From Jenni Finlay:
The Austin music community is mourning the loss of a capital city legend this Saturday.
Friends say Stephen Bruton died in Los Angeles Saturday morning after a two year bout with cancer.
Bruton produced acclaimed albums for Alejandro Escovedo, Marcia Ball, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Hal Ketchum, Storyville and Chris Smither.
According to the artists’ website, Bruton was a songwriter, singer, recording artist, record producer, actor, collaborator, and something of a raconteur and provocateur.
Bruton grew up surrounded by music in Fort Worth. His jazz drummer father ran a record store where he was weaned on the musical classics from blues, country, jazz and pop to classical. “He always said, if you’re going to listen to music, listen to the best music,” recalls Bruton.
“The thing about Fort Worth is that there was no scene there,” Bruton explains. “No one was looking at Fort Worth, believe me. But there was great music there and always has been. It’s always been black guys and white guys playing together. There was this great exchange of music.”
Bruton’s songs were recorded by many well known artists who also became his friends, such notable artists as Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Hal Ketchum, The Highwaymen, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Little Feat, Jimmy Buffett, Patty Loveless, Lee Roy Parnell and Martina McBride.
His most recent screen role included Man Of The House with Tommy Lee Jones, and he’s been seen in such films as Convoy, Songwriter, Heaven’s Gate, Miss Congeniality, Sweet Thing and The Alamo as well as the TV movie A Seduction In Travis County, the miniseries Amerika and the series Matlock.
Bruton had been battling cancer but met the challenge with dignity and fervor. “I had a bout with throat cancer that took most of the year. I've had 2 follow ups that have been pronounced "clear". Let's let that suffice instead of the long winded version…”
His long career was something of a love relationship with Bruton, “I’ve got no complaints. I get to do what I love. How many people can say that? And that’s worth more than anything. I’d be doing it anyway. And I’ve been very fortunate to do what I do for a long time.”
Stephen Bruton was as nice and decent a man as you would ever hope to meet. He was a seemingly effortless musician who knew how to work with those around him. If you do not own "Spirit World", pick up a copy and do yourself a favor. He will be missed. RIP
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