The Rock Out Karaoke family had an unthinkable loss over the Thanksgiving holiday, as our very own Andy Hinson passed away at age 53. We’re still processing, grieving, and supporting Andy’s family during this time, and we thought it appropriate to try and describe here what Andy meant to us.

Any musician will tell you that there’s something magical about being on stage with others and feeling completely locked in. When you’re able to do that with someone dozens / hundreds of times for 10 years, you become family.

We first met Andy in early 2012 when he was playing with local Zeppelin tribute Dazed and Confused. He was a great addition to the ROK lineup, and having a second bass player on the roster would allow us to play much more often during those busy years. Andy committed to learning the 200+ songs on our list and had them all down within a matter of weeks. It certainly helped that he was a natural rocker and loved so many of the tunes we played.

Over the years Andy played too many gigs to count. These were our busiest years, and we traveled to Vegas, LA, and the California desert for corporate gigs — along with weekly and monthly commitments close to home at 710 Beach Club, JT’s Pub, House of Blues and more.

Andy always had a quick smile and easy going demeanor (usually supplemented by a quote from Big Lebowski or any number of classic films). Having grown up in Northern Virginia, he was a die-hard Washington Redskins (Commanders) fan. Beyond his affinity for great movies and football, Andy loved what you may think of as “pure” classic rock. Bands like Rush, Kiss, and of course, Led Zeppelin. And the hair – we have to mention those perfect golden, full-bodied locks, which, for much of the time we knew him, fell well past his shoulders. Definitely the envy of many women in the crowd!

Perhaps what we’ll cherish most of all from our time with Andy is how he treated others. He was simply one of the nicest guys we’ve ever known. One of Andy’s longtime friends summed it up perfectly by saying [paraphrased], “The best thing about Andy is that he played a starring role in some of the best days of the lives of everyone who knew him.” We agree wholeheartedly.

Thanks, Andy, for playing a starring role in many of the best days of our lives. Until we meet again… we love you.