I missed the announcement when it appeared in January, so to me it’s like it just happened. Steven Fromholz, songwriter, musician, and Poet Laureate of Texas, is dead. Among other things, his music launched the career of Lyle Lovett and was the basis for Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings’ foray into “Outlaw Music”. He was a long-standing inspiration to me, and his multi-genre career gave me the courage to become a solo performer, but you shouldn’t hold that against him. When I watched him perform one weekend at Six Flags it was the high point of my year. Needless to say, Fromholz has given me many happy listening hours.
This one-directional love fest started in 1970. I was living in west Texas and my band was performing in the local bars. We were all old rock/blues players, but you don’t get gigs playing anything but country out there. It was a tough job, but beat the heck out of working for a living. Fortunately I’ve managed to never have to perform country music since leaving that vast musical desert.
However, one good thing came out of that experience. One day my lead guitar player gave me an album that had just been released. I’d never seen him so excited. All he said was, “You have GOT to listen to this!” The album was Fromholz’s first: “Here to There”, and he called his band Frummox. It was Texas Western music, which is not the same as country, and it was fantastic. Although you can find some songs from the album on YouTube, it’s never been officially released on a CD, which is both a great loss and a shame.
Steve Fromholz died in a hunting accident. He dropped his rifle getting it out of the vehicle and it went off. All that and he didn’t even get to hunt. I feel this further proves the old bear adage that nothing good ever comes from owning a gun.
Excuse me, but I need to be alone with my music for awhile…