Blues star dies after avoiding hurricane

Clarence ”Gatemouth” Brown, the famed Louisiana-based singer and guitarist known for Cajun music, blues and jazz, has died in Texas after leaving New Orleans to avoid the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.

The Grammy Award-winner died on Saturday aged 81, according to media reports.

Brown’s official website said the singer had suffered from lung cancer and had been recuperating at his home in Slidell, a small town just outside New Orleans, Louisiana.

Tributes from Brown’s many fans around the world were posted on the musician’s website.

Brown, an inductee of the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, had travelled to his hometown of Orange, Texas, to avoid Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans.

His career spanned 50 years, starting as a drummer, but in 1947 he was a guitarist, eventually mastering both the big Gibson arch-top acoustic and the new, electrified Telecaster. He also played violin and harmonica.

Brown had a prolific musical career spanning blues, country, jazz and bebop and he was even known to perform Tex-Mex waltzes and polkas.

He played alongside Ry Cooder and Eric Clapton, among others, and his work influenced Guitar Slim, Frank Zappa, Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

A 1982 comeback album, Alright Again!, secured him a Grammy Award in 1982.

One tribute posted on Brown’s website from a Texas fan read: ”To the family … Thank you for sharing him with the world. God bless.” — AFP



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