As the year 2012 comes to end across the the world and the new year begins, we’d like to take a moment and honor those that we lost over the last year. The blues community was forced to say goodbye to Michael, Donald, Etta and Cody but the memories will remain.
We were huge fans of Michael “Iron Man” Burks and his unexpected death still leaves an incredible void that fans can only try to fill with the music he left behind. As a final gift to us all, “Iron Man” Burks left us with a fine statement of who he was and what he stood for. Every ounce of playing on his final album is a cut above the rest, and every note is right where it should be. Thank you Michael: We will miss you more than you could ever realize.
The world lost one of the most talented bass players to ever hold down the bottom end when we lost Donald “Duck” Dunn. His musical legacy lives on, but he is sorely missed by many. Perhaps best known for his Blues Brothers and Booker T. and The MG’s work, there was a lot more to “Duck” than those two acts. He provided the lower end on a string of R & B classics and stayed busy for decades as a highly sought after studio musician.
We also lost the one and only Etta James after a long, painful fight with illness. James won six Grammy awards, is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Blues Hall of Fame inductee, and a seventeen-time Blues Music Award winner, including a multiple-time winner of Soul/Blues Female Artist of the Year.
The young Cody Burnside was taken from us just a few months ago at the age of 29. Cody was the grandson of R.L. Burnside, Mississippi Hill Country Blues legend and he blended southern roots music of his lineage with his interests in rap and hip-hop. He formed the Cedric Burnside Project, along with his brother Cedric and uncle Garry, which blended blues, funk, R&B and soul with current strains of modern music.