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Paul Carey Bauhof, local music great, dies at 62

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The metro Detroit music community lost one of its most loved and prolific players over the weekend.

Paul Carey Bauhof passed away on Friday, March 10, at age 62. The Grosse Pointe South graduate who studied music for a year at Oakland University was a guitarist, bandleader and talent booker who played with a who's-who of blues and jazz musicians since he was a teenager, making him one of the scene's most ubiquitous figures.

"The level that Paul could play both jazz and blues set him apart from most musicians in town," says RJ Spangler, who co-founded the Sun Messengers and RJ's Rhythm Rockers with Bauhof. "He set it up that way; He played in soul bands, backed up jazz singers, blues singers and had all kinds of experiences."

Fellow guitarist Mark Pasman noted on Facebook that Bauhof was one of the finest guitarists to grace a stage or studio...A fabulously tasteful guitarist, Paul is one of the few cats who could play anything from far out jazz to straight up rock 'n' roll, but always with blues in his heart. A true character."

Among Bauhof's voluminous credentials were tenures with Marcus Belgrave's New Renaissance Jazz Ensemble, Motown singer Kim Weston's Festival of the Performing Arts, the Blues Disciples, the Garfield Blues Band and others. With the Silent Partners, a trio, Bauhof performed at one of the Farm Aid benefits, where he jammed with Willie Nelson. Bauhof was also the musical director for the late Sir Mack Rice's band, appearing on NPR's "A Prairie Home Companion" and performing worldwide; During his time with Rice, Bauhof had an opportunity to play with Rick Danko of The Band, while a reunion of Rice's band the Falcons allowed Bauhof to play with the late Eddie Floyd during the Chicago Blues Festival.

While booking live music at Mahoney's on Detroit's east side Bauhof backed artists such as Willie D. Warren, Robert Penn, Kenny Miller, Curtis Sumter and Thornetta Davis, among others, and with the Rhythm Rockers he also toured worldwide, backing Alberta Adams, Joe Weaver, Johnnie Bassett, Eddie Kirkland, the Motor City R&B Pioneers and more. Bauhof was also a fixture at the now-closed Music Menu in Detroit's Greektown, and at the east side's Harbor House his band included one of his songs, Max, while the other, Eric, often helped with logistics.

Local musician Jason VanBiervliet noted on Facebook that Bauhof mentored him in jazz by telling him to "just sit in and learn" with his bands and "taught me and molded me into the player I am today." Another, Erich Goebel, remembered Bauhof as "one of the very finest guitarists I have ever known around here, a versatile and complete player with his OWN style and approach."

In addition to his sons, Bauhof is survived by his brother Mark Bauhof and sisters Anne Fancovic and Lisa Pollard. Visitation takes place 3-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, at Chas. Verheyden Inc., 16300 Mack Ave., Grosse Point Park. Funeral services will be held at noon Thursday, May 16, at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Farms. Bauhof will lie in state at 11:30 a.m.

Contributions are directed to the Diabetes Association, 20700 Civic Center Drive, Ste. 100, Southfield, MI 48076 or diabetes.org.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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