Young blues musician Sean Costello was found dead in his Atlanta hotel room late Tuesday.
He was a frequent visitor to Columbus, Ga., through gigs at The Loft and regular bookings at bygone outdoor music festivals like The Uptown Jam and RiverFest. He also played with B.B. King at the Columbus Civic Center, in a benefit show for the restoration of the Ma Rainey house.
His album "Cuttin' In," released in 2000, earned him a W.C. Handy Blues award, which is the highest honor, shy of a Grammy, for blues music. He also toured and recorded with Grammy-nominated blues artist Susan Tedeschi.
His death is "a tragic loss not just to his friends, family and fans but to the music community at large," said his manager, Carol Peters, in a statement.
"People tend to write me off because of my age," Costello told a Ledger-Enquirer reporter when he was 20 — a year shy of being able to drink in the bars where he'd end up playing many of his shows. But he was already a seasoned vet of the six-string, having been acclaimed since the age of 14.
He died a day short of his 29th birthday. The cause of his death has yet to be determined.