Yesterday my husband was hit with some sad news.
One of his music heroes - who had turned into a friend - passed away yesterday.
This is my own little tribute to that friend.
My husband Pat moved from his home state of Utah to Texas in 1991 to pursue his dream of playing guitar. Once he arrived in Texas he discovered the blues: Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Howling Wolf...and then there was Stevie Ray Vaughan. A guitarist who kicked the blues up to a whole new level.
Not long after arriving, Pat formed a band and began touring, which eventually led to a high profile gig (in the blues world anyway). He played in several countries and all across the states, meeting many people he admired, even B.B. King. I think that's the only man who's ever brought Pat to tears - until yesterday, that is.
Another musician Pat met was Doyle Bramhall, the songwriter and inspiration for many of Stevie Ray Vaughan's hits. Pat met Doyle through Chris Hunter, Doyle's step-son, who played drums in the same band with Pat. Pat and Doyle talked, hung out, and played together. Pat gained great respect for Doyle pretty quickly. He was mega talented, and unlike so many successful entertainers, carried himself with no conceit. Pat always prided himself that Doyle (the man who partnered with Stevie Ray Vaughan) loved his guitar playing. Pat played on one of Doyle's cd's not long after they met.
I wasn't able to spend much time with Doyle, I only had a handful of times with him, but there is one memory that immediately came to mind when Pat told me the news yesterday. About seven years ago, Doyle and his wife Barbara were visiting in town. With a 5-year-old Savannah in tow, we met up with them at a local Starbucks to give them some baby clothes to take back to Chris for his little girl. After a brief conversation they invited us to lunch. They were hungry for Tex-Mex (and who isn't in Texas??), so we took them to our favorite haunt. Doyle was so friendly, and spoke easily with our little Savannah, and had me crying with laughter as he told past stories from the road. That lunch led to a full day together: all five of us driving around the city, talking, laughing, and sharing stories and food. Both Doyle and Barbara left a lasting impression on me and I was always happy to see them when they came to town.
I'll forever be grateful to Doyle for the compliments and confidence he gave my husband,
for the way he welcomed me,
for the way he talked with Savannah,
and for the music he gave us.