on this day


Bassist Michael Rhodes, an active sideman in recordings and tours with Joe Bonamassa, yet also known for his work with other artists, and his collaborations in bands and ensembles, died today (March 4, 2023), No cause was given.
Rhodes was born on September 16, 1953 in Monroe, Louisiana, and taught himself to play the guitar by age 13 and the bass soon after. In the early 1970s, Rhodes moved to Austin, Texas, where he performed with local bands. Four years later, he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he performed with Charlie Rich’s son Alan, then moved on to Nashville in 1977. While playing in a local band called The Nerve (with Ricky Rector and Danny Rhodes) Rhodes got a lucky break by being hired into the house band of Tree Publishing to play on demo recordings. This was his big move into the world of studio work as a session player.
Rhodes contributed to the recordings of dozens of artists, including Bob Seger, Elton John, Don Henley, John Fogerty, Brian Wilson, Lionel Ritchie, Mark Knopfler, Richie Furay, John Oates, Richard Marx, Jewel, Joan Baez, Stevie Nicks, Connie Smith, Olivia Newton-John, Michael Bolton, Peter Cetera, Juice Newton, Etta James, Allison Moorer, Willie Nelson, Steve Winwood, Buddy Guy, Darius Rucker, Neal McCoy, Chely Wright, J.J. Cale, Pat McLaughlin, Doug Stone, Billy Joe Shaver, Big & Rich, Wynonna Judd, Merle Haggard, Trace Atkins, Lonnie Mack, Delbert McClinton, Larry Carlton, the Dixie Chicks, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Restless Heart, Martina McBride, Nanci Griffith, Tammy Wynette, Emmylou Harris, LeAnn Rimes, Gretchen Wilson, Bryan White, Ronnie Milsap, Jake Owen, Dierks Bentley, Shelby Lynne, Reba McEntire, Joss Stone, Tanya Tucker, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Lorrie Morgan, Lee Ann Womack, Jill Sobule, Larry Knechtel, Clint Black, Rodney Crowell, Kix Brooks, Michael Martin Murphey, Hank Williams, Jr., Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Gary Allen, George Strait, Hal Ketchum, Billy Ray Cyrus, Montgomery Gentry, John Michael Montgomery, Mark Chestnutt, Tracy Byrd, Terri Clark, Brooks & Dunn, Deana Carter, Kenny Chesney, Steve Wariner, Marty Stuart, Lonestar, Confederate Railroad, Johnny Cash, the Highwaymen, Kenny Rogers, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, Faith Hill, Dan Seals, Lonestar, Sweethearts Of The Rodeo, Ricky Van Shelton, John Anderson, Toby Keith, Clay Walker, Glen Campbell and Kenny Chesney.
Rhodes joined Rodney Crowell, Steuart Smith, Eddie Bayers, and Vince Santoro in the Cicadas. They recorded one album in 1997, but had been playing together for more than a decade. Rhodes was also a member of The Notorious Cherry Bombs, with Crowell, Bayers, Vince Gill, Hank DeVito, and Richard Bennett.
Besides session work, Rhodes was a member of several local bands who played frequently in Nashville-area venues, including the Fortunate Sons, with Gary Nicholson, Kenny Greenberg, Chad Cromwell, and Reese Winans.; The Players, with Eddie Bayers (drums), John Hobbs (keyboards), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), and Brent Mason (guitar). They often performed with other artists, such as Vince Gill.
Rhodes played original Beatles style music in the Vinyl Kings, with Jim Photoglo, Vince Melamed (keyboards), Larry Byrom (keyboards), Larry Lee (percussion), Josh Leo (guitar), and Harry Stinson (drums). TAR (Trapp, Abbott, and Rhodes), was a power trio with Guthrie Trapp (guitar), and Pete Abbott (drums).
The World Famous Headliners, led by Al Anderson, featured Rhodes, Shawn Camp, Pat McLaughlin, and Greg Morrow.
Rhodes was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019. In all, he played on over 60 Gold and Platinum albums, and rackedup six ACM Awards. Though country was his epicenter, the whole world of music benefited from his presence.

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