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James Gray, Former Blue Rodeo Keyboardist, Dead At 52

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James Gray playing a different sort of keyboard (Facebook)
James Gray playing a different sort of keyboard (Facebook)

Multi-instrumentalist James Gray, a longtime member of Blue Rodeo, is dead after suffering a heart attack last night in Toronto. He was 52.

Exclaim! confirmed the news with Gray's mother, who said the musician had been walking home after a gig Monday night when he had a heart attack.

"We are greatly saddened by the loss of our brother, James Gray," the band wrote on its site this afternoon. "He was in Blue Rodeo for 12 years during which time we made some of our most important music. He was a brilliant musician and a kind-hearted soul who had his share of demons but left an indelible stamp on our music, our history and on us as people. He will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace James."

Gray replaced keyboardist Bob Wiseman in the group and appeared on albums such as "Five Days In July," "Tremolo" and "Nowhere To Here." Gray remained with the group through the band's 2005 release Are You Ready. Prior to his years in Blue Rodeo he played with several bands including Whitenoise, Hopping Penguins and briefly in Rheostatics.

Messages on Twitter expressing their condolences emerged as news broke.


whitecowbell
RIP James Gray. Was always fun jamming with your supreme talent and refreshing weirdness.

Brendan Canning
RIP James Gray-local legend/infamy beyond infamy

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

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RIP James Gray (1960-2013)

Former Blue Rodeo Keyboardist James Gray Dies at 52