UPDATED: RIP Scott Daniels: Horseshoe, Carolyn Wonderland Guitarist Dies Suddenly
UPDATED (Monday, 10 a.m.): Corrects Daniels' moving to Austin, and adds information on the burial service and memorial.
UPDATE 2: Comments from Daniels' girlfriend, Candyce Prince have been added.
Scott Daniels, longtime Houstonian and guitarist for Carolyn Wonderland and Horseshoe, has passed. Like many rock and rollers, Daniels had long suffered with the demons of addiction and alcohol.
According to longtime friend and Horseshoe drummer/producer Eddie Hawkins, Daniels passed away around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, and was actually scheduled to check into rehab Monday for three weeks. Daniels was 43.
However, Daniels' girlfriend Candyce Prince says the guitarist had been seeking treatment in a local outpatient program for the past three to four weeks and, despite what Hawkins told us, was not headed to any inpatient facility. She discovered Daniels' body about 12:45 a.m. Sunday, she added.
"I miss him," she told Rocks Off Monday afternoon. "I love him. He had an immense talent. He was getting back on his feet -- everybody was getting a happy vibe from him."
Daniels had recently played with Wonderland, Opie Hendrix, and a few other musicians he knew well, Prince said.
"My phone began lighting up around 3 a.m.," says Hawkins. "I finally got hold of Greg [Wood, Horseshoe lead singer] around 7. We're all devastated. I've never heard Greg this shook up before. It's really upsetting given the fact that we just did a gig without Scott because he just couldn't keep it together."
Daniels had been a regular on the scene since the early '90s and was mainly known for his work with Houston alt-country pioneers Horseshoe, serving as their guitarist from 1995-2000, when the band broke up due to singer Greg Wood's health issues. Early in the band's career, former Houston Chronicle music critic Rick Mitchell called them Houston's first band in the vein of what was being called alternative country or No Depression.
The band played South By Southwest in 1997 and no less a light than Billy Joe Shaver proclaimed their show was "some of the best damned music I've ever heard."
The band actually put together a successful California tour in 1997, but as Rocks Off noted in a October 18, 2011 blog, due to mainly drug/lifestyle issues it would take the band five years to release Movin' the Goods, a follow-up album to King of the World. By then the momentum was gone and Wood was out of commission due to a heart attack.
Daniels then moved on to Austin and rising star Carolyn Wonderland's band, and filled that slot for a number of years before moving back to Houston. When Wonderland eventually moved to Austin after becoming a rising star in Houston, Daniels remained in her band but did not leave Houston.
During his tenure with Wonderland, he held down a long Tuesday-night residency at Last Concert Café in which he'd sprinkle Horseshoe tunes, Bob Dylan covers, and choice blues and rock nuggets.
"Scott was a beast when he strapped on his guitar," Hawkins notes, "but he'd always lay back because Greg would say, 'No, it's not a jam band.' When it came to music, Scotty was a total pro."
Chuck Savage, longtime Houston radio personality and leader of another '90s Houston favorite, the Missiles, produced Wood's 2005 solo album, Ash Wednesday, and played bass behind Wood during his gig at Leon's Lounge two weeks ago.
"Scott may have been the most underrated player in town because he was just so quiet and efficient," says Savage. "There's a track on the album called "Everything Is O.K.," and to me that's the quintessential Scott Daniels guitar sound. He was pretty effortless yet had an amazing creativity and depth."
"He and Ben Collis [Horseshoe bassist] all came out that band Fleshmop. They were North Texas State guys, really good musicians, trained musicians, you know," Savage explains. "Greg was really lucky to be able to funnel all that talent into Horseshoe. It was one of those right-place/right-time things."
"Not everyone knew it, but Scotty could play with anybody."
Funeral arrangements are pending. Daniels' burial is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow at Beth Yeshurin Cemetery, 3600 Allen Pkwy. A memorial service has been tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. tomorrow at Beth Yeshurin Synagogue, 4525 Beechnut.
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