Guitarist and ethnomusicologist Bob Brozman dies at 59

R.I.P Bob Brozman

(March 8, 1954 - April 24, 2013)

Bob Brozman, the steel-guitar innovator and ethnomusicologist who got his start playing on the streets of Santa Cruz, has died. Details have not yet been confirmed, but he was discovered at home (April 24th). He was 59.

Bob was a true afficianado of blues and roots music, drawing from styles all over the world to create his powerhouse and instantly recognizeable guitar style. He was a champion of “island music” from all over the world, especially the Indian Ocean and classic Hawaiian music. His own music drew heavily from pre-war regional styles, and his performances were captivating explosions of guitar pyrotechniques, empassioned folklorica and cleverly sardonic banter.

Bob was born in New York on March 8, 1954. He was a world traveller who seemed to thrive on collaborating with the best musicians he could find from many different musical traditions be it the romantic and earthy Tau Moe Family sounds from Hawaii or the beautiful  Reunion Island music of Rene Lacaille. Bob’s trademark guitar sound came from National steel guitars that he spent his life collecting them, often joking that if he had to buy many of his most prized guitars again, he couldn’t possibly afford them. He recorded over 20 albums under his own name, beginning with 1981’s Blue Hula Stomp. He also recorded with R. Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders for their third album in 1978 (reissued and still available through Shanachie). His most recent record was last year’s Fire in the Mind. Photo: Bob Brozman in Greece

Bob Brozman - Official website

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