In Memoriam: Dave Roe

Dave Roe

Another staple of the bass community has left us. Nashville session legend Dave Roe, who played with everyone from Johnny Cash and Dwight Yoakam to Dan Auerbach and CeeLo Green, has died. A cause has not been shared, but he had been ill earlier this year.

Condolences and memories have been flooding social media from all parts of the music industry, including fellow bassists like Dave Pomeroy.

“Rest in Peace Dave Roe. You were a friend, an inspiration, a good man with a great sense of humor and one of the best bass players in the world,” he shared. You will be missed but will never be forgotten. Love to his son Jerry Roe and wife Leslie Barr.”

Born David Roe Rorick, he grew up in Hawaii and got his start playing funk and R&B during the ’60s and ’70s. He eventually moved to Nashville in the ’80s, joining Jerry Reed’s band and working with country stars like Mel Tillis, Vern Gosdin, Chet Atkins, and more. It was in the early ’90s that he got the call from the Man In Black. Johnny Cash hired Roe to fill out the Tennessee Three, where he would stay for eleven years. Roe’s bass can be heard on most of Cash’s American recordings produced by Rick Rubin.

Following Cash’s death, the bassist went on to tour and record with Yoakam for five years. He was also a member of the Don Kelley Band. Roe’s website lists his credits, and it’s a who’s who of country, rock, and pop music: John Mellencamp, Sturgill Simpson, Chrissie Hynde, Taj Majal, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Ian Hunter, Brian Setzer, Dan Auerbach, CeeLo Green, Kurt Vile, Yola, John Anderson, Carrie Underwood, Marcus King, Malcolm Holcombe, Brandy Clark, Joe Ely, Gretchen Peters, Ray LaMontagne, Jake Bugg, Richard Lloyd, Don Schlitz, Faith Hill, Duane Eddy, Kathy Mattea, Rodney Crowell, and others.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Dave Roe.

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