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To all my blog readers… so sorry about the lack of content lately. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, blogging has unfortunately found itself at the bottom of this summer’s priority list. Such is life.

However, in the meantime, I give you the winning performance from this afternoon’s air-drumming contest at the Goold house…

I am sitting in the 7th Street Entry right now, listening to this band called The Daredevil Christopher Wright. I have to say, they are very cool. Eccentric, but cool. You should check them out if you ever get the chance.

So, I’ve been on this Chris McHugh kick lately.  Man.  Just love that guy.  The recent Keith Urban record is killer, and same with the last two Rascal Flatts records.  However, after much listening, I’m still liking the self-titled Owsley record as mt favorite Chris McHugh performance, as well as Keith Urban’s previous album (Love, Pain, and the Whole Crazy Thing), and I included both of those records on the AEDSK list.

Anyway…

This post is just a presentation of a theory I have after listening to Carrie Underwood’s 2nd album, Carnival Ride.  McHugh plays on that record, which is of course why I’ve been listening to it lately, and why I’ve taken to theorizing about it.  However, the interesting thing about that record is that Matt Chamberlain plays on it too, but the tracks aren’t labeled as to which drummer played on what.  The liner notes read simply, “Drums: Chris McHugh, Matt Chamberlain.”  So, I’ve spent a ton of time trying to decifer which drummer is playing on which track.  Actually, my 4-year-old daughter Betty really likes Carrie Underwood, so the truth is I’ve spent far more time than I care to admit listening to Carrie Underwood.  Let’s just say I know both her albums top to bottom from memory.  And… after all this listening… I’ve come to a conclusion about who is drumming on each track.

I think Chamberlain only plays on track two, the radio single called “All-American Girl.”  That’s it.  The rest of it is McHugh.  I’m saying this because only “All-American Girl” exhibits any Chamberlain-esque playing, and all the other tracks have very signature McHugh moments.  Feel, tones, patterns, sequences, fills… these two players have VERY finger-print characteristics, and I’m pretty confident at this point about my ID-ing track two as the only Chamberlain track.

So, my theory is this: the whole record was tracked in Nashville with McHugh (and all the other usual suspects for A-list Nashville records).  Then, “All-American Girl” was discovered last-minute as a viable song for the record, and it was deemed necessary to be included.  McHugh wasn’t available for the session, so Chamberlain did it.

Makes sense, right?  I think so.  Give it a listen and tell me what you think.

… is one of my favorite studio players. The session at Masters Studio yesterday was for a rock-country record, and I found myself constantly referencing McHugh’s playing as I worked through the songs.

I’ve looked for clips of him on youtube before and not had much luck, but it turns out all you need to do is search “Keith Urban” and there’s suddenly tons of footage of McHugh in action. This is the best one I found.

I’m somewhat of a music news junkie. Every now and then I post something here that is especially interesting to me, and I thought I might turn that into a more frequent venture with a new weekly “music news” series. Some of it will be drum-oriented, but most of it will just be about the music world generally. I’m going to call it “Mews,” in honor of everybody’s favorite Radiohead cover band.

This week’s music news so far…

– In case you haven’t heard, legendary producer Phil Spector was convicted of murder earlier this week.  BBC

– A new legal download service just launched called Free Music Archive.  The site features indie tracks selected by various music critics and available for download at absolutely no cost.  The tracks are completely restriction-less and available by permission from the artists.  Pitchfork.com

The Beatles Rock Band game is in the works, and GameStop recently revealed some of the contents of the “bundle” that consumers will receive when purchasing the video game.  It includes a vintage Ludwig Super Classic replica as the controller for the drums, complete with a metal kick pedal and “pearl” finish (um, black oyster!?).  artstechnica.com

– Pearl Jam, the band that first helped me realize that music was something to be passionate about, has a new record due out this fall.  The record will be produced by Brendan O’Brien and released independently (without a label!), as the trend of huge bands leaving the world of record labels continues.  Rollingstone.com

– Ziggy Marley has an album of his dad’s songs lined up for a children’s record due out this summer. Hopefully this “Reggae for kids” will have minimal marijuana references.  Billboard.com

– No joke… Justin Timberlake is planning on climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for the African water crisis.  Sheesh.  MTVnews

– Ben Folds is soon releasing an album of “a capella” versions of some of the big BFF hits.  Folds discovered via Youtube various college vocal groups that were using his songs in their repertoire, and he hand-selected 14 of the groups to arrange and perform the tracks for the record.  Despite what you might think, Folds is excited about the record for more than just comedy reasons.  Billboard.com

– Internet radio AccuJazz recently announced a new line-up of streaming stations: Jazz By Composer.  The stations feature original compositions by history’s great jazz composers, performed both by the composers themselves and by other jazz artists.  So far the site has stations for Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, and Bird/Diz.  ejazznews.com

– Editorial: Chris McHugh puts on a freaking clinic with his playing on the new Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts albums.  I’ve been listening to them on Rhapsody for the past couple weeks.

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