Obituary: Stevey Hay, musician, 51

Stevey Hay was a regular at the city's Jazz and Blues Festival
Stevey Hay was a regular at the city's Jazz and Blues Festival
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TRIBUTES have flooded in for Edinburgh musician Stevey Hay of the Stevey Hay’s Shades of Blue band.

The lead singer of the band, who were due to headline alongside Muddy Waters’ son at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 51.

It is understood he died suddenly from a heart attack.

Originally from Muirhouse, the musician, who was much respected by the late blues singer Tam White, had also toured as harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite’s guitarist.

Tributes have been flooding in on his band’s Facebook page from “shocked” fans.

Band members Neil Warden, Paul Manson and Dave Swanson posted a message on their official Facebook page: “Stevey Hay died suddenly from a heart attack during the night.

“Another great Scottish blues man no longer around . . . gutted. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Stevey was said to have been fascinated by the guitar since he was old enough to try to play the one his father left lying around, but forbade him to touch.

He previously said: “Fortunately my dad was away at sea most of the time, so I managed to learn the basics on his guitar and then I got one of my own.”

Stevey’s first group at the age of 16 was Edinburgh punk band The Exploited, which lasted a year before he moved on to bands including Texas Breakfast, Mister Rhythm and, in a reference to his hero, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Stevey Ray and the RayVons.

He went on to tour with the harmonica player and singer Charles Musselwhite having supported Robert Cray at the Usher Hall.

Having taken a break from music in 2009, Stevey started to feel his way back into the local scene early last year, and after meeting Neil Warden, the long-time guitarist for the late Tam White, he found himself leading a new band, Shades of Blue.

With Warden’s encouragement, Stevey went into the studio in April and recorded the album he’d always wanted to make.

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival producer Roger Spence said: “We were shocked and saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Stevey Hay.

“He was a much-loved regular performer at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival and was due to play in a headline show alongside Muddy Waters’ son in the festival this year. His unique brand of rocking, good-times blues will be a huge loss, not just to the festival, but to the blues world as a whole.”

Musician Simon Lind said: “Everyone and anyone who knew Stevey will be feeling a loss of epic proportions.

“I considered Stevey as my best friend. The man was a true blues brother, as well as a natural comedian and a gentleman at heart. God knows I’ll miss you, brother.”

Stevey leaves behind a wife and three children.