Friday, December 18, 2009

Chris Feinstein, Unsung Hero

Bass player Chris Feinstein, an unsung hero of the Nashville rock scene during the 1980s and ‘90s, passed away on Tuesday, December 18, 2009 in New York City at the too-young age of 42 years. The cause of his death is not known.

Feinstein’s supportive bass rhythms provided the foundation for many of the Music City’s earliest rock bands. Chris formed the influential early-80s band Shadow 15 with his brother Scott, playing drums on some of the band’s first recordings. Switching over to bass, Chris would join the Questionnaires, performing on both of the band’s EMI Records album releases in 1989 and ’91.

During the early-90s, Chris would enjoy a lengthy musical collaboration with guitarist Jay Joyce: first in the band Bedlam with former Questionnaires’ bandmate Doug Lancio, which recorded a pair of albums for MCA Records; then in Iodine with future bandmate Brad Pemberton for two albums on different independent labels.

In the early-00s, Feinstein became part of the Nashville supergroup the Cardinals with drummer Pemberton and guitarist Neal Casal, touring behind alt-country artist Ryan Adams. The Cardinals recorded three albums with Adams, including 2007’s Easy Tiger and 2008’s Cardinology, as well as the Follow The Lights EP in 2007.

Feinstein’s talents were much in demand in the studio, as well, and through the years Chris contributed to albums by artists as diverse as rapper Fat Joe, alt-country diva Patty Griffin, and singer/songwriters Tim Finn, Matthew Ryan, and Albert Hammond, Jr. of the Strokes. Chris also contributed his experience and vision as a producer to a number of artists, most notably working with Moby.

A multi-instrumental musician that was often overshadowed by the charismatic frontmen that he played behind, Chris Feinstein was undeniably an integral element in the evolution of rock music in Nashville, a talented and important member of several crucial bands that helped put the Music City on the map as more than the home of country music and gospel. As an ambassador of the local music scene, Chris brought an honest little bit of Nashville to audiences across the world. He will be missed….

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Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for writing this Keith! So many appreciate all you do for Nashville.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice article. I don't mean to "nitpick" but Chris passed away Monday, December 14th... today is the 18th.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Rev. Keith A. Gordon said...

It's not nitpicking "anonymous"...the initial report on the website said that Chris died on Monday, but his obituary in The Tennessean newspaper lists Tuesday, the 15th as the day that he passed away, so that's the date I chose to go with....

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Gayle Escamilla said...

I am Chris' mother, Gayle, and I do so appreciate all the kind words about my wonderful son, Chris. His family has always known what a genuine, fun and generous soul he was, and it is such a consolation to know he was so admired and esteemed as a musician and as an individual to so many others. Just to clarify, Tuesday, Dec. 15th is the official date on his death certificate.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Still can't believe it. Thanks for the article very nicely put - such a loss.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great article! Very genuine and heartfelt. My sincere condolences to his friends and family.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am deeply saddened by the passing of Chris, it was my honor to see him play with The Cardinals. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. I could tell he was a kind and gentle soul.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sad to here this. I was lucky to see him play with the Cardinals in Germany two times. My condolences to his family, friends and the many people he touched as an artist.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A fitting tribute to a person that, by all acounts, cannot be commemorated with words. I extend my deepest condolences to all the people that were close to him, especially his mother Gayle, who commented on this article. It's just such a freakin' bummer, that's all I can say. So Sad.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does the official date of death matter?

1:29 PM  
Blogger Donovan said...

RIP You will be missed!

"My head ain't filled with nothin but Spacewolf and rockin chairs"

2:24 AM  

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