Photo via GoFundMe
After suffering a hemmorhagic stroke, Bloodkin co-founder Daniel Hutchens died on May 9. He was 56 years old.
Hutchens formed Bloodkin with childhood friend Eric Carter and, after jamming together through high school, they quickly amassed a large number of songs and moved to Athens, Ga. from their native West Virginia. Eventually, they released their first LP Good Luck Charm in 1994.
“It was a true community,” Hutchens told Jambands.com of his early days in Athens. “It wasn’t like a competition. People genuinely rooted for each other and helped each other. And, a lot of times played in each other’s bands. There was a lot of cross-pollination. The first couple of years we were in Athens, it was just like no money could have bought that kind of education, you know. It was a pretty great time.”
In the wake of Hutchens’ passing Carter recalled their partnership as “A combination of brothers and an old married couple. And through all the ups and downs, our first priority was our baby, Bloodkin. When we cut through the excess and the bullshit, it was always about the damn song and we got a LOT of them. THAT was our thing and I’ll never find something like that again.”
Many jamband fans know Bloodkin for their influence on fellow Athens export Widespread Panic – originals like “Can’t Get High,” “Who Do You Belong To?,” “Henry Parsons Died” and “End Of The Show” are regular covers in the WSP repertoire.
After hearing of Hutchens’ passing, WSP bassist Dave Schools stated, “And just like that life ends. I was lucky to have known Danny for so long and working with him was an honor I’ll always treasure. I can’t begin to describe the many lives he touched. Listen to the man’s work. And to quote Danny after a particularly potent take of a song in the studio: ‘You’re welcome humans.’”
Hutchens and Carter sat-in with WSP numerous times, most recently in 2019 at the band’s Panic En La Playa event in Mexico.
John Bell once told Billboard of Hutchens’ influence on the band, saying, “Just like when we do a Robert Johnson cover or a Talking Heads cover, we want to pay tribute to someone…This guy [Hutchens] happens to be young and alive and just as prolific and just as important as our other influences.”
Through the years Hutchens and Bloodkin also continued releasing their own LPs, and the singer/songwriter/guitarist dropped his first solo project Lesser in 2003.
In 2016, Hutchens suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, but he rallied to return to the stage and studio. In April, Bloodkin released their first studio album in a decade, Black Market Tango.
“Danny is survived by 2 beautiful children (Amberly and Zack),” read an announcement via GoFundMe. “Please give what you can to help his family in the near and long term. On behalf of the entire Bloodkin family, we are eternally grateful for your support and we hope you have your Bloodkin turned up ‘way too loud.'”