Guitarist-songwriter Stephen Bruton dies

LOS ANGELES, May 10 (UPI) -- Guitarist-songwriter Stephen Bruton, who worked with such stars as Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson, has died in Los Angeles of throat cancer. He was 60.

Bruton died Saturday, Cameron Strang, president of New West Records said in a news release. Bruton had been receiving treatment and had recently completed work on the music for the film, "Crazy Heart," Strang said.


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

"I feel fortunate that I was able to get back to LA last night and say farewell," Kristofferson said.

Bruton played guitar with Kristofferson for 17 years. Kristofferson said Bruton was "one of the bright spots in the lives of anyone who was close to him."

While in Los Angeles, Bruton played on sessions for Kristofferson's upcoming record, "Starlight and Stone," New West Records said.

Grammy-winning producer T-Bone Burnett remembered Bruton as "the soul of Texas music."

"This is an incalculable loss," Burnett said. "He was my oldest friend, and I loved him like a brother. I learned more from him than I can say."


Bruton released five records as a solo artist and produced records for such artists as Alejandro Escovedo, Storyville and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. His songs have been recorded by such artists as Kristofferson, Raitt, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

He also acted in movies, appearing in "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid," "Heaven's Gate," "A Star is Born," "Songwriter," Miss Congeniality," and "The Alamo."

Bruton is survived by his wife, photographer Mary Bruton, and by his mother, Kathleen, and a brother, Sumter.

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