Mercedes musician’s death leaves community in shock

MERCEDES — The death of a local musician has inspired the community to rally behind his family.

Daniel Victor Cantu, affectionately referred to as Dan or Danny by those who knew him, died Friday at the age of 51. He was well-known as a guitar player and vocalist who performed with such notable acts as Jack Rabbit Run, Texas Trash, Midlife Crisis and Sin. More recently, Cantu lent his talents on the bass to Lady and the Tramp, with whom he often played at the Blue Bar in Mercedes.

In the days following his death, many have taken to social media to express their grief, with Jose “Pepe” Castellanos writing, “It will not be easy not having you among us. I thank God for the good times we had.”

Roberto G. Torres, who posted photos of his longtime friend, said, “I was just looking at the pictures and noticed that you (Cantu) were always smiling, a trait I remember from high school. You were a good friend during high school and a great friend after we got back in touch after 20 something years. Keep smiling up in heaven.”

Such sentiment has recently translated into monetary support for his family, with as many as 32 people donating $1,825 in two days via a GoFundMe account set up in Cantu’s name.

The effort, which has a goal of $5,000, is designed to help incur the cost of funeral expenses.

There will also be a chicken plate fundraiser, priced at $7 each for all the fixings, benefitting the family between 6 p.m. and midnight on Thursday at the Blue Bar, on 313 S. Ohio Ave., where the Yard Dawgs, the Texas Sweethearts, Bullet Ride, Cool Arrows and Whiskey D. will be providing live entertainment.

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Those interested in donating to the family can contribute via

A community memorial for Cantu has also been scheduled from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday at the Mercedes Civic Center, on 520 E. 2nd St.