If you think you don’t like country music, people say, you’ve never listened to John Eric.
Eric, a pillar of the local music community in the Coastal Bend, died Friday. He was 48 years old.
Eric was a mentor and a guide to many in the local music scene.
“Everybody knew John,” said Darren McGill, Eric’s friend. “He was a mentor to a lot of people. He was friends with everybody and he knew everybody. It’ll never be the same without him. That level of talent is hard to come by, especially on the local music scene.”
McGill said Eric was the kind of guy to give you the shirt off his back.
“John was one of the first people I met when I moved down here,” McGill said. “He got me my first gig down here and I know he’s done the same for a lot of guys in the area.”
With a voice described as “perfect timbre,” anyone could enjoy his music.
“Countless times I’ve heard people say, ‘I don’t like country, but I love John Eric,” McGill said. “He had a voice that even if you’re not a country music fan you could enjoy it.”
Though he was not born in the Coastal Bend, he considered it home, McGill said.
“He’d been here forever and raised kids here,” McGill said. “He left a big hole in a lot of people’s lives. That gap can never be filled. Big shoes, you know?”
The community took to social media to share their condolences.
“It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that last night the￼ music world lost a great mentor and friend,” Rock Bottom Park and Pub said on Facebook. “Our hearts break for his wife and children, along with the entire South Texas music industry. John Eric passed away doing what he loved, with his wife by his side and in that we will try to find comfort, may he Rest In Peace.”
Ashlee Burns covers trending and breaking news in South Texas. See our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe