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Craig Allan NietfeldOctober 4, 1955 ~ December 26, 2018 (age 63)
Craig Allan Nietfeld, a rocking bass player and vocalist who became a fixture in the Austin, Texas live music scene, died Wednesday, Dec. 26 at his home in Wichita. He was 63. A musical memorial service will be held from 2 to 5 pm Sunday, Dec. 30 at the Candle Club, 6135 E. 13th St N., Wichita, KS 67208. Craig saved up money from his paper route to buy his first guitar at age 13, and was founding member of the popular local band Patch, which performed a reunion concert last year. He was a DJ for the Wichita State radio station before leaving for Texas to play music. He toured Europe and elsewhere as part of Van Wilks Band, opening for ZZ Top, and was frontman for Austin band Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes for more than a decade. He performed in other bands including Uranium Savages and Secedars. He released an album with his band the Wild Healers five years ago that included the song “If You Can’t Say Anything Nice” (“don’t say nothing at all”) and “Beer, Margaritas” (“and the next day”). Craig could hold a conversation with anybody and was known for his quick wit and loud laugh. He impressed his brothers with his rocker lifestyle in the ‘70s and ‘80s and wrote his own songs while playing covers in his various bands. Craig had a natural knack for singing harmony and crafting beautiful bridges in his songs, which included thumping blues riffs and melodic Americana. Outside music, Craig had a passion for hunting and good beer. He was common law married for more than a decade to Joyce Black, who died in 1995. Craig is survived by his mother Betty Life, stepfather Duane Life, and siblings Cynthia, Cary, Chip, Sandy and Sharon. Share condolences at www.CozineMemorial.com. Arrangements by Broadway Mortuary.