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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