Drummer Lamondo 'Tiny' Watson passed away this weekend at St. David's South in Austin from complications following heart surgery. According to fellow musician and frequent collaborator Reggie Coby (Dred Skott, League of Extraordinary Gz), Watson, a former army man, had relocated from Los Angeles to Killeen in the last decade to be closer to his children. About four years ago, Watson moved to Austin and rapidly established himself as a house player in the local hip-hop, r&b and soul scenes. In addition to Coby, Watson was working with local hip-hop artists Riders Against the Storm and Max Frost among others. He also performed with soul artists Sonia Moore and Malford Milligan and self-described 'rock diva' Courtney Sanchez.
"He was such a deep guy, so full of life," Coby said. "He was the big guy. He wasn't afraid of anything ."
According to Coby, Watson learned last week that he would need an aortic valve replacement. He underwent a series of surgeries beginning early Friday morning. He was taken off life support on Saturday when doctors were unable to stabilize him following the procedures. Watson was 35 years old. He is survived by a son and daughter, both teenagers.
An all-star memorial open jam is planned for tonight at Spinners in North Austin at 8 p.m. and Coby and fellow collaborators are working on plans for a benefit performance. We will update this blog with that information as it becomes available.
UPDATE: This story has been corrected to note that Watson was 35 years old, not 38.