Colonel Bruce Hampton, guitarist and the musical godfather of the jam-band community, died last night after collapsing on stage in the Fox Theater in Atlanta. The 70-year-old was performing an encore of his own birthday celebration. The birthday concert included members of Widespread Panic, Phish and Leftover Salmon.
Ten years ago, Colonel Bruce and The Quark Alliance were part of the Inweekly’s Hawkshaw Music Fest in downtown Pensacola. After recovering from a heart attack and angioplasty a year earlier, he was enjoying a resurgence of his musical career. He listed his musical heroes as Bobby “Blue” Bland, Otis Redding, James Brown, B.B. King and Albert King, who he used to sneak into Atlanta clubs to see as a teenager.
It was an honor to meet him and a joy to listen to him play. Read The Colonel Returns.