Everything you need to know about being a professional drummer…and a few things you may not want to know. Hosted by Matthew Crouse and Zack Albetta: the podcast Working Drummer covers it all in interviews with a dynamic range of pro drummers.
With over 300 episodes and counting, Working Drummer Podcast is the source for those interested in what it’s like to be a professional drummer. We hear from a diverse range of musicians who represent many different genres and scenes. Each weekly interview features a different performer, sometimes with a less recognizable name, but always with an impressive and distinct body of work. This unique approach has garnered a loyal audience hungry for unfiltered stories about making a living as a musician today.
374 - Joy Lapps: Exploring History, Community, and Expression Through the Steel Pan
Joy Lapps is a bandleader, composer, and educator based in Toronto. She was introduced to the steel pan through her church music program as a teenager, and soon started playing community and church events. This soon led to composing her own music and leading her own bands. Her latest release is Girl in the Yard, featuring her own compositions and arrangements, and her husband, Larnell Lewis on drums. The album reflects her exploration of the steel pan as a traditional folk instrument of resistance, but also as the vehicle for her original compositional ideas.
In this episode, Joy talks about:
The musical and geographic origins of the steel pan
How Larnell encouraged her to compose, improvise, and take the steel pan beyond its traditional stylistic role
How having a son with special needs has affected her relationship with music
Leaning into her instrument's traditional identity vs. carving a new musical path for it
How her relationship with Larnell has affected her relationship with the drums
Working with her band to translate traditional Afro-Caribbean styles to a modern jazz format
373 - Hubert Payne: Curiosity Over Judgement, Life and Performance Coaching in “The Space”, Touring with Little Big Town
Hubert Payne is one of the most sought after musicians in the Nashville music scene with a Performance Coaching skill set that’s a cross between ministry, life coaching, therapy and motivation. With over 20 years of performance experience in athletics and music, Hubert is widely recognized for his ability to ‘Unblock’ his clients so they are fully equipped to live from the best of themselves in every area of their lives.
Hubert is a certified life coach, practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic-Programming and a Level 2 ISEP Experiential Coach. He is skilled in emotional wellness and performance after trauma and has worked with The NFLPA, The Green Bay Packers, Chick-Fil-A. Hubert maintains a roster of clients from NFL Coaches and players to real estate agents and musicians.
Hubert is also the touring and recording drummer for National Country Music Artists, Little Big Town. When not on location at The Space (The mental gym he founded in Nashville, TN), you can find Hubert and his wife, Nicole, with their 5 children in Spring Hill, TN.
In this episode, Hubert talks about:
Using the concept of performance when navigating life
Touring with Little Big Town and Miranda Lambert
Double drumming with Miranda’s drummer Max Zemanovic
Life and performance coaching in “The Space”
Normalizing mental health and the help that’s available
Becoming a compassionate witness to our own history
Being able to manage your failings
Choosing curiosity over judgement
372 - Erik Aylesworth: Playing with Jet Black Roses, Recording at Ronnie's Place in Nashville, Thinking like a Producer
Erik Aylesworth is an Atlanta-based drummer who joined Jet Black Roses through remote recording during the pandemic. He attended Atlanta Institute of Music but cut his gigging teeth on the funk/R&B scene in Dayton Ohio. He returned to Atlanta in 2016 and got himself busy playing the usual combo of corporate, bar/restaurant, and church gigs. Jet Black Roses signed with N-Ovation Music Group in Nashville and just finished recording their debut album, with songs set to be release starting in late summer of 2022.
In this episode, Erik talks about
The recording process for Jet Black Roses at Ronnie's Place
The band's unique strategy for releasing and publicizing their music, skipping a few of the usual steps
Becoming a father during the pandemic
How recording with guitarist Rob McNelly influenced his own approach as a drummer
How the usual influences of Bonham, Colaiuta, and Peart combined with pocket influences like Prince and Lil' John Roberts
371 - Jerry Pentecost: Drumming for Old Crow Medicine Show, Dealing with Systemic Racism, Traditional Country Drumming and Serving the Song
Drummer and Nashville native, Jerry Pentecost has played with John Prine, Brent Cobb, Amanda Shires, Caitlin Rose, Aaron Lee Tasjan, and many others. In 2018 he became only the second drummer ever nominated for the Americana Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the Year award.
Since around 2019, Jerry has been the drummer for the Grammy award winning group, Old crow Medicine Show.
In this episode, Jerry talks about:
Loyalty over pay when juggling multiple gigs
Playing the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame honoring Eddy Bayers
Drumming for Old Crow Medicine Show
Covering many roles with OCMS including playing mandolin, bones and singing
Recording the latest OCMS record, Paint This Town
Two op-eds he wrote for the Tennessean focusing on Black History
Dealing with systemic racism
Traditional country drumming and serving the song
370 - Eric Slick: Playing with Dr. Dog and Waxahatchee, Building Songs Around Drum Sounds
Eric Slick is a product of the Philly area where he began touring with Dr. Dog. After relocating to Nashville in 2018, he continued that gig until the band’s recent hiatus, and has gone on to perform with Waxahatchee and The Crooked Rhythm Band among others. He is also a singer, songwriter, and producer in his own right, his latest release as a solo artist is an album of ten original songs called Wiseacre.
In this episode, Eric talks about
His ongoing studio learning process
The power of "no" - filling your schedule vs. being fulfilled
Playing with the Crooked Rhythm band and digging into the Fela Kuti/Tony Allen stuff
His interest in late 70s/early 80s drum machines and productions
Wrestling with drums and mics vs. wrestling with the computer
How Nashville is becoming a place for everyone, musically and otherwise
His "jazz damage"
369 - Al Murray: The British Drum Company, His 2nd WW podcast: We Have Ways of Making You Talk
Al Murray is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of the British Drum Company
He is also one of the UK’s most recognizable comedians! In his guise as the Pub Landlord he has played drums with the likes of Phil Collins and Queen as well as touring the world appearing on TV and radio.
Al has published books and is planning a movie, but his first love is drums. A keen and enthusiastic drummer, Al has played since he was a kid, and is currently active in the band 'Fat Cops'.
Lastly, Al and historian James Holland discuss all matters Second World War with their immensely popular podcast, We Have Ways of Making You Talk. The podcast is a bi-weekly show exploring the war in close up and James and Al have a stunning knowledge of the subject.
In this episode, Al talks about:
His podcast, “We Have Ways of Making You Talk”
His interest in the 2nd World War
The British Drum Company
The variety of snare drums that The British Drum Company offers
His full time gig as a touring comic act, the Pub Landlord
How the history of drum manufacturing is also the history of manufacturing