Just days after losing the legendary Dr. John, New Orleans music scene, and the city alike, is hit with another loss. Spencer Bohren, guitarist, musician, performer, storyteller passed Saturday with his family gathered at his side. Bohren had been diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer, which had metastasized to his bones.
Bohren came from a family of gospel singers from Casper, Wyoming. The family performed in the Rockies and on the plains. Bohren first started performing publically at 14. From his background in Gospel Bohren began to indulge in other streams of musical influence ranging from blues, folk, country, and other earthy musical styles.
Moving to New Orleans with his family in the 1970's he became a fixture on the local music scene with his National steel guitar on his lap and an accompanying story for the audience. According to the Advocate, Bohren was the Monday night act at Tipitina's from 1978-through-1982.
Bohren toured nationally and in Europe numerous times. He also recorded a number of albums, including his 2006 tome about Hurricane Katrina, "The Long Black Line".
In September he learned he was suffering from prostate cancer. Bohren went public with the news in November and let his fans and friends know he was seeking a holistic treatment aimed at boosting his immune system.
Focusing on recovery, Bohren cancelled a number of tours. But in April, after being admitted to a hospital in intense pain from a fractured hip, doctors informed Bohren the cancer moved to his bones.
After completing several rounds of radiation treatment Bohren was able to performed recently at Jazz Fest. It was his final public performance.