The Untold Story: Jason ‘Rowdy’ Cope’s Cause of Death

A Life Cut Short

Jason ‘Rowdy’ Cope, the renowned guitarist for the Steel Woods and a collaborator with artists like Jamey Johnson and Brent Cobb, passed away at the age of 42. His death was confirmed by the group’s publicist. Cope was an in-demand session guitarist, playing on albums by Lindi Ortega and the Secret Sisters, but he first became visible to country music fans by performing onstage with Johnson for nearly a decade. According to Rolling Stone.

The Cause of Death

The cause of Jason ‘Rowdy’ Cope’s death was linked to his Type II diabetes, diagnosed in late 2018. He passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on January 16th due to severe complications from the disease. This information was revealed by Taste of Country.

A Musical Legacy

Nicknamed “Rowdy,” the North Carolina native also played on Johnson’s albums That Lonesome Song and The Guitar Song and co-wrote The Guitar Song track “Can’t Cash My Checks.” In 2016, Cope founded the Steel Woods with singer Wes Bayliss in Nashville. The group released their debut album, Straw in the Wind, in 2017, and followed it up with 2019’s Old News. Both albums mixed elements of outlaw country and Southern rock with a blast of hard rock. According to Rolling Stone.

A Tribute to Jason ‘Rowdy’ Cope

The Steel Woods announced Cope’s death on social media, writing in part, “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.” This was reported by Rolling Stone.

In his own post, Brent Cobb recalled crashing on Cope’s couch in Los Angeles and “listening to music like it was the only thing in life that mattered. Townes Van Zandt, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Waylon Jennings mostly. We were in that room when he wrote ‘Axe.’ It’s where ‘let the rain come down’ began,” Cobb wrote. “He schooled me on everything.” The Steel Woods were finishing work on their third studio album at the time of his death. According to Rolling Stone.

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