Singer-Songwriter & Producer, Keith Gattis, Passes Away
Beloved singer-songwriter and producer Keith Gattis passed away on Sunday, April 23 due to a tractor accident at his home. He was 52.
A Texas native, Gattis began playing around the Austin area as a teen, and moved to Nashville after college in pursuit of a music career. He signed with RCA Nashville in 1996 and released his debut self-titled album, which yielded the single “Little Drops Of My Heart” but not much commercial success.
Undeterred but battle-scarred, he headed to the west coast and found work out there, eventually recording an indie solo album nearly a decade later, Big City Blues. In 2002 he became band leader for Dwight Yoakam, and played bass and electric guitar on Yoakam’s album Blame The Vain. An in-demand guitar slinger and session player throughout his career, Gattis worked in the studio with Bruce Robison, Sunny Sweeney, Jon Pardi, Brandy Clark, and many others.
He found success as a songwriter as well, penning the hauntingly beautiful “El Cerrito Place,” which appeared on his Big City Blues album, was recorded by Charlie Robison, and was later a hit for Kenny Chesney. Chesney also co-wrote “When I See This Bar” with Gattis, who also had cuts by George Strait, Randy Travis, Gary Allan, Randy Houser, Charlie Robison, Randy Rogers Band, Jack Ingram, Wade Bowen, and more.
Gattis found success behind the boards as well, helming sessions at his own Pioneertown Recording Studio for artists including Jon Pardi, Jake Owen, Waylon Payne, Kendell Marvel, Wade Bowen, and more. He was the co-producer of Randy Houser’s 2019 acclaimed, rootsy album Magnolia.
Keith Gattis’ wife Penny Gattis is GM of Publishing at Eclipse Music Group in Nashville. They have two children together. In addition to his wife and children, Gattis is survived by his mother Donna (Robert) Booth; his father Donny (Sharon) Gattis; his siblings Brad (Julie) Booth, Cody (Keisha) Booth, Mike (Bridget) Booth, Rob (Caryn) Booth, Casey (Shayna) Gattis, Knox Gattis, and Lee Ann (Scott) Schumpelt; and many beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his best friend Charlie Brocco.
A celebration of life for Gattis will take place Sunday, April 30 at the Spring Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery at 5110 Gallatin Pike South in Nashville. Visitation will be from 11-2 p.m. with a service immediately following.
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