Welcome newcomers and welcome back faithful readers! For this week’s blog, I chose a theme I will undoubtedly revisit again, and again: The Drummer. There is a stigma surrounding drummers and pages upon pages of music jokes. I’ve heard them all and I thank my lucky stars that I am myself subject to only 3 pages of those jokes (single spaced, 10 pt font). But this week, I hope to break the stereotype of the drummer that speeds up when they get excited and the drummer that slows down when you put sheet music in front of him with these three incredible talents.
I remember the first time I saw Gregg Bissonette. David Lee Roth had gone solo and one of his new videos was on the tele. The fact is, I can’t remember the song, but in between the jumping leg kicks and kung-fu moves, these images and sounds of Gregg and his kit just stuck in my head. He’s an incredible drummer and has developed a reputation as a great musician and educator. His first solo offering, Submarine, is chalked full of great songwriting. His brother Matt, an equally talented bassist, along with a hand full of guest artist like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Robben Ford lend their musicianship to this great album (allmusic.com, 2006). The track “So Many Notes, So Little Time” sums up this album nicely. Musically Spectacular.
So Many Notes, So Little Time – Gregg Bissonette
Chick Corea is just wicked on the keys. Ever since I played “King Cockroach” in high school I was exposed to the polyrhythmic smack-downs of his drummer, Dave Weckl. This uber fusion drummer is a master of his domain and the (aptly named) Dave Weckl Band’s most recent release, Multiplicity, is the culmination of his funk syncopation domination. My favorite cut on this album is “Mixed Bag” which best exemplifies his ability to manage flailing limbs and turn little 2 bar fills into something really special.
Mixed Bag – Dave Weckl Band
One night while watching an Alanis Morissette live tour video… Normally, you would stop reading after a sentence like that. But this blog entry has a drummers theme, so hear me out. Taylor Hawkins did tour with Canadian icon Morissette, but we all know and love him from the post-grunge, rock band, Foo Fighters. The rock solid drummer, that can lay it down with the best of them, is a pleasure to listen to and even more fun to watch. Energy is what Hawkins is all about and his first solo album, Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders, shows it. The song writing is decent and the musicianship is great. Joining him on the album is Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction, Alanis Morissette) on bass and Ganin on guitar (allmusic.com, 2006). Check out the track “Walking Away” for that familiar “Foo” sound with the Hawkins twist.
Walking Away – Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders
Hope you enjoy this weeks offerings and don’t forget to stop back again for more great music that doesn’t suck from The Alternakids!
More information on Gregg Bissonette:
More information on Dave Weckl:
More information on Taylor Hawkins:
Biographical information downloaded from www.allmusic.com, 2006.
-by David Schatanoff, Jr.