Lonesome Onry and Mean: R.I.P. Tim Krekel

Wherever you live, wherever you are/ Just love, love, love" - Tim Krekel, "Love One Another"

It is with immense sadness that Lonesome, Onry and Mean reports that Louisville, Kentucky musician and songwriter Tim Krekel has passed away.

Krekel had a large tumor removed from his stomach in April and seemed to be responding positively to therapy, but according to a message LOM received from Nashville late Wednesday night:

"In the past two weeks the cancer has returned (aggressively) to the point where no chemo or radiation will offset it. He is now with his wife Debby, sons Jason (Asheville), Nathan (San Francisco), and daughter Katy (Louisville) at his home in Louisville under hospice care."

Krekel received Last Rites Wednesday afternoon and passed Thursday morning only a few hours after we received this message. For someone so modest and virtually invisible, it is hard to fully grasp the depth and breadth of a career like his.

To some, Krekel was one of the great rock guitarists in Nashville; to others, a consummate songwriter whose work was admired both in the mainstream and in the alternative scene. On yet another level, Krekel was an amazingly satisfying performer in his own right, with eight solo records going back to 1979's Crazy Me.

Known to many as a key member of Jimmy Buffet's band for almost a decade, Krekel was part of the amazing ensemble that recorded Buffet's Son of a Son of a Sailor. His touring work included stints with the Eagles, Bo Diddley, Delbert McClinton, Tracy Nelson and Mark Germino. Krekel and his band the Sluggers were Germino's band on his Radartown album. Producer R.S. Field told LOM that Krekel's guitar lick that opened Germino's song "She's A Mystery" was "one of the greatest licks ever played."

Less well-known, except within the music community, is the fact that for many years Krekel was a writer at Houstonian Brownlee Ferguson's Bluewater Music, where he scored several No. 1 hits and cuts all over the musical and film map with everyone from mainstream artists like Crystal Gayle ("Turning Away") and Alan Jackson ("Anywhere on Earth You Are") to cowpunk icons Jason and the Scorchers.

How wide and diverse was Krekel's writing career? Who else has had songs covered by Canned Heat, Vern Gosdin, B.J. Thomas, Lonnie Mack, and Martina McBride? Krekel also co-wrote with Kim Richey the haunting "Come Around," featured in the Kevin Costner film For Love of the Game.

Since the release of Soul Season in 2007, Krekel had been working with the Tim Krekel Orchestra, which featured the horn section from the legendary band NRBQ. He had only recently recorded a track called "Bailout Blues" with the Orchestra.

A blog is hardly the place to eulogize someone of Tim Krekel's stature and integrity. No doubt in the coming days, the Nashville Tennesseean will offer a full retrospective of the man and his career. For me, Tim Krekel will always be the guy on our car stereo that Lise and I listened to constantly for the month we were in France in 2007. We must've turned 30 people onto Krekel during that trip.

So swing low, sweet chariot, and give this rock and roller an easy ride home. He was one of the truest we shall ever see.


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