Detroit blues bass player and vocalist James Cloyd Jr. has died

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

The city's music community is mourning the loss of celebrated and involved blues musician James Cloyd Jr. who died Tuesday at age 65. 

The native Detroiter was known by friends and fans as being a player who many could count on. He's performed with marquee names like B.B. King, Jerry Garcia and Bobby Bland as well as dozens of local groups. 

Detroit blues player James Cloyd, Jr. has died.

His biography on the website for the Alley Katz Band states that the bassist set foot on at least one stage in every state and several others across the globe. In addition to Detroit, he was well-known in the Chicago blues scene and was a regular in clubs there, too. 

According to a friend close to Cloyd, the musician had a history of heart problems. His last public Facebook post was early Tuesday, announcing he was headed to the polls to vote. 

"James Cloyd... say those two words to anybody who’s ever played blues or listened to blues in Detroit and a giant smile will come to their face," said well-known musician and former radio show host Mark Pasman on Facebook Wednesday. "He was one of the funniest guests I ever had on my show and a SuperSession with James was always something very special."

"James was a phenomenal bassist who toured with Albert King, Koko Taylor and many other legends," writes fellow rhythm section member RJ Spangler. "But more than that he was one of the nicest people that I know. I was a better drummer for playing with him."

Detroit blues player James Cloyd, Jr. died Aug. 4

Spangler adds that he's "stunned" by Cloyd's passing. 

"I can honestly say that he enjoyed his time on this planet because he brought out the best in everybody around him at all times. He is going to be missed. James, we will never rush the stage ever again."