James Hutchinson (musician)

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James Hutchinson
James "Hutch" Hutchinson-American Bassist.JPG
Background information
Born (1953-01-24) January 24, 1953 (age 64)
Lynn, Massachusetts
Origin Cambridge, Massachusetts; Somerville, Massachusetts; New Orleans, Louisiana
Genres Rock
Country and Western
Instruments Bass guitar, double Bass, guitar
Years active 1960s - present
Associated acts The Neville Brothers
Bonnie Raitt
John Cipollina
Joe Cocker
Ryan Adams

James "Hutch" Hutchinson (born January 24, 1953) is an American session bassist best known for his work with Bonnie Raitt.

Early life[edit]

James Hutchinson was born in Lynn, Massachusetts and grew up in Cambridge and Somerville Massachusetts.


Hutchinson has worked on hundreds of recordings with artists as diverse as Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, Ryan Adams, Bryan Adams, Al Green, B.B. King, The Doobie Brothers, Ringo Starr, Ziggy Marley and many more. He attended some classes at Berklee College of Music in the late 1960s. He prior to that had played some mandolin and guitar in bluegrass bands, but focused on bass by age 12 after seeing Wilson Pickett's band in the mid 1960s. Before and during high school Hutchinson played electric and acoustic bass in several New England area bands.[1][2]

After graduating high school, Hutchinson moved to San Francisco and played in some jam bands. He eventually met John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead. He ended up playing at all types of sessions at Mickey's Ranch and joined Cipollina's band Copperhead, recording an album with them which was released in 1973 on Columbia Records. He later played in Link Wray's band with Copperhead drummer David Weber and at various shows with both Wray and Cipollina as well.[1][2][3]

He later, while living in Guatemala and working in the studios in Central America, formed (along with violinist Sid Page) a Latin jazz fusion group called The Point, eventually bringing the band to Austin, Texas. (where in 1977 they won Jazz Group of the year at the Austin Music Awards).[4] In Austin in 1975 he was introduced to The Meters by a mutual friend. He later got a call from Charles and Art Neville about playing with their new band. He then moved to New Orleans and joined The Neville Brothers Band. While playing with the Neville Brothers on the Rolling Stones 1981 Tattoo You tour he started a friendship with keyboardist Ian McLagan who introduced him to Bonnie Raitt in 1982. He moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and joined her band after her previous bassist left right before a tour. He has been playing and recording with her ever since, contributing to every recording of hers since Nine Lives.[1][2][5]

In 1992, while working in the studio with Bryan Adams in Paris, Hutchinson was invited by producer Don Was and Mick Jagger, to head to Ron Wood's farm and studio in County Kildare, Ireland to play and work on demos for the Voodoo Lounge record which he did as reported in a New York Post article "New Bass Hit for The Rolling Stones?"

In 2006, Hutchinson was featured along with drummer Jim Keltner on the Jerry Lee Lewis recording Last Man Standing. He later that year played shows with Bonnie Raitt opening for The Rolling Stones at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium and in Vancouver BC, Canada at The BC Dome.[6]

In 2008, Hutchinson participated in the production of the album Psalngs, the debut release of Canadian musician John Lefebvre. He also in 2008 worked on Blues recordings by Mike Zito, Walter Trout and Maria Muldaur as well as working with slack key guitarist Barry Flanagan of the Hawaiian pop band HAPA and touring in March of that year with Steve Kimock and Friends featuring Jerry Garcia Band keyboardist Melvin Seals.

On Dec. 29th and New Year's Eve 2008, Hutchinson played with Bill Kreutzmann and Papa Mali at Charley's in Paia, Maui and at the Pauwela Cannery in Haiku, Hi. respectively.[7]

On Monday Feb 2, 2009, Hutchinson performed as bassist and co-music director (along with Chuck Leavell) at The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa with an all star band also featuring Rolling Stones keyboard player Chuck Leavell, Stones sax man Bobby Keys, drummer Kenny Aronoff and Buddy Holly/Bob Wills guitarist Tommy Allsup at The Rock and Roll hall Of Fame's "50 Winter's Later" concert in tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper 50 years later to the day of their last concert.[8]

During the summer of 2009, Hutchinson joined BK3, a band led by Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, and completed a tour with them.[9][10]

Later in the summer of 2009 and through the fall of that year, Hutchinson toured with Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal playing with both artists on The BonTaj Roulet tour.[11]

On New Year's Eve 2009/2010, he performed with Willie Nelson and his sons Lukas and Micah, along with special guest Alanis Morissette at Charley's in Paia, Maui Hi.

On Feb. 5th 2010, Hutchinson appeared with Doobie Brothers guitarist Pat Simmons, former Doobie Brothers vocalist/keyboardist Michael McDonald and Hawaiian guitarist, singer/songwriter John Cruz in Wailea, Maui at a CD release party for Maui singer Gail Swanson. Following that he completed a North American tour with the Hawaiian band Hapa, starting with them at Club Passim in Cambridge, Mass. on St. Partick's Day 2010 and finishing on April 17 that year at The Maui Arts and Cultural Center.

On April 10, 2011, Hutchinson along with Maui residents Willie Nelson, Mick Fleetwood, Michael McDonald and Doobie Brother Pat Simmons performed together, along with Hawaiian artists Jack Johnson, Jake Shimabukuro, Cecilio & Kapono and many others on The Great Lawn of the Hawaiian Gardens in Honolulu at the benefit, Kokua For Japan. The concert and telethon raised $1.6 million for The American Red Cross and the survivors of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and resulting nuclear disaster in Japan.

Hutchinson was the featured artist in the July 2012 issue of Bass Player and appeared on the cover.

On August 13, 2013 Hutchinson was featured along with drummer Steve Gadd and guitarist Joe Caro at the Paia Jam in Paia, Maui, Hawaii. The following month Hutchinson once again returned to Hawaii to perform on September 13 with guitarist Eric McFadden and drummer Paul Marchetti at Charley's in Paia. In late October 2013, once again between legs of Bonnie Raitt's Slipstream tour, Hutchinson along with Ricky Fataar returned to Hawaii for a pair of successful Halloween Week shows with New Orleans own Allen Toussaint. The Oahu shows also featured Hawaiian musicians John Cruz and Imua Garza. In July 2014, after finishing Bonnie Raitt's summer tour Hutchinson appeared on a number of west and east coast dates with Pegi Young and her band The Survivors (featuring Muscle Shoals writer and keyboard man Spooner Oldham) culminating with an appearance at the 2014 Newport Folk Festival. On October 25 and 26 2014, Hutchinson appeared once again with Pegi Young and the Survivors at the Bridge School Benefit Concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre.

In 2014, Hutchinson was also featured on Neil Diamond's Melody Road, "Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne" (w/David Lindley (musician) and Bonnie Raitt), Jerry Lee Lewis' "Rock And Roll Time" and The Grouch & Eligh's "The Tortoise And The Crow".

In 2015, Hutchinson once again toured with Bonnie Raitt and on August 6, 2015, performed at Fenway Park in Boston with Raitt and James Taylor. They also recorded Raitt's "Dig Down Deep" which is the 11th Raitt recording on which Hutchinson has collaborated. The same year he played bass on Karen Lovely's album, Ten Miles of Bad Road.[12]

In 2016, Hutchinson once again played bass on the most recent Bonnie Raitt release, Dig In Deep and toured extensively in support of said recording. Also appearing with Raitt on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, CBS Saturday and Sunday Morning Shows, Good Morning America and The BBC's Later With Jules Holland. He also in 2016 appeared on "This Mountain" by Pat Simmons Jr. which was produced by Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers and featured Little Feat founding member and keyboardist Bill Payne, guitarist Elvin Bishop, Doobie Brothers guitarist John McFee and Hawaiian artists Kealiʻi Reichel and Willie K.

2017 once again saw Hutchinson touring with Bonnie Raitt in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and throughout North America including an Arena and Stadium Tour during the months of July and August with Bonnie and James Taylor with shows at Fenway Park, Nationals Park, AT&T Park, Wrigley Field, Bridgestone Arena in Nashville and another 12 or so dates. He also appeared on a number of recordings including new releases by blues artists Curtis Salgado, Deb Ryder, Johnny Ray Jones and others.


Some of Hutchinson's main influences are Paul Chambers, Charles Mingus, Richard Davis (bassist), Chuck Rainey, Carl Radle, Juan Formell, Cachao, Tommy Cogbill, Rick Danko, Aston Barrett, George Porter, Jr., Jack Casady, John Entwistle and James Jamerson.[1][2]

Partial Discography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d [1][dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d Roberts, Jim. James Hutch Hutchinson article, Bass Player, December 1993
  3. ^ "Copperhead". Bay-area-bands.com. 1972-12-16. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  4. ^ Bentley, Bill. Austin Sun article, August 1978
  5. ^ Ian "Mac" Mclagan, All The Rage, 1998, Sidgewick & Jackson, p.323
  6. ^ "Bonnie Raitt". Bonnie Raitt. 2014-06-13. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  8. ^ "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Surf Ballroom & Museum Announce Series of Events for 50 Winters Later Tribute | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum". Rockhall.com. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  9. ^ "Keeping The Music Alive". Cincy Groove. 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  10. ^ [2] Archived October 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "web2.cfdv.net". .bonnieraitt.com. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  12. ^ "BLUES, Roots, Americana, blues singer songwriter,BMA Nominee Best Contemporary Blues Album,Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist,Song of the Year. 7X Muddy Award Winner. Winner 2nd Place Band 2010 International Blues Challenge. #1 Pick to Click XM Radio Bluesville". Karen Lovely. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 

External links[edit]