Brent Mydland joined the Greteful Dead in 1979, and played with them until his death in 1990. It wasn't sex or rock-n-roll that killed him, it was the other one. He has a hard-drinking, hard-partying kind of guy, and he overdosed on a speedball (an injected mix of cocaine and heroin). I don't know why it is that the most tortured souls have such a soulful sound, but he's not the only case.
His voice captivates me. He has a scratchy growl that can't be imitated, it must be lived, but he also sang with passion and range. "Just a Little Light" is very fitting for him, the lyrics seem personal:
Well there ain't nobody safer than someone who doesn't care
And it isn't even lonely when no one's ever there
I had a lot of dreams once, but some of them came true
The honey's sometimes bitter when fortune falls on you...
I love the imagery here:
It's even harder to be heartless when you look at me that way
You're as mighty as the flower that will grow the stones away
This video is taken from a live show I have on CD, and this version of the song is great: