From the AP:
BATON ROUGE, La. - Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, the singer and guitarist who built a 50-year career playing blues, country, jazz and Cajun music, died Saturday in his hometown of Orange, Texas, where he had gone to escape Hurricane Katrina. He was 81.
Brown, who had been battling lung cancer and heart disease, was in ill health for the past year, said Rick Cady, his booking agent.
Cady said the musician was with his family at his brother's house when he died. Brown's home in Slidell, La., a bedroom community of New Orleans, was destroyed by Katrina, Cady said.
"He was completely devastated," Cady said. "I'm sure he was heartbroken, both literally and figuratively. He evacuated successfully before the hurricane hit, but I'm sure it weighed heavily on his soul.
(Photo from the Texas Music Project.)
It is worth noting that a strong emotional attachment to one's home and community is not something unique to musicians. Many people are feeling the way he felt all at once.
His website, not yet updated to reflect his death, has the following message:
Dear family, friends, and fans,
Gatemouth Brown and his family evacuated the New Orleans / Slidell area shortly before Hurricane Katrina made landfall and made it safely to his hometown of Orange, Texas. However, due to hurricane damage, Gatemouth lost his home and all of his belongings. In an effort to raise money to help pay for his relocation to Austin, Texas, and to help pay for his medical expenses, living expenses, and the replacement of his instruments, Gatemouth Brown's Disaster Relief Fund has been established. To donate to the cause, you may send assistance in one of two ways:
Donations by credit card or debit card may be made via PayPal.
Donations by check or money order may be mailed to:
Gatemouth Brown's Disaster Relief Fund
(c/o Celeste Biles)
3529 Cannon Road, Suite #2B, #611
Oceanside, CA 92056
(Make checks or money orders payable to "Gatemouth Brown's Disaster Relief Fund". All proceeds will be forwarded to MusiCares in Austin, Texas and will be distributed to Gatemouth for his medical and living expenses.)
Thank you for any help you can offer. Check back regularly for updates on Gatemouth's situation and to find out about benefit concerts in the Austin area.
Family and Friends of Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown