Joey Laycock with friend and band mate Ricky Burch. Source: Facebook
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -
Musicians and music lovers in West Alabama are mourning the loss of a guitar player who was part of the Tuscaloosa-area music scene for decades. Joey Laycock passed away at the age of 51 on Saturday, July 18.
Most notably, Laycock was a member of the bands Silver Creek and MOJO Trio. He also recorded albums and was a teacher and mentor of many younger musicians over the years.
Ricky Burch, who was a member of MOJO Trio along with Laycock until Laycock's death, says he regarded Laycock as the best guitar player he has ever known. He also says Laycock had a quality that drew people to him, which contributed to his popularity and longevity in the music business.
"He didn't make it about him, but his ability and his talent and his energy and his personality and his charisma and everything, it did make it about him," Burch said. "And he knew that, but he didn't play on that."
Burch also says Laycock enjoyed working with all musicians and wanted to challenge them to improve. Burch believes Laycock's passing will leave a void in the Tuscaloosa music scene, but his legacy will help to fill that.
"I know that his passing and his death is going to motivate a lot of bands and a lot of musicians to get better and to be better...and just to be better because of him," Burch said.
Tuscaloosa musician Bradley Wyatt says growing up, he was inspired by Laycock's talent.
"I'm a drummer, he's taught me things on the drums," Wyatt said. "The guy was just a ball of musical intelligence. He had an answer for anything in the music industry."
Wyatt also said Laycock's influence was evident in his work at Tuscaloosa Music Service.
"You'd just see musicians from all genres, leaning across the counter...whether it was drummers, guitar players, saxophone players, bass players, singers, just talking with Joey and asking advice and trading stories. It seemed like that happened on a daily basis," Wyatt said.
"His memory and his influence is going to be around a long time," Burch said.
Funeral services for Laycock are scheduled for Wednesday evening in Northport.