Beloved Nashville Musician Tim Hensley Dead at 50
Nashville-based singer and multi-instrumentalist Tim Hensley — who recorded and performed with Kenny Chesney, Patty Loveless and Ricky Skaggs, among others — passed away on Monday (April 30). The musician, who also released a solo album in 2008, was 50 years old.
According to the Tennessean, Hensley was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in nearby Norwood. He got his introduction to music by singing in gospel groups and listening to bluegrass, teaching himself to play banjo, guitar, Dobro, mandolin, bass and steel guitar.
Hensley moved to Nashville in 1986, and in 1988 he joined Skaggs’ band, playing banjo, Dobro and guitar on ‘Comin’ Home to Stay.’ He jumped to Loveless’ band a year later, spending 10 years with her and appearing on ‘When Fallen Angels Fly’ and ‘Trouble With the Truth.’ His exceptional harmony vocals were a major component of Loveless’ music during his stint, earning him individual praise from both the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.
In 1999, Hensley left Loveless and joined Chesney’s group, where he often led tour bus jams on old bluegrass tunes after shows. Chesney was so impressed with Hensley that he co-produced his lone solo album, ‘Long Monday,’ in 2008. The album featured guest appearances from Loveless and Vince Gill. Its release allowed Hensley to fulfill a childhood dream of playing on the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, and it hit the Top 10 on the bluegrass charts.
When Chesney resumed touring in 2011 after a hiatus, Hensley did not re-join his band. His death Monday was reportedly due to liver failure. He is survived by his wife Carla, whom he married in September of 2012.