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The Greatest Bass Players of the Southern Rock Era

1. Tommy Caldwell - According to all of the members of The Marshall Tucker Band, Tommy Caldwell was their rock, the band leader, and one of the finest musicians in all of Southern Rock. When Tommy died in 1980, the band changed, and would never be exactly the same again. He drove the band with that Fender bass. AT HIS BEST: “24 Hours at a Time,” (Live); “Cattle Drive.”

2. Berry Oakley - Like his brother Duane Allman, Berry died far to young, but while he was with us he recorded some amazing music that will live forever. AT HIS BEST: The entire Fillmore East record.

3. Leon Wilkeson - Ed King was originally hired as a bass player for Lynyrd Skynyrd, and he says that after he heard Leon play, he decided to hand the bass over to Leon. Wilkeson had a unique style and personality that added tons to the Skynyrd band’s legacy. AT HIS BEST: “Free Bird;” “On The Hunt.”

4. Jack Hall - Mobile, Alabama son Jack Hall, who played bass with brother Jimmy Hall and sister Donna Hall in Wet Willie, remains a major force on the instrument even today. AT HIS BEST: The entire Drippin’ Wet Live LP.

5. Charlie Hayward - Prior to joining The Charlie Daniels Band in 1975, Hayward played on Gregg Allman’s Laid Back and Cowboy’s Boyer and Talton albums, as well as with Dr. John, Alex Taylor and more. He has been rocking the country with the CDB for over 30 years. AT HIS BEST: “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “Still in Saigon,” “In America.”

6. Johnny Sandlin - Producer, engineer, drummer, guitarist and bass player, Johnny Sandlin is a master of music. He simply does it all and does it all well. AT HIS BEST: Live at 2nd Street Music Hall (Capricorn Rhythm Section)

7. Dusty Hill - Solid, artistic, Southern, bluesy, rockin’- ZZ Top’s Hill is a true legend. AT HIS BEST: “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raiders,” “LaGrange.”

8. Banner Thomas - As bassist for the original Molly Hatchet, Banner was always in the pocket with drummer Bruce Crump, driving the gator train to new heights of rock and roll mayhem. AT HIS BEST: “Flirtin’ with Disaster,” “Gator Country.”

9. Greg T. Walker - Founding Blackfoot member Greg Walker was one of the heaviest rock bassists in classic rock history, and along with Jakson Spires, created an ultra tight rhythm section behind Charlie Hargrett and Rick Medlocke. AT HIS BEST: “Highway Song,” “Train, Train.”

10. Riff West - With the departure of Banner Thomas from Molly Hatchet in 1985, Riff West came in on bass. The former Foghat bassist was a solid addition, and created a firm foundation with new drummer BB Borden. AT HIS BEST:  “Fall of the Peacemakers,” “Bounty Hunter” (Live).

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