|Anthony Basurto (Joan Red)|
Basurto, who fronted the promising Bluff City alternative-rock group, was found at his home on Thursday. According to his mother, Mary Ann Basurto, the singer died in his sleep. A coroner's report on the cause of death is pending. A Memphis native, Basurto had been a fixture on the local music scene since his teenage days when he fronted a band called Chosen View. He formed Joan Red in 2006 and its lineup, which included guitarists Michael Lovelace and Shawn Morgan, and drummer Tripp Atkinson, solidified a year later with the addition of bassist Darin Davies.
"We had all been in bands before, and we had all been burned and disappointed," Basurto said in an interview with The Commercial Appeal in 2009. "I said when we started (Joan Red), 'If we're going to do this, we're going to do this one hundred percent. It's not going to be anything like any of us have ever done before.'"
The group was quickly signed by Fuel Records, a label co-founded by Grammy-winning hip-hop producer Rockwilder. But there were disagreements with the record company and Joan Red bolted Fuel after a few months. Despite the setback, Joan Red was able to raise its profile, touring nationally, and developing a strong following online. The group eventually released its well-received independent debut album, Side Effects of You, in 2009.