Tuning out the noise, office cubicle revolutionaries on Facebook, finger pointing and general crap going on in the U.S of A. Not ignoring, just tuning out. My escape is…grooving.
NYC: I’m currently filling the drum chair for soul/disco/funk outfit, Benjamin, for their September residency at C’mon Everybody (325 Franklin Ave.) in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. We play every Tuesday for the month: the 6th; the 13th; the 20th and (possibly) the 27th. $10 at the door. 8PM-11PM. The clip above is from the first show on September 6th. If that’s your vibe, come on down!
J-Zone Interviews Average White Band/Tom Petty/Session Drummer Steve Ferrone for Red Bull Music Academy
My latest Give The Drummer Some installment at RBMA is with the steady and prolific Steve Ferrone. From Average White Band; to Brian Auger; to Tom Petty; to Eric Clapton; to Roberta Flack – he talks drumming for them all. We also discuss his beginnings in England and avoiding some of the pitfalls of the music business. READ IT HERE! Enjoy.
I’m honored to play a (minor) role in a very dope modern soul album – Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate on Polydor Records. Track #3 (“Fallin'”) features me on drums. Check it out! Shout out to Danger Mouse and Mr. Kiwanuka for a fine slice of soul.
My Red Bull Music Academy drummer interview series continues with Steve Arrington, the man who held it down behind the kit for three years for one of my favorite bands, Slave. The multi-talented Dayton native opens up about his tenure playing drums with the band, as well as his solo career and all other areas of a 40-year musical journey that has impacted everyone from OG Baby Boomers to neo-funk Millennials.
More interviews to come. Click here to read other RBMA drummer interviews I’ve done with Kool and the Gang’s “Funky” George Brown, jazz-funk legend Mike Clark and Ohio Players’ Greg Webster.
After a brief hiatus, I continue my drummer interview series with Red Bull Music Academy. This time around I was fortunate to chat with founding and last surviving original member of The Ohio Players, Greg Webster. Greg’s recollection of the band’s early days is still sharp; we go through the formative years on the chitlin circuit through the oft-sampled Pain and Pleasure LPs. His departure from the band in 1972 (right after “Funky Worm” became a #1 hit) is another example of how frustrating the music business can be, but Greg’s e-book tells all and I’m honored to be able to interview one of the drummers who inspired me to play. Read the interview with Greg Webster here!
I’m still building up an archive of these interviews, but if you like this, be sure to check out my interviews with “Funky” George Brown of Kool and the Gang and Headhunters/Herbie Hancock drummer and jazz-funk legend, Mike Clark.
My first ever musical goal was to play bass in a funk band with a big afro. Genetics have allowed me to still have all my hair after the 30 years it took to live out that dream and the time is now! I’m putting the finishing touches on an EP with my long time mastering engineer and Tom Tom Club guitarist, Pablo Martin. Our group is called The Du-Rites. I’m on drums, bass, combo organ and turntables; Pablo holds down guitar, bass and keys and mastering. Two musicians doing the work of seven – a funkier, more raggedy Steely Dan, I suppose. The only thing missing is the three piece horn section. Check the teaser below and look out for the EP this summer.
Mike is the man behind “God Made Me Funky,” one of the most sampled drum breaks of all time, and the Oakland funk sound. Also discussed: Herbie Hancock, the Headhunters, playing as the white guy in the Black Panthers’ house band, Brand X, why he hated the Beatles in the 60s, Betty Davis and more. I took a lesson from him once – he’s the real deal with a great story. Enjoy!