Jason Cope, affectionately known as ‘Rowdy‘ and founder of Southern rock band The Steel Woods, has passed away at 42.
Cope became familiar to fans performing onstage with Jamey Johnson for nearly a decade, and was an in-demand session guitarist, playing on albums by Lindi Ortega and the Secret Sisters, among others. The North Carolina native played on Johnson’s albums That Lonesome Song and The Guitar Song, co-wrote The Guitar Song track “Can’t Cash My Checks,” and worked with artists like Brent Cobb as well. Cope co-founded the Steel Woods with Wes Bayliss in 2016 and the group released their debut project, Straw in the Wind, in 2017, followed by 2019’s Old News.
The band announced Cope’s death on social media with the statement: “We are writing this still in a state of shock and kindly ask for your prayers for the family, friends and band at this time. We take comfort in knowing he is in a better place now and his passion for music and art will live forever in the work he has left behind. RIP Rowdy, you will be forever and greatly missed.”
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