Country songwriter, composer, and punk musician Tony Kinman has died following an extended battle with cancer. His brother and longtime bandmate Chip Kinman announced the news on Facebook Friday morning. Tony was 63 years old.
Born in 1956, Kinman was a founding member of bands like the Dils, Rank & File, Blackbird, and Cowboy Nation. The songwriter formed one of his earliest projects, the Dils, with his brother Chip in the late ’70s, and the band released a number of 7″ singles throughout the era. Their song “You’re Not Blank” was featured in Cheech & Chong’s 1978 film Up in Smoke. The brothers related to Austin, Texas to form the punk-influence country band Rank & File with Alejandro Escovedo in 1981.
Rank & File’s first album Sundown was released in 1983, later followed by Long Gone Dead in 1984 and the band’s self-titled album in 1987. Though they eventually broke up later that year, Tony and Chip continued to work together in their Blackbird and Cowboy Nation projects. Most recently, Tony produced an album for Chip’s band Ford Madox Ford titled This American Blues.