THE Basingstoke Blues community is mourning the passing of Rex "Mr Blues" Everett, the illustrious co-founder of the Basingstoke Blues Club.

Rex, a driving force behind the Basingstoke blues scene, has taken his final bow at the age of 76, leaving behind a legacy etched in the very soul of the music he cherished.

Known for his unwavering dedication to the blues genre and charitable causes, Rex's legacy resonates through decades of vibrant music and philanthropy in Basingstoke.

Affectionately known as Mr Blues, Rex stepped down as the head of the Basingstoke Blues Club in May 2023, concluding a remarkable journey of more than three decades devoted to organising countless blues gigs and raising substantial funds for various charities.

Basingstoke Gazette: Rex EverettRex Everett (Image: Newsquest)

READ MORE: Mr Blues Rex Everett steps down from Basingstoke Blues Club

He made the difficult decision to step down from the club due to poor health, marking the end of an era for the beloved institution.

The other co-founder, Rod Garfield, a true blues legend and a harmonica virtuoso, died only recently at his home in Tasmania.

Rex and Rod kicked off the Basingstoke Blues Club journey with a local festival held at the Park Prewett Hospital Social Club in 1991.

This event's overwhelming success inspired the duo to establish the club, with the proceeds from their gigs supporting the hospital's appeal for pioneering keyhole eye surgery.

SEE MORE: Basingstoke blues legend Rod Garfield dies in Tasmania

A builder by trade, Rex had spoken to the Gazette in May 2023 just before stepping down from the club when he recounted his early encounters with Rod and the birth of their friendship.

"We became mates, purely because I liked to drink then and he was an out-and-out alcoholic. We were and still are like brothers," he had said.

Basingstoke Gazette: An old magazine page featuring Rex and Rod and their Basingstoke Blues ClubAn old magazine page featuring Rex and Rod and their Basingstoke Blues Club (Image: Newsquest)

Although the club went from strength to strength, Rod left the country a few years later and moved to Tasmania.

Throughout its existence, the club has remained committed to raising funds for charitable causes, all while keeping the vibrant spirit of blues music alive in Basingstoke.

Rex's devotion to Brain Tumour Research had been unwavering, driven by the personal loss he experienced.

Basingstoke Gazette: Rod Garfield and Rex Everett (right)Rod Garfield and Rex Everett (right) (Image: Contributed)

Over the years, the Basingstoke Blues Club has faced challenges but has always found a way to persevere, thanks to Rex's passion.

When it neared a potential dead end, several musicians phoned Rex to ensure its continuity.

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Reflecting on his passion for blues, Rex had said: "It’s like how people talk about cricket and rugby. Music is my passion, and blues is the genre I followed since I was 15-16 since American artists started influencing this country."

Rex's commitment to promoting young musicians had also remained steadfast, recognising them as the future of the genre.

Through the years, he had supported the careers of seven young musicians, including talents like Tommy Allen, originally from Brighton Hill, and the latest protégé, Marcus Balogun, a promising young guitarist.