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Dave Grant Memorial

Dave Grant Memorial


Fallen Brothers

From C-Ville Weekly, Volume 14, Issue 11, 2002

The Reaper's been to town and we've been robbed. I barely knew Gary Hawk or Dave Grant but still feel the losses as if they were in my immediate family. Then again, in a town like this, some of the people you never meet, people you walk past and nod hello to a million times but never stop to get to know, are often those you most identify with the Charlottesville experience.

After a two-year battle with cancer, Dr. Gary Hawk, UVA psychologist, expert in the lore of early recorded music, sideman on records by Victor Cabas and Uncle Henry's Favorites (among many others), and beloved banjo player for Faster Than Walking, left behind his legacy.

Still reeling from one loss, the local folk collective was sent into shock with the absolutely tragic accidental killing of Dave Grant.

Dave Grant I knew some. I jammed with him once. Rapped with him every now and then. "Mellow as a cello," is a descriptive that might apply.

Dave Grant played an upright bass in a reggae band, and if you don't know how unusual that is, let me illuminate you: it's weird.

I remember seeing him several times with the Guano Boys (one of many, many projects Dave often played with), tearing up the natty roots on this big acoustic upright bass. He was a terror, a perfectly in-the-pocket player with impeccable time and pretty amazing pitch.

At the end of the bigger jams, he'd lean in with his oversize axe and let it feedback through his amp, a train-wrecking low-end howl. Definitely one of the coolest uses of feedback I've heard around here.

Why I feel like some piece of me has been taken along with these guys I don't know. Maybe it's because this town is full of great artists whose legacies will ultimately amount to little more than fond remembrance by the fortunate few who knew them well. Perhaps its because these are people whose dreams were realized in small but wonderfully significant ways.

There's some internal mechanism that kicks in when you find out that someone who deserved better got denied. The rat in my internal maze turns away from the pleasure button, wishing to finally make its escape. I feel the need to live more, to stop in the street and shake a few more hands, to manifest more of what I am as an individual.

A friend once said of Dave Grant that he "did all the wrong things for all the right reasons." Maybe I'll start there. They are both remembered and loved.

Cripsy Duck
cripsy@c-ville.com

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