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Slain blues guitarist Eric Davis remembered as ‘brightly lit torch’

One guitars fallen local blues icEric 'Guitar' Davisleans against his casket his funeral service 12/28/13 Harvey. 'Guitar' Davis was gunned

One of the guitars of fallen, local, blues icon Eric "Guitar" Davis,leans against his casket at his funeral service on 12/28/13 in Harvey. "Guitar" Davis was gunned down early Thursday morning while parked in a car in South Shore. | John Booz/for the Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 30, 2014 6:58AM

Family and friends, including fellow musicians, paid their respects in both words and music during a funeral Saturday for blues guitarist Eric “Guitar” Davis.

The 41-year-old Davis, of Riverdale, his guitar propped against his casket, was remembered as someone who had an individual musical style.

He was found early on the morning of Dec. 19, shot multiple times, inside a vehicle in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood.

Davis was the son of well-known drummer Bobby “Top Hat” Davis, who said he tried to teach all his children something about music.

Davis’ sister, Rosie Davis, a drummer like her father, called her brother “a wonderful musician,” and that the end “came too soon for us.”

She said she hoped those gathered at Harvey’s St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church would celebrate her brother’s life and not just mourn his passing.

“As long as there is music in the world, he will always be around us,” she said.

Davis’ band, The Troublemakers, played a tribute to their fallen leader, performing “Days of Our Lives,” a piece that was a staple of their shows.

Bud Jostes, owner of St. Louis blues club Beale on Broadway, called Davis a “brightly lit torch” who was reaching out to a new generation of blues performers.

Davis had played numerous times at Jostes’ club and was scheduled to play three shows there after Christmas. Jostes has established a fund to help support Davis’ family. In addition to his wife, he had three children and three stepchildren.

“He was a showman that raised the bar musically,” Jostes told family and friends in the church. “His style was funky blues and R & B with attitude — a lot of attitude.”

He said Davis was, as far as blues performers from outside the St. Louis area, “hands down our (club’s) top draw.”

“His energy was relentless and it was contagious,” Jostes said.

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