Bassist Michael Rhodes passes away

Monday, March 6, 2023 – Bassist Michael Rhodes, who had a very long of songs on which he played, passed away on Saturday at 69 of pancreatic cancer at his home in Nashville.Among the hits he played on were Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” and LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live.”

A native of Louisiana, Rhodes found his way to Nashville in 1977. He was a member of several local bands, including The Cicadas, the Fortunate Sons and the Nerve.

He was in The Cicadas with Rodney Crowell, Steuart Smith, Eddie Bayers and Vince Santoro. They recorded one album in 1997. Rhodes was also a member of The Notorious Cherry Bombs, with Crowell, Bayers, Vince Gill, Hank DeVito, and Richard Bennett.

But Rhodes became best known for was his work as a session musician. The many dozens of artists he recorded with include Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Elton John, Olivia Newton-John, Billy Ray Cyrus, Darius Rucker, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood and Gill. He was a member of the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2019. He also was an active sideman in recordings and touring of Joe Bonamassa.

“Music is like having a conversation, you have to listen for the most part. The best session players are the ones who are good listeners and can take suggestions. You have to leave your ego out of it. Do what is asked of you and don’t slow the process down, in other words make sure that you’re prepared and all your gear is in good order,” Rhodes said in a 2018 interview for Music Radar.