In Memoriam: Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes

Photo: Christie Goodwin

Sad news to report today as ace Nashville session bassist Michael Rhodes has passed away of undisclosed causes. He was 69 years old.

Guitarist Joe Bonamassa posted the news with some photos and simply stating, “Rest in Peace my friend. I can’t even process this right now.”

Rhodes was born in Monroe, Louisiana and started on guitar before switching to the bass. He moved to Austin, Texas in the early ‘70s before moving to Memphis, Tennessee, where he played with Alan Rich. He ultimately landed in Nashville and worked for Tree Publishing Company as a demo musician then session player.

His bass lines would grace tracks by a who’s who of the music world: Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks, The Beach Boys, Buddy Guy, Michael McDonald, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Aaron Lewis, Dolly Parton, India.Arie, Peter Cetera, Highwaymen, Etta James, Hank Williams Jr., J.J. Cale, and many more.

Rhodes had been playing bass for blues rocker Bonamassa for many years. Check out his impeccable playing on “Spanish Boots.”

Rhodes was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2019.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Michael Rhodes.

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  1. James Wunsch

    I got to meet Michael after a show in Reading, Pa. Something I’ll never forget. We had some small talk before he entered his bus and off to the next show. RIP Michael . Another sad day in the world of rock music but your bass lines will live on.


    Condolences out to all the Bass players that passed away here recently! Unimaginable to lose that many. All great in their own way.