Austin bassist and producer George Reiff has been diagnosed with cancer and is having brain surgery this week, according to details on a crowdfunding page that appeared Thursday afternoon.
“George has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer — in his brain, liver, adrenal gland and right lung.
He is going to have a tumor removed from his brain today or tomorrow,” the statement on the funding site reads. “At this time, the Reiff family is asking for privacy as they process. Please visit here for medical updates rather than calling, texting, or emailing.”
Reiff rose to prominence on the local scene in the 1980s as a member of new-wave Tex-Mex star Joe “King” Carrasco’s band. Since then, he’s toured and recorded with dozens of Austin artists over the years, including the Dixie Chicks offshoot Court Yard Hounds and longtime Bob Dylan guitarist Charlie Sexton.
In recent years, he’s also been one of the city’s most accomplished producers, helming widely acclaimed records for prominent Americana artists including Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shinyribs, the Mastersons, Uncle Lucius and the Band of Heathens.
Often in the house band for such marquee events as the Austin Music Awards, Reiff also is highly respected by fellow musicians well beyond the area. Legendary producer Daniel Lanois once referred to Reiff as “one of the world’s greatest bass players” from the stage of a South by Southwest show.