In Memoriam: Kelley Looney

Kelley Looney with Steve Earle Leno Show

More sad news to report: bassist Kelley Looney has passed away. He was 61 years old.

Looney was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Bass was in his blood, as his father was a bassist with country superstar Eddy Arnold. He got his professional start touring with Billy Joe Shaver and soon began performing with Connie Smith on the Grand Ole Opry from 1987 to 1982.

Most fans know him as bassist for Steve Earle and The Dukes. He first linked up with the troubadour for his 1988 album Copperhead Road and had been touring and recording with him ever since.

He also worked with Tom Kimmel, The Thieves, Deana Carter, and more. After 30 years of working as a sideman, the bassist releases his first solo album Black Sheep Blues in 2014.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Kelley Looney.

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  1. Jon Rochner

    Kelley Looney has long been a favorite of mine. Always laying down a cool groove and interesting note choices.
    I’m so sorry to hear of his passing.
    Rest In Peace, Kelley…

  2. Wiz

    Kelly Looney will be missed, I have seen SE &the dukes about a dozen times, and listened to his music for thirty years . although I never met him I feel a loss, prayers to his band mates and family

  3. I’ve known Kelley for maybe 20 years. I loved his bass style and his understated humor musically and personally. I’m so glad he got his black sheep record out.Steve announced today that there is a go fund me for Kelly’s children. Sounds like a good idea to me.