New Brunswick bluesman Matt Andersen says a lot of musicians, including himself, can thank Stuart McLean for helping to get their careers on track.

"I owe a lot of what I have to Stuart," Andersen said Thursday on Shift.

"I know The Vinyl Cafe is where a lot of people in the country first heard me."

'Really sad'

McLean died Wednesday at age 68 after a battle with melanoma.

"It's really sad," Anderson said. "It's the only way to really put it."

Andersen, from Perth-Andover, became friends with McLean during four tours with The Vinyl Cafe. He said McLean was "a champion" for musicians.

"I think Stuart got as much from seeing musicians on the show getting applause on the show as he did from getting applause himself."

Loved to laugh

Andersen said he'll remember McLean as a generous friend who loved to laugh and tell stories as much offstage as he did on it.

"Every time he told a story — even just backstage or on the bus — he had the same cadence," he said.

With files from Shift