The Steel Woods Founder & Guitar Player Jason “Rowdy” Cope Has Passed Away

A person wearing a mask
Zack Morris

Man, we’re not even three weeks into 2021 and it’s already picking up where 2020 left off… taking beloved members of the country music community from us.

Jason “Rowdy” Cope, co-founder and guitar player of country rock band The Steel Woods, passed away. The band made the devastating announcement this evening on their social media:

“It is with a broken and heavy heart that we share the news that our brother, friend and the founder of The Steel Woods, Jason Cope, has passed away. 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.”

My heart goes out the guys in the band, Jason’s friends, his family, everybody that had the chance to meet him along the way, and the die-hard fans of this great band. It’s an absolutely heartbreaking loss for the country/southern rock community.

RIP Rowdy.

Formed in 2016 after guitarist Jason “Rowdy” Cope, who played in Jamey Johnson’s band for many years, met lead singer Wes Bayliss at a music venue in Nashville, The Steel Woods have been growing their grassroots following out on the road while opening for the likes of Miranda Lambert, Blackberry Smoke, Jamey Johnson, Whiskey Myers, Cody Jinks, and more.

Through the release of their first two albums, Straw In The Wind and Old News, they’ve solidified their sound as a mix of traditional honky-tonk, country, and southern rock with lead singer Wes Bayliss’ strong and soulful vocals.

Right up there with the likes of Whiskey Myers and Blackberry Smoke, The Steel Woods are in the conversation for one the best country rock bands in the business right now. And with only a handful of years and a couple albums under their belt, they’re still in the early stages of their career.

And a third album was scheduled to be on the way sometime this year.

One of my favorites from these boys…

“Let The Rain Come Down”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock