James Hutchinson (musician)

James "Hutch" Hutchinson (born January 24, 1953) is an American session bassist best known for his work with Bonnie Raitt. Though his work takes him nearly everywhere he primarily resides in Studio City, Los Angeles, CA and Haiku-Pauwela, Hawaii.

James Hutchinson
James "Hutch" Hutchinson-American Bassist.JPG
Background information
Born (1953-01-24) January 24, 1953 (age 67)
Lynn, Massachusetts
OriginCambridge, Massachusetts; Somerville, Massachusetts; New Orleans, Louisiana
Country and Western
InstrumentsBass guitar, double Bass, guitar
Years active1960s - present
Associated actsThe Neville Brothers
Bonnie Raitt
John Cipollina
Joe Cocker
Ryan Adams

Early lifeEdit

James Hutchinson was born in Lynn, Massachusetts and grew up in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts.[citation needed]


Hutchinson has worked on hundreds of recordings with artists as diverse as Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, Ryan Adams, Bryan Adams, Jackson Browne, Charles Brown, Al Green, B.B. King, Earl King, The Neville Brothers, The Doobie Brothers, Ringo Starr, Ziggy Marley and many more. He attended some classes at Berklee College of Music in the late 1960s. He always had an affinity for music and practiced various instruments as a child. After seeing Wilson Pickett's band, at age 12, he focused on the bass. His talent and drive allowed him the opportunity to play in a variety of New England bands throughout High School.[1][2]

With his mother's blessing, he moved to San Francisco after completing high school. He eventually met John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead. He participated in many sessions at Mickey's Ranch. Hutchinson joined Cipollina's band, Copperhead. He recorded an album with them in 1973 on Columbia Records. Later, he played in Link Wray's band with Copperhead drummer, David Weber, and performed with both Wray and Cipollina.[1][2][3]

While living in Guatemala, Hutchinson worked in a multitude of Central American studios. He and violinist Sid Page formed a Latin jazz fusion group called The Point. After he brought the band to Austin, Texas, they would win Jazz Group of the year at the Austin Music Awards in 1977.[4] Meanwhile, 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, 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 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 Jools 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.

Hutchinson toured in 2017 with 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 Curtis Salgado, Deb Ryder, Johnny Ray Jones and others. He also on November 5, conducted a clinic at the weekend long event "Bass Player Live", which is produced by Bass Player magazine and held annually at Studio Instrument Rentals in Hollywood, CA. He also on New Year's Eve 2017 performed again at Shep Gordon and Alice Cooper's Maui Food Bank Benefit in Wailea, Hawaii, playing with Steve Cropper, Dave Mason, Michael McDonald (musician), Pat Simmons, Ray Benson, Glen Sobel 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, Carol Kaye and James Jamerson.[1][2]

Partial discographyEdit

With Bonnie Raitt

With Jackson Browne

With Neil Diamond

With Etta James

With Willie Nelson

With Joe Cocker

With Bob Seger

With Ringo Starr

With Roy Orbison

With Marc Cohn

With Elton John

With Paul Young

With Boz Scaggs

With Ivan Neville

  • If My Ancestors Could See Me Now (Polydor Records, 1988)
  • Thanks (Iguana Records, 1995)
  • Saturday Morning Music (UpTop Entertainment, 2002)
  • Scrape (Evangeline Recorded Works, 2004)

With Linda Ronstadt

  • We Ran (Elektra Records, 1998)

With Maria Muldaur

  • Meet Me at Midnite (Black Top Records, 1994)
  • Fanning The Flames (Telarc, 1996)
  • Southland Of The Heart (Telarc, 1998)

With B.B. King

With Eric Burdon

With Ryan Adams

With Jann Arden

  • Happy (A&M Records, 1997)

With Richie Sambora


  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.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  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. Archived from the original on 2016-06-24. 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 linksEdit