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 Playing Advice: 4-String (Jazz, Blues & Other Trad Styles)
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Very sad news!

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

Meestro - Posted - 04/07/2020:  17:36:46

I don't think there is any pleasant way to put this so I will paste the letter that I received a short while ago, (along with a number of other people) from Conal Fowkes, one of Eddy's closest musical collaborators. It isn't often that I'm speechless but after such good news in the last two messages, I am left with a lump in my throat. My heart goes out to Ruthie, his daughter Lucie, and his many close friends and acquaintances.



My dear friends,

It is with a broken heart that I have to inform you that our beloved friend Eddy Ray Davis died today at 5:13pm.

The decision was made to take him off the ventilator and within six minutes he was gone. Please know that he was unconscious and on pain medication and that he would have been unaware and felt no pain.

As per Eddy’s own wishes, stated in life and in his will, there will be no memorial.

I am deeply, deeply sorry and can say no more.


Cathy Fink - Posted - 04/07/2020:  17:43:36

So sorry to hear this. LOVE his music.

G Edward Porgie - Posted - 04/07/2020:  18:14:15

I think we'll all miss Eddy.

Mooooo - Posted - 04/07/2020:  18:19:32

Yes, that's very sad news. RIP Eddy, and condolences to his wife and family. The banjo world has lost a giant.

Ancient - Posted - 04/07/2020:  18:43:43

This is so hard to believe. Eddy was such an incredible person, as well as an extraordinary banjo player. It was a pleasure to meet him and Ruth a few years ago at the Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City. We’ll never forget them.

aintbrokejustbadlybent - Posted - 04/07/2020:  18:44:18

The news is only getting worse, I just heard John Prine has also died. I grew up with his music.

slammer - Posted - 04/07/2020:  19:07:39

Having just recently gotten to know Eddy a little bit through his music by watching his videos and chatting with him a few times, I can tell you he is / was one of a kind and a true master of music and entertainment!!!
I am heart broken to hear this news !!! I don’t think there is anyone that lived through music and history like he did. He had some great stories and more experiences than one can imagine!!! I will certainly miss him and his video posts and chats.
RIP Eddy, and thank you for sharing !!!

budbennett - Posted - 04/07/2020:  19:13:48

Heartbroken. RIP Eddy.

Brian Murphy - Posted - 04/07/2020:  19:49:37

Those videos always make you feel better. I'm glad they'll still be out there. Best to his family.

guitarbanjoman - Posted - 04/07/2020:  19:59:20

My deepest sympathies, Ruth and Lucie.

As you can see, your Eddy touched the lives of us banjo players all over the world.

We will miss him.


Edited by - guitarbanjoman on 04/07/2020 19:59:56

tklassen - Posted - 04/07/2020:  20:31:33

Heartfelt loss, goodbye Eddy Ray

Tractor1 - Posted - 04/07/2020:  20:58:53

He knew more inversions than all members and the music they were used in.Rip

hobogal - Posted - 04/08/2020:  00:24:49

Feel so sad. He was such a generous, helpful man - I once posted for some help with a tune on this forum and he immediately uploaded a lesson video! I always looked forward to his YouTube videos - I think he is responsible for a lot of people getting into the music and taking up tenor banjo. He will be sorely missed here.

Jim_R - Posted - 04/08/2020:  00:53:42

RIP, Eddy. Thanks for everything.

parlour player - Posted - 04/08/2020:  00:57:42

Eddie freely shared his knowledge of the Tango Banjo.

Thank you .

rastabusiness - Posted - 04/08/2020:  01:07:38

Shocking news... Eddy was a great and generous man, he has left an immense heritage to all of us. It will take years to learn all the songs, licks and tricks that he has shown in his videos which are so many... Thank you, Eddy! We will miss you! R. I. P.

hoodoo - Posted - 04/08/2020:  01:16:40

Oh man. Horrible news! My condoleances to friends and family. His music has brought me a lot of pleasure

CGDA - Posted - 04/08/2020:  01:22:51

That's horrible. I've lost a true friend! crying


Dgbectrum - Posted - 04/08/2020:  02:40:59

I had the honor and the pleasure to play some tunes with him at the Rhumhouse in New York few years ago, I'll always remember Bella Ciao.
Ciao Eddy

dmcclure - Posted - 04/08/2020:  04:33:35

My sympathy to his wife and family. We are all the poorer for his loss.

Texasbanjo - Posted - 04/08/2020:  04:44:44

My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very trying time.

DC5 - Posted - 04/08/2020:  05:02:50

So sad to hear, especially with the look of a turn around the last couple days. Eddy was, and still is, and inspiration. He will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to Ruth, Lucie, and all the others who have been touched by Eddy's soft hand.

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 04/08/2020:  05:14:26


Eddy Davis - RIP - I´m so sad today - you were a fantastic person and a virtuoso musician at a level of your own - thanks for being there during most of my life-time - I´ll miss you throughout the rest. sad

raybob - Posted - 04/08/2020:  06:19:34

I’m sorry to hear this news. Eddy was a real musician and shared his knowledge and experiences with all of us freely. What a fantastic resource.
My condolences go out to his family and friends. RIP

Emiel - Posted - 04/08/2020:  06:24:48

A great loss. Terrible news.

majesty - Posted - 04/08/2020:  07:48:14

Terrible news. We have lost an irreplaceable member of our banjo family. My sincere sympathy to his family. Jim

Emiel - Posted - 04/08/2020:  11:16:48

Just have a look at this again, from the start to the end…:


JRay136 - Posted - 04/08/2020:  13:49:10

Michael Steinman just posted a nice tribute to Eddy on his site, Jazz Lives, it includes a deeply moving essay from Scott Robinson, one of Eddy's favourite musicians. Well worth a read in these moments.

Ag_econ_man - Posted - 04/08/2020:  16:05:05

Such a tragic loss. My sincere condolences to Eddy's family. He was incredibly generous with the sharing of his knowledge. Joe

Banjoista8N - Posted - 04/08/2020:  16:08:22

Watching his many, many videos, it was obvious how much he simply loved the music and enjoyed generously sharing his extraordinary depth of knowledge about songs and songsters!

He was the “Manhattan Minstrel” but always Midwest to his core...a beautiful synthesis!

God Bless you Eddy!

alfiedog - Posted - 04/08/2020:  16:22:43

The gentleman was a great player. RIP Eddy..

pearcemusic - Posted - 04/08/2020:  17:19:55

He will be greatly missed ....

banjonoah - Posted - 04/08/2020:  18:24:43

I am so saddened by this news. I was fortunate to meet Eddy at The Rum House in New York back in 2014. There is a jam session there every Wednesday or something, and I showed up and introduced myself between tunes and pointed out that we had communicated on BHO. Eddy was so kind - offered for me to play a tune on his banjo. I declined because I was so nervous being around so many top notch musicians.

I have watched nearly all of his videos on youtube from his NY apartment. Eddy, you will be missed greatly.

Lew H - Posted - 04/08/2020:  19:02:45

I'm only a clawhammer picker on the 5-string, but I loved Eddy's music. This is a great loss for the banjo community.

banjonoah - Posted - 04/08/2020:  19:42:37

Live from The Rum House, New York City, 2014.

Ascot - Posted - 04/08/2020:  23:55:31

Bill.Hetherington Australia
Just read the news of Eddie's death which is a great shock to the Banjo community and music world.
I am extremely saddened and offer my condolences to his family.
A great artist, Humble,Charming and a Gentleman always willing to pass on his knowledge and made a huge contribution to Banjo Hangout.Thank you Eddie.
Sadly missed , Always remembered and let his videos be with us forever.

janolov - Posted - 04/09/2020:  00:30:11

I usually prefer Old-Time music (clawhammer) and don't listen to jazz, but I used to listen to Eddie. He told stories around the songs and he performed them very relaxed and initiated, and sometimes with a some improvisation. I will miss him.

geoB - Posted - 04/09/2020:  14:45:44

Very sad day indeed. But this legend lives on in the hearts and minds of those who cherished his gift.

Don Lewers - Posted - 04/09/2020:  16:50:04

Well I've gotta say, how much I loved my old mate Eddy ....... as many of you, I indeed feel very lucky, to have at least been somehow a part of his life, here on Banjo Hang Out. To be sure, Eddy's endless teaching contributions to learning, and better banjo playing, will forever be admired and cherished, by us all.
Eddy was also a very caring, and humble man ..... in itself, that's a wonderful thing!. ...... RIP Eddy.

May the banjo gods please take good care of Eddy's Wife, Daughter, and close Friends, through this somber, and heartfelt time. ..... Don.

Laurence Diehl - Posted - 04/09/2020:  21:22:48

I feel like I lost a relative. Nobody could claim to be "the real thing" more than Eddy, and nobody embodied the sheer love of music more than him. A life well lived.

Edited by - Laurence Diehl on 04/09/2020 21:23:35

maxmax - Posted - 04/10/2020:  01:35:16

Very sad news. My condolences to his family and friends.

Compass56 - Posted - 04/10/2020:  06:25:04

Hello friends.

I know I haven’t been to this Hangout much in the last year or two, but with the passing of Eddy Davis . . . I don’t know . . . I just needed to say something.

But what can I say? There’s far too much to say. Eddy was a kind and generous friend who helped me in many, many ways. As for his tremendous artistic talent, there is nothing I could say On that topic that isn’t gloriously evident in his live shows, on his recordings, and in his videos.

The last night I saw Eddy the two of us went to an all-star tribute to Danny Barker at Lincoln Center. All the players on the stage were famous, and they all played and sang well. Banjoist Don Vappie played in a very understated style to match Barker’s style and abilities, and the others did their own things. It was fun. Eddy was the best musician in the room, and a lot of people there knew it. People were coming up to him constantly telling him how much they loved his playing. We were on the front row. It was a great night.

Well, I guess I’m done rambling now. I’m probably a little too sad to post anything enlightening or even coherent, but please know this. On that night that we went to Lincoln Center, Eddy talked about this Hangout and the people on it. (He also admonished me for my lack of activity here.) He loved all of you, and he said he hoped this 4-string Hangout would be around for a long, long time. I hope so too. If it is, that will be a nice tribute—maybe the ultimate tribute—to Eddy Davis.

Edited by - Compass56 on 04/10/2020 06:36:59

Banjoista8N - Posted - 04/10/2020:  12:41:07

What a moving contribution to this thread!

Banjo Den - Posted - 04/10/2020:  19:02:21

I was so sad when I learned of Eddy's death; he was one of the greatest and kindest musicians I've ever had the pleasure and honor to know. However, my sadness was further compounded when I was told that my brother Frank, died of Covid 19 within hours of Eddy's passing. My brother died on his 76th birthday. I hope Frank meets Eddy 'upstairs' and I know that Frank will love Eddy just as we all did.

My condolences to Ruth, Eddy's many friends and his family

FlyinEagle - Posted - 04/10/2020:  20:53:59

That is heartbreaking news. A master musician, a wealth of musical knowledge, and such a warm, entertaining man is gone. So sad right now.

Helix - Posted - 04/10/2020:  21:47:09

This music kills death itself.

Look now to some young person who would appreciate the heritage. Teach them.

ukulelegirl - Posted - 04/11/2020:  01:55:22

Godspeed Eddy. My condolences to his friends and family.

ukulelegirl - Posted - 04/11/2020:  01:58:18

Banjo Den,
You have my deepest sympathies. Godspeed to your brother. Peace.

mark73 - Posted - 04/14/2020:  09:17:14

I was so very sad when I found out about Eddy’s passing. I never met Eddy in person, but exchanged greetings in the comments section under his video posts. Eddy exhibited his love for music, his love for life, and his love for sharing his knowledge with each video. His generous spirit and talent was a precious gift that he shared willingly. He inspired me to return to the tenor banjo. My sympathy goes out his family and friends. An African proverb states that when an elder dies, a whole library goes up in flames. With the passing of Eddy, a whole university has vanished. And yet, his spirit can live on in all of us who took inspiration from Eddy. We can pick up our instruments and try to honor him in our playing, in our respect for his music, and in our being the best person we can be.

Rob MacKillop - Posted - 04/21/2020:  02:17:10

I just heard after Marco's video tribute landed in my in box. Stunned! He was such help to me, and not just once or twice, and an inspiration too. I have seven CDs and a DVD by him. Unique. A monster in the 4-string banjo world, and an influence beyond too.

So sad.

My second thought was to come running here to share my grief, to be among those who care.

Farewell to a good man.

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