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'The sadness will give way to wonderful memories': Maritime musicians remember Bruce Guthro

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As the sadness from Cape Breton singer-songwriter Bruce Guthro's passing on Tuesday night reverberates through the music community and beyond, those who shared the stage with him are also sharing memories.

"It's still ringing quite raw, to be honest,” said fellow well-known Maritime musician Charlie A’Court.

Driving home from his gig in Fox Harbour, N.S., on Thursday, A'Court did what a lot of Maritimers have been doing since word about Guthro’s death broke Wednesday morning - he passed the time listening to Guthro's music.

Thursday evening, A’Court had planned to pay tribute to him on stage.

"We'll certainly be raising a glass, and if I can keep my composure I'd like to try to sing a little tune,” he said.

Heather Rankin, formerly of The Rankin Family, said while her heart is broken she fondly remembers being the butt of one of Bruce's jokes during a songwriter's circle years ago.

"He got a kick out of me because I'm five feet tall and had difficulty getting up on the stool,” Rankin recalled. “So, one night he put a little stepping stool for me to rest my feet on and get up and off of the stool. He was a little bit full of the devil. He had a tough exterior, but a giant heart.”

When Aselin Debison opened the 2000 East Coast Music Awards with Guthro, he was a star already. She was nine years old. However, she remembers how he had all the time in the world for her.

"For me, it's the loss of a fantastic musician but he was so much of a father figure,” Debison said. "He was the first person to pull me up on stage out of the blue at a show and just try something on the fly. He gave a young songwriter a chance in his songwriters' circles."

For now, the thoughts and prayers of Guthro’s musical friends are with his family.

"Eventually the sadness will give way to wonderful memories, and warm and loving thoughts of Bruce,” said A’Court.

"Everyone knowing what an amazing guy he was and how sadly he'll be missed, and my condolences go out to his beautiful wife Kim and his children Dylan and Jodi,” said Rankin.

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