Noted Guitarist Stephen Bruton Dies in Los Angeles

Guitarist Stephen Bruton, who first gained national attention as a member of Kris Kristofferson’s band, died Saturday (May 9) in Los Angeles following a battle with throat cancer. He was 60. The Texas-based musician had been undergoing medical treatment in California while working as music producer and composer for Crazy Heart, a film starring Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall. He and longtime friend T Bone Burnett completed work on the project just a few days before his death. While living in L.A., Bruton also played on sessions for Kristofferson’s upcoming album, Starlight and Stone. Bruton was just 22 when he began a 17-year tenure in Kristofferson’s band. In addition to touring in Bonnie Raitt’s band, he recorded five solo albums, including his most recent, From the Five, released in 2005 on New West Records. He produced records for Alejandro Escovedo, Marcia Ball and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, among others. As a songwriter, his compositions were recorded by numerous artists, including Kristofferson, Raitt, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Martina McBride and Patty Loveless. Bruton also worked as an actor in the films Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Heaven’s Gate, A Star Is Born, Songwriter, Miss Congeniality, The Alamo, Sweet Thing and Man of the House. Plans for a funeral or memorial service were pending Monday morning (May 11), according to a spokesperson for New West.