Country Artists Take to Social Media to Pay Tribute to Late Nashville Songwriter Abe Stoklasa

Tributes were coming from across the country music world Saturday (November 18) in honor of Nashville-based songwriter Abe Stoklasa, who died of undetermined causes at age 38, according to published reports.

Videos by American Songwriter

Musicians and friends of the songwriter, including Charlie Worsham, Lady A’s Charles Kelley, and Maren Morris, took to social media Saturday to pay tribute to Stoklasa and his legacy.

Worsham posted a heartfelt tribute on Instagram. “Abe Stoklasa, a one-of-a-kind gem. More memories and feelings than I could ever put into one video,” he wrote in the caption. “I love you and I miss you but I will see you again someday and can only imagine the front-row seat you have at the Aretha [Franklin] concert in heaven right now.”

In the video, Worsham said he spent the morning looking through his phone for a photo of Stoklasa. However, none of the ones he had did his late friend justice. As a result, he decided to make a video sharing some of his fondest memories.

“I first met Abe Stoklasa through Derrick Wells when I was putting together a band to play the Ernest Tubb Record Shop Midnight Jamboree thing we did. He was wickedly hilarious and wickedly talented,” Worsham recalled. “I never knew anybody who could play steel guitar and saxophone really well. And who loved Vince Gill and Aretha Franklin with equal depth.”

“He was so principled and so kind and caring,” Worhsam added.

Kelley also took to social media to mourn Stoklasa’s passing. He wrote “The Ocean” for Lady A as well as the title track from Kelley’s solo album, The Driver.

“Abe was otherworldly. I always knew his mind moved at a pace I could never comprehend,” Kelley wrote. “He was confidence and self-doubt all wrapped in one. He frustrated and inspired me all at the same time. I’ll never listen to the songs we shared together the same or forget the moments had onstage and on the late-night bus rides. Nashville will never see another Abe Stoklasa. I’ll miss you, my soft-spoken friend.”

Morris posted a photo on social media of her with the late songwriter alongside a heartfelt message. “Nashville lost a great songwriter but also a human being who searched relentlessly for the good in people, even when he was frequently disappointed,” she wrote. “I will miss our way too long nights at Edgefield and Red Door East.”

Stoklasa started his journey in Princeton, Missouri. At the age of 6, he was already playing in local bands. Then, at 14, his family relocated to Nashville. By the time he graduated high school, he knew he wanted to pursue music professionally. Stoklasa completed undergrad studies at Belmont University in Nashville. Later, he had a short stint in grad school studying jazz at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, according to his publisher, Spirit Music.

After leaving grad school, Stoklasa toured with David Nail and Billy Currignton playing pedal steel and saxophone. Then, he decided to step away from performing and start his career as a songwriter. He began writing songs full-time in 2013.

Since then several artists have recorded his songs. Among them are Kelley (“The Driver” “Leaving Nashville”), Lady A (“Ocean”), Chris Lane (“Fix”), Tim McGraw (“How I’ll Always Be”), Billy Currington (“Give It to Me Straight”), Charlie Worsham (“The Beginning of Things,” “Call You Up”), and many more.

Spirit Music did not respond by press time for comment on Stoklasa’s passing.

Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

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