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Fromholz memorial draws hundreds downtown

Peter Blackstock

Editor’s note: This article was originally published February 3, 2014

Hundreds of musicians and well-wishers from Austin and beyond gathered Sunday afternoon at Palm Door on Sixth to remember the great Texas singer-songwriter Steven Fromholz, who died Jan. 19 in a ranching accident. Close friend Turk Pipkin served as emcee as a cast of musicians took turns playing Fromholz’s songs, or other songs that fit the occasion.

Ray Benson wisely chose “Turn Turn Turn” by the late Pete Seeger, who passed away a few days after Fromholz, for a group sing-along with nearly all of the couple dozen musicians who performed during the memorial — including Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Christine Albert, Chris Gage, Darden Smith, Bob Livingston and Bobby Bridger.

Visiting from Colorado was Fromholz’s partner in the circa-1970 duo Frummox, Dan McCrimmon. He and onetime Fromholz bandmate Fletcher Clark played many songs throughout the afternoon. No single moment was more poignant than when Clark and another longtime friend, Craig Toungate, sang “Dear Darcie,” which Fromholz wrote for his daughter when she was young. Fromholz’s two daughters, Darcie and Felicity, danced together to the song a few feet from the stage.

It’s been a hard winter for losses in the local music community. Among the departed have been singer Sarah Elizabeth Campbell (Dec. 26), James Hand/Cornell Hurd guitarist Will Indian (Jan. 8), Omar & the Howlers drummer Gene Brandon (Jan. 8), major 1960s-70s booking agent Charlie Hatchett (Jan. 16) and KDRP DJ Larry Monroe (Jan. 17).