News

Harmonica player James ‘Pappy’ Garrett ‘went out gigging’

Updated: 2011-07-12T22:29:56Z

By KATHLEEN POINTER

The Kansas City Star

Blues musician James “Pappy” Garrett always told his bandmates in Cadillac Flambe that he wanted to die on stage.

“I guess the next best thing is that he went out gigging,” drummer Mike Payne said.

The band plays shows throughout the metro area. Garrett, who played harmonica, didn’t have a car and usually rode with the other musicians.

After playing a show Saturday night at Home Plate Grill and Sportsbar in Pleasant Hill, he got a ride with two bandmates. The car was traveling on Interstate 435 near 23rd Street early Sunday morning when another car hydroplaned and hit it. Garrett, 54, was killed. No one else was seriously injured.

When he died, the band was in the process of recording a 22-track album. Garrett only made it through six.

The band plans to release a special disc of those six songs at a tribute show July 29 at Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club. Band member Kris Bruders said the club was one of Garrett’s favorite places to play.

Garrett played in the band about seven years.

“We played hard, and we played every day for years,” Bruders said.

Performing had been a longtime dream for Garrett, and he devoted himself to the group.

The band plans to continue playing together. Garrett was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema about a year and half ago, so the band had discussed continuing once he was unable to play, Payne said.

Garrett had five children and five grandchildren. Services are at noon Friday at Meyers Funeral Chapel, Blue Springs.

To reach Kathleen Pointer, call 816-234-4328 or send email to kpointer@kcstar.com.

Deal Saver Subscribe today!

Comments

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here