Posts Tagged ‘E Street Band’

RIP Chris Gaffney, Danny Federici

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Thursday, April 17, was a tough day for middle-aged rock fans. We lost Danny Federici, keyboardist of the E Street Band for 40 years, and Chris Gaffney of the Hacienda Brothers, who was diagnosed with liver cancer just a few weeks ago.

From the HelpGaff web site:

His departure was quick and painless with the support of Our loving family by his side.

Celebrations of his life are in the works. Please check back for updates. Your continuous support and donations are greatly appreciated and still needed to offset the financial burden of his medical care. From our family to yours, much love.

From the Hacienda Brothers web site:

Chris Gaffney, a beloved husband, revered entertainer, precious father, dear uncle, trusted friend, cherished brother has succumbed to liver cancer.

Chris Gaffney passed away yesterday morning, April 17, 2008 in the Orange County hospital in California with his wife Julie at his side. Further details are unavailable at this time. Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.

“Chris Gaffney grew up in Arizona, where he learned to play the accordion as a young child. The instrument would later influence the performer’s mix of norteño with country and rock & roll. Gaffney eventually mastered guitar as well and spent his teen years gigging in cover and house bands. In 1977, he formed a partnership with keyboardist Wyman Reese, who also produced Gaffney’s initial solo efforts. Road to Indio appeared in 1986; it featured 1950s rock, soul, and dusty Bakersfield honky tonk. Chris Gaffney & the Cold Hard Facts followed in 1990, and delved into Gaffney’s Hispanic heritage. His third solo effort, Mi Vida Loca, was issued in 1992. Loser’s Paradise appeared in 2003. The album was produced by blue-collar stalwart Dave Alvin and featured contributions from Lucinda Williams and Jim Lauderdale.” – Johnny Loftus, AMG. Gaffney also recorded and toured extensively as a member of Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men. Gaffney & Alvin formed a bond of brotherhood that has been a cornerstone in each of their lives.

Gaff’s most current project, The Hacienda Brothers is a collaboration between singer and songwriter Gaffney and Dave Gonzalez, best known as the guitarist, singer, and songwriter with the veteran blues-rockabilly combo the Paladins. “Longtime friends Gaffney and Gonzalez first performed together when they played an informal set for a mutual friend’s birthday party in 2002; Gonzalez was impressed with the results, and as he was looking for an outlet for the country-style songs he was unable to perform with the Paladins, he proposed a more formal collaboration. Teaming up with David Berzansky on pedal steel, Hank Maninger on bass, and Dale Daniel on drums, the duo adopted the name the Hacienda Brothers, and set up a base of operations in Tucson, Ariz. Gonzalez, who has a passionate interest in vintage cars, struck up a friendship with fellow gearhead Dan Penn, the legendary producer and songwriter who was a key figure in the Muscle Shoals sound, and he persuaded Penn to produce the debut Hacienda Brothers album, the eponymous Hacienda Brothers. Penn also contributed two songs to the sessions, which appeared on the group’s self-titled 2005 release. What’s Wrong with Right was released the following year.” –Mark Deming, AMG. A live CD, Music For Ranch & Town, was released unofficially in August of 2007. Their sound, dubbed “Western Soul,” culminated in the 2007 nomination for the Americana Music Association Duo/Group of the Year. In January of 2008 The Hacienda Brothers recorded their 4th CD, Arizona Motel, that will be released nationally on June 24th.

Plans are in the works for the band to tour in support of the CD in tribute to Chris Gaffney.

Chris Gaffney lived his life as a dedicated musician with little fanfare or ego. The industry recognition that had so long eluded him finally came with sincere praise & genuine respect for the quality of his work in The Hacienda Brothers. His fans worldwide have overwhelmingly shown their loved & appreciation. The HelpGaff.com website has raised tens of thousands of dollars before a single benefit show has even been played. Gaff was universally loved for his quick smile, even temperament, keen observations and dry wit. He will be missed as much for those qualities as for his incomparable talent as a singer, songwriter and musician. And we will surely miss hearing the girls scream, “Gaffney! Gaffney! Gaffney!”

Gaff’s favorite month of the year? “April, because it always brings hope.”

–Dianne Scott

Orange County Register’s Gaffney obit

From BruceSpringsteen.net:

DANNY FEDERICI

“Danny and I worked together for 40 years – he was the most wonderfully fluid keyboard player and a pure natural musician. I loved him very much…we grew up together.”
—Bruce Springsteen

Danny Federici, for 40 years the E Street Band’s organist and keyboard player, died this afternoon, April 17, 2008 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City after a three year battle with melanoma.

The Federici family and the E Street family request that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Danny Federici Melanoma Fund.

There’s video on that page of Federici playing “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in Indianapolis on March 20, his last appearance with the band.