehearsals, and sat around a lot of tables and talked. Although he's lauded as "one of the bands from CBGB's," he was always an R&B and soul singer, with many diverse influences, NOT a punk artist; a true pioneer and musical genius. My sincere and deep condolences to Willie's wife, Nina, and his son, Sean.

(Willy's web site)

Paul SkeltonPaul Skelton, a great friend and incredible musician, passed away Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009 after a valiant battle with cancer.

 Paul was a stunningly inventive and adaptable performer who could literally play anything.   He was a devoted friend, funny, passionate, sweet, and shy with an encyclopedic knowledge of not only all kinds of music (from Brahms to "Bird" to boogie-woogie), but kind of everything else in the world as well.  

Paul played guitar with me a lot after Champ Hood passed away -- in fact, he called me right away to say, "Don't worry, I'll play with you if you need a guitarist."  This was a guy with literally dozens of other projects, from his many years with with Cornell Hurd, to Texana Dames, Libbi Bosworth, and he's also worked with Ted Roddy, Penny Jo Pullus, Wayne "The Train" Hancock, and the Sisters Morales and countless others.  

Paul will be greatly missed, play on.  Love to Paul's wife Annie and son, Jess.   Say hi to Danny.

Danny Roy Young
Danny's funeral program quoting William Wordsworth:
"Though nothing can bring back the hour
of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind.
"

DANNY ROY YOUNG — Lord of the Board
May 20, 1941 - August 20, 2008

Danny of Texicalli Grille and Unofficial (but real) Mayor of South Austin passed away suddenly August 20th. Danny was a great friend to me, played rubboard with me many times onstage and on two live albums, and had me play at Texicalli every Friday for a long time.

Danny was the most incredible, energetic and amazing person ever -- ask anyone. Danny also played with Ponty Bone, Cornell Hurd, Conni Hancock of Texana Dames and many other friends.


David "Chris" Christopher Holzhaus, January 18, 1950 - July 11, 2008

Chris was one of the greatest bluesmen ever, and could also write a rockin' pop tune. I first met Chris in the early 1980s through Andy Salmon and Tommy Taylor, who do me the honor of playing in my band when they can, and Chris and I have likewise remained friends ever since those long-ago days. Chris had a tremendous amount of soul, and was generous to a fault.

The last time I saw him, he spotted me the audience, got me up to sing a song or two and tried to get me a gig at the club, where he was working himself at the time. That's the kind of person he was. In addition to fronting his own band out of San Antonio where he played regularly, as well as throughout Texas, Chris was a guitarist with Doug Sahm, Augie Meyers, and Delbert McClinton among others and he also opened shows for Stevie Vaughan. My heart goes out to Chris' wife of over 20 years, Suzanne B. Holzhaus, and all of Chris' family and friends.

Gary Primich, 1958 - 2007

Gone way too soon, a dear friend, and a GREAT musician.

Gary Primich in memoram, Link to his site.

Visit Gary's web site where you can find
information on Gary's musical career.

This true bluesman should not be forgotten.  Love to Gary’s wife and soulmate, Tina Rose.

Valentina Makarova Whitehead
My niece, Valentina Makarova Whitehead, 1986-2007

Please feel free to visit the Facebook page, via the link below, for more images of this lovely spirit and cherished family member.

"R.I.P Valentina Whitehead" on Facebook

Jesse Taylor
[Photo by Terry Tammadge (Paramount Theater)]

Jesse "Guitar" Taylor (1951-2006) was a great friend who played gigs with me, and was a mainstay of many other great bands including Joe Ely's, with whom he shared a stage with sit-in Bruce Springsteen, in Dublin, Ireland on New Year's Eve.

Always supportive and the sweetest person you could hope to meet, Jesse recommended me for, and I got to do a tour, with Billy Joe Shaver!!


Clifford Antone, 1949-2006

Clifford Antone
[Photo by Terry Tammadge]

Clifford and his legendary club established the crossoverblues scene in Austin beginning in the 70s and 80s; a great friend and supporter, dearly missed. Clifford is sitting in with our band in this picture. We're so grateful for all the gigs through the years.


Walter Hyatt, 1949-1996, and Champ Hood 1952-2001

Wonderful friends and two of the greatest singers,
songwriters and musicians of all time.

Walter Hyatt and Champ Hood
Singing together at Threadgill's, Oct. 25, 1995.
[Photo by Terry Tammadge]

Mandy's Champ Hood Photo Tribute

Champ Hood Tribute Site