- (Photo: Twitter/Col. Tim)
Stuart Swanlund, the guitarist for the Marshall Tucker Band, died at age 54 on Saturday.
The Southern rocker was at his home in Chicago when he died in his sleep, according to the official website for the band. It is unknown what caused the death, but the website cited natural causes.
"Stuart, or 'Stubie' as we called him, was the longest standing member of the Marshall Tucker Band from 1895 onward," wrote the band's founding member, singer Doug Gray.
"He recently took a hiatus from the road due to health problems and even with those issues, Stuart's enthusiasm onstage never wavered. Our thoughts and prayers are with Stuart's family and those who knew him. We have lost a great friend," he added.
The Puerto Rican-born, Spartanburg, S.C.-raised guitarist joined The Marshall Tucker Band adding a special sound to their classic songs including "Searchin' For A Rainbow," "Can't You See," and "Fire On The Mountain."
After hearing of Swanlund's death, Twitter users and Marshall Tucker Band fans posted tributes to the guitarist on the social media site Wednesday.
"Rest In Peace Marshall Tucker Band guitarist Stuart Swanlund," posted Col. Tim.
Charlie Daniels wrote, "I just got word before I went on stage that my friend [Stuart] Swanlund guitar player with the Marshall Tucker Band had passed away, so sad."
The band Foghat wrote on their Twitter account: "We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Stuart Swanlund. Our thoughts are with you Michael and with his family."
"RIP Stuart Swanlund," wrote musician Clay Cook. "You were a great musician & an even better bandmate. I hope you find some peace."
Swanlund leaves behind his wife, Stacey Schmaren, son Billy, three grandchildren, and a sister.
Known for their blend of rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, country, and gospel sound, The Marshall Tucker Band is not named after a band member. While the band was contemplating names, someone noticed their rehearsal space's door key had Marshall Tucker inscribed on it. Without realizing it, the band named themselves after a blind Spartanburg-area piano tuner.