Death – Legendary Alberta blues musician Harpdog Brown passes away – Red Deer Advocate

Death – Obituary

“He was the real deal.”

Mike Bradford has known Harpdog Brown through a reputation for a long time, but only recently met the long-time blues artist who is based out of Lacombe.

“I only did one show with him. That was last fall. I was very impressed with him and the show he put on. As a human being, I was very impressed with him, just as a person,” said Bradford, who is the president of the Central Alberta Music Festival Society.

Brown, who was a legendary Canadian blues artist, passed away Friday, just a few weeks shy of his 60th birthday.

“It is with great sadness to have to inform all of Harpdog’s fans.. friends.. and everyone he has touched.. that the legend himself passed away today in his home,” read a message on his Facebook page.

“Peacefully.. now he will be jamming with all his music mentors he talks of and loved to play their songs.”

Bradford said Brown was a legend in Alberta music circles. When he performed, the room simply changed.

“He’s a genuine soul. He wasn’t a blues pretender, he was a bluesman. He really felt the music,” Bradford explained.

“He knew what to do with it. He was the kind of guy that would bring joy to a room. People would get up and dance because of the exceptional spirit he brought to things.”

While he typically played blues tunes, Bradford said blues isn’t meant to be about being sad and Brown was able to capture that spirit.

“The music and them are one, what they do, the artistry and them is one. What they do, is they’re there to entertain people and bring some joy,” Bradford noted.

“The whole thing about the blues, it’s not sick and sad music. It’s the kind of music when it’s properly done is something that helps you overcome all your troubles and laugh at your condition, instead of wallowing in it. It’s really sad to see a guy go.”

Along with his band the Bloodhounds, Harpdog first played the Vat Pub in Red Deer in October of 1999. They were the finale for the Vat’s grand opening week of music.

Harpdog also recorded a live album at the Vat back in 2000 and hadn’t played the venue since March of 2001. He returned to Red Deer and played the Vat in December of last year.

“Our sincere condolences, to all who shared stories, enjoyed time with, and Loved, this Harp, and Bluesman,” read a post on the Vat Pub’s Facebook page.

The long-time bluesman was recognized for his work over the past few years, earning the Harmoica Player of the Year in 2014, 2015 and 2016 at the Maple Blues Awards.


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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject’s life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.