There’s horribly sad news today out of St. Louis, where Anne Tkach died in a house fire early Thursday morning. Anne was 48 years old and left behind a stunned community of friends and fans, who lit up her Facebook wall with expressions of condolences as the news broke. You can find further remembrances of her here, here, here, here, here and here.
I first met Anne in the mid-1990s when she was playing in the New Mexico band Hazeldine, one of the most promising acts of that generation of alternative country. Anne would go on to play in Nadine, Skekses, Rough Shop and other bands in the St. Louis area, while her bandmate Tonya Lamm formed Tres Chicas with Lynn Blakey and Whiskeytown’s Caitlin Cary.
In 1997, however, Hazeldine was on the No Depression concert tour alongside Whiskeytown and Old 97s — during which Ryan Adams concocted a for-the-papers “feud” between those two bands (more on that in chapter 7 of “Losering”). I asked Anne about it some years later and she just smiled, laughed and gave a bit of an eye-roll as she shrugged, which was probably the only sensible response. I remember her as someone who was always right in the pocket onstage, and who never had anything but kind words for everyone off of it.
She’ll be missed — that’s probably the understatement of the year. I still can’t believe it.