A Sad Loss

Robert Burås, the guitarist for my favorite band, Madrugada, died last night at age 31.

I’d like to write a long moving eulogy but find myself too stunned and saddened to know what to say.

For most of the last 24 years, I had one favorite guitar player, Glenn Mercer, from The Feelies. I didn’t really think anyone else could move me that much with a guitar.

Until I heard Madrugada 2 years ago.

Robert could move me anywhere with his guitar. He made it trashy, he made it pure poetry, he made it anything he wanted it to be. He had a style so distinctive there was no mistaking who was playing, and it always always always sounded great. He could do the walls of sound that brought me to my rock and roll knees and he could do the quiet plaintive whispers that made the world stand still and listen.

I’m heartbroken for the rest of the band, heartbroken for his friends and family, and yes I’ll admit it, I’m heartbroken for myself who will now never see Madrugada and who will never get to hear the records Robert would have recorded in the future.

Very very sad.

Here is a song from their first record, Industrial Silence, called Beauty Proof that showcases how understated yet evocative Robert’s guitar could be. And here is a live version of Dead End Mind, from their second record, The Nightly Disease, where Robert does some showing off.

Comments (2) to “A Sad Loss”

  1. it’s a very sad new , RIP Robert Burås..

  2. thank you for writing this. madrugada is also my favorite band who i longed to see on their next tour. i wonder if they will go on as a band. what a loss to the music world.

    i do not want to seem morbid but cannot help but wonder how he died.