Reader Spotlight: Walter Finnerty

Walter FinnertyMeet Walter Finnerty, a self-described “very funky ‘old’ bass player” who still practices three to four hours a day, on top of steady gigging and a day job.

Walter is No Treble’s reader in the spotlight for the week of October 7, 2013.


A very funky “old” bass player who has been playing bass for 41+ years. My life changed the minute I heard Larry Graham thumping that bass on the song called “Hair”. While I’m a weekend warrior with a day job, I have deleloped into quite a nice little bass player.

After 41 years of playing in the shadows, I just recently started endorsing Brubaker Basses. A small just reward for 41+ years of low end service. I’m presently freelancing and playing with Christian Smooth Jazz Artist Michelle Wright.


Bear, Delaware, USA

Day gig:

Sr. Systems Analyst for the State of Delaware

Years experience:

41+ years

Bands & Gigs:

Yes. I freelance and have a gig with Smooth Jazz Artist Michelle Wright. I do a lot of fill in work as I am very fast to pick up on what’s happening, and I still practice 3-4 hours a day. I just love playing the bass.


  • Heads: Puma 500, Trace Elliot GPSM7 300, SWR Workiman’s 4004
  • Basses: Brubaker Brute MJX-5, waiting on Brubaker Brute MJX5-SC Single Cut)Geddy Lee Signature Jazz and about 5 other nondescript basses that work well.
  • Cabs: Eden Nemisis RS212, Horizon 2×10 sealed bass cab, Peavey 2×10 bass cab, Avatar 1×18 bass cab, Crate BX160 combo amp in storage
  • Pedals: Boss Chorus

Why I play the bass:

I started out on drums at age 11, and my drum teacher was the one and only Sherman Ferguson. I quit that to be a football hero. Later, I wanted to play bass at 15 and my parents told me “where to go”. So I saved my money and bought my first bass and amp. My parents then sprung for lessons.

I have loved the bass all along – James Brown, Kool and the Gang, Motown started it all for me – then I heard Graham Central Station. It was over at that point, I was locked in.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

Give the bass player some first, then the drummer. In a live situation, you can tell when I’m playing. The whole thing just changes, and you’d better bring some energy with you.

My influences

Larry Graham, Louis Johnson, Kool Bell, Randy Jackson (love his work with Michael Walden), Stanley Clarke. I’m orginally from Philly, so there’s also Victor Bailey, Timmy Allen and Jamaaladeen Tacuma.

On and on, but Larry is Da Man!

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Share your thoughts

  1. That was pretty kool Walt. Walt keep doing your thing.

  2. I feel special,I’m Facebook friends with this guy!!! Nice!! :-)

  3. Nice overview, Walt. Congratulations!

  4. Hey Walt Finnerty, can I get an electronic autograph??? After you finish practicing? Nice article! Keep those chops up!

  5. Coulda threw in a case for the man…geez

  6. outstanding to know you brother