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Jeff Cook guitarist and fiddle player for Alabama has Parkinson's and will be taking a break from the band

Jeff Cook, guitarist and fiddle player for Alabama, has Parkinson's and will be taking a break from the band.

Cook said the disease, which affects coordination and balance and causes tremors, "is making it extremely frustrating to try to play guitar, fiddle or sing."  The musician read a statement aloud on video to the Tennessean with his cousins and band mates Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen at his side.

The band tweeted a picture and a link to the story, telling friends and fans, "We wanted you to be among the first to know."

The 67-year-old lead guitarist told Owen and Gentry immediately after he was diagnosed four years ago, but beyond that had "tried not to burden anyone else with the details" of his condition. 

Cook said, "I do not want the music to stop nor the party to end, and that won't change no matter what. Let me say I'm not calling it quits, but sometimes our bodies dictate what we have to do, and mine is telling me it's time to take a break and heal." 

Cook will stop touring effective April 29 and has given his blessing to his cousins to keep the group going, with other musicians covering his parts.

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