A country music band from Austin, Texas, is mourning the recent loss of one of their bandmates.
Crooks, which would technically fall into the Outlaw/Americana genre, are an up-and-coming hit with country music fans, playing good ol’ fashioned country. They dedicated themselves to “stripping away the polish and shine of modern radio country” and delivering a true sound.
And recently, they paid tribute to their accordionist, Anthony Ortiz Jr. also known as “Mr. Squeezebox,” after his long battle with cancer. He told his fans in September of 2016 of his diagnosis.
“I found out that I have a type of cancer, and I underwent surgery to remove a mass,” he said on Facebook. “We are awaiting results and are building a plan for further treatment.”
Despite “staying positive,” being able to walk around, and being “surrounded by a good team of doctors,” he passed away this week.
His band announced the sad news on Facebook, paying respects to their friend.
“Yesterday we lost our brother Anthony Ortiz Jr. to his battle with cancer,” they said. “Today it hurts a lot … We love you Anthony, and will miss you for the rest of time, but a part of you will be with us wherever we go.”
They also remembered what an integral part of the band, and their friendships, he was, saying he exemplified “optimism, youth, happiness, love, unbending friendship, humor, and most of all, good will.”
“Our friend will forever live in our beautiful memories and the music we shared together,” they said.
Check out Crooks performing their song “Late Nights” on KUTX Studio 1A below…