May 10, 2009

Cancer claims life of guitarist Bruton

Guitarist Stephen Bruton, who played with musicians like Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, has died in Los Angeles of throat cancer, Kristofferson says.

Kristofferson said he visited with Bruton, who had been battling cancer for 2 1/2 years, before the guitarist's death Saturday at the age of 60, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

I feel fortunate that I was able to get back to L.A. last night and say farewell, Kristofferson said. He finally knew he was going, after fighting it so hard for so long.

He was one of the bright spots in the lives of anyone who was close to him, he added regarding Bruton, who paired with Kristofferson in 1971.

Songwriter T-Bone Burnett remembered Bruton, who also worked as a producer and songwriter, as the soul of Texas music.

Stephen Bruton was the soul of Texas music, Burnett said of the Austin, Texas, musician in a statement. This is an incalculable loss. He was my oldest friend, and I loved him like a brother. I learned more from him than I can say.

The Times said Bruton is survived by his wife, photographer Mary Bruton.