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I love Brian Blade as a drummer, but I love him even more as a perfect example of a musician who floats between multiple styles without sacrificing either the integrity of the style or his own signature sound within the style. So I wrote a post about that a few years ago.

But today’s From The Archives post isn’t done yet. If you’re a Blade fan like I am then you should revisit this comprehensive post about him (complete with bio and selected Youtube footage) as well as this article about Blade’s singer/songwriter release from 2009. Then, if you’re really dedicated, check out this Ottawa Citizen article about the Fellowship Band and this interview with Blade about the inspiration and influence that he’s taken from Joni Mitchell.

Well done, Brian.

Are you registered yet? It’s two weeks from today! Seriously… I’m so pumped I can hardly stand it.

Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 1.45.52 PM

Listen to the podcast in my previous post for a sampling of what the day will be like. Our clinician roster is unbelievable and our plans for the event are coming together so well. We have group rate discounts as well as all meals included in the registration cost… get over to to get signed up. See you there!

My new friend David, a Pittsburg worship leader with a cool blog about worship leading, featured me on his latest podcast episode. Cool, right? I talked about drums and playing them and other cool things like that. Click here if you care.

No seriously though… many thanks to David Santistevan for including me in his series. Check it out!

Does it get cooler than this?

"Seriously though, the turtleneck is working for me?"

“Seriously though, the turtleneck is working for me?”

HT: Dave Stanoch

Me, when I was younger... trying to be a professional musician.

Me, when I was younger… trying to be a professional musician.

I posted a link to Danny Barnes’ wisdom once already this year, and if he keeps writing articles with such compelling and spot-on content then I’ll probably link to him again.

Do you want to make a living in music? Yes? Then read “How To Make A Living In Music.”

If you’ve ever said that then you need to listen to this track, and then note that the light drum machine in the background means that the song was recorded to a click. Mayer and company are dripping with groove, and it’s all within the “confines” of the “perfect” time feel that comes along with playing to a metronome or loop.

I was curious about this when I first heard it, because the performance feels so “loose” and “greasy”… things usually obtained by playing without a grid. I was so curious, in fact,  that I messaged Aaron Sterling earlier tonight about it. He vouched as to how the song was recorded…

Twitter is awesome.

Twitter is awesome.

Listen, here’s the deal (according to me): Playing to a click makes the music feel cold and rigid… IF… the musicians don’t know how to play to a click. That’s the end of it. Guys like Sterling can make a pocket like the one on Call Me the Breeze feel as loose and greasy as they want to, and it’s got nothing to do with using a click vs not using one. Rather, it’s an issue of musicianship, understanding of groove, and competency on the instrument.


Screen shot 2014-04-02 at 12.16.25 AM

I just uploaded another Sara B drumcam video on my Youtube page. That’s not really the point of this post, but I’m mentioning it because at 2:20 in the video you can see my tech Kris Mazzarisi in all his glory. Kris rules. I think I’ve mentioned him before on this blog. He’s the one that set up the GoPro for the drumcam footage in the first place.


Kris and me on the fall tour, complete with matching haircuts.

Ok… now to the real point of this post: anybody remember The Pancake? It’s my cut-out drumhead snare muffle. I also use one with the middle cut out, which I call “The Donut.” I’ve been using muffles like that for years and so have a lot of other drummers, so it’s not really a “new” thing. But then Kris Mazzarisi comes along and, with his trademark attention to detail and overall awesomeness, completes the design with a durable rubber outer right and a notch for easy placement/removal.

And now Kris has started a company called Big Fat Snare Drum to market and sell his patented designs, even naming the version with the hole in the center “Steve’s Donut.” He came up to my hotel room at our last gig to show me the “Steve’s Donut” prototype and tell me he was calling it that. I totally teared up and I feel honored to even know such a cool and selfless dude.

My personal "Steve's Donut" prototype...

My personal “Steve’s Donut” prototype…

The moral of the story is: you need to go buy the BFSD “combo pack” immediately. DO IT NOW. You can also keep up with BFSD on Twitter or Facebook.

If you need more convincing, please see the photos below…

Sara giving a BSFD prototype to Questlove when she performed on Fallon a few months ago.

Sara giving a BSFD prototype to Questlove when she performed on Fallon a few months ago.

Questlove's Instagram post after using his BFSD prototype.

Questlove’s Instagram post after using his BFSD prototype.

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