“Nashville Drummer” Added to Endangered Species List
On Tuesday evening (7-9), a Nashville drummer known by music conservationists in the area as “Drummer #036” was leaving a recording session on 16th Avenue in Nashville’s Music Row district when he was struck by a vehicle. Crossing the street at a pedestrian intersection at about 9:30 p.m., he was startled and froze in a pair of headlights, and was run over by a jacked up Chevrolet pickup truck driven by one of the five singers in Nashville’s newest country boy band, “Rebel Road.”
The loss of Drummer #036 has officially plunged the population of human drummers in Nashville into the endangered species category according to environmental researchers. The surviving number of drummers in the area continue to be at risk due to the plague of electronic drum beats infecting the city, and the propensity of producers to forgo human drummers for pre-programmed rhythm tracks in the studio and on stage.
When the population of Nashville drummers began to suffer plummeting numbers at an alarming pace during the rise of Bro-Country in 2014, conservation efforts by state and local authorities were undertaken to capture local drummers and tag them with radio collars to keep track of and protect the remaining population. This has allowed researchers to catalog the few remaining drummers within the city, follow their movements and migratory patterns, and study their diet and mating habits. As a male of ripe breeding age, the loss of Drummer #036 hit the community citizens concerned about Nashville’s most threatened musical species especially hard.
“He was such a sweet, loving drummer, even if he usually smelled like the inside of a punk rock tour van,” drummer conservationist Marcy McCollugh tells Saving Country Music. “His rhythm was impeccable, and nobody was better at a shuffle beat, even if he sometimes sped up waltzes, and interrupted guitarists in practice with incessant snare rudiments when they were trying to tune. I just can’t believe he’s gone.”
Many drumming conservationists like Marcy McCollugh loved to track Drummer #036 on a mobile app made available by researchers for enthusiasts to follow Nashville’s tagged drummers each day and night as they traverse the city from recording sessions, to gigs on lower Broadway and in east Nashville.
“If you see a drummer in Nashville, don’t approach them,” says head drummer conservationist for the Nashville region, Christopher Frankenfurter. “This could startle them, make them run away to a more hospitable environment such as Texas, or potentially cause them to become a DJ or karaoke host. It’s best to leave them alone, or perhaps offer them a Red Bull or a 4-pack of sleeveless Hanes wifebeaters available at any big box department store. And of course, if they appear to be vulnerable, sick, or in danger, most definitely notify authorities.”
Kody Spanks of the boy band Rebel Road who ran over Drummer #036 pleaded Not Guilty to charges in a Davidson County courtroom, telling reporters after his arraignment, “Music must evolve.”
July 11, 2019 @ 8:57 am
Keith Urban recently known to have “unemployed” his drummer, based on those two “Beats most recent by Dre” albums he released
July 11, 2019 @ 9:15 am
Trigger, If I remember correctly you are a drummer….I was curious where country drummer fits into the hierarchy of drumming gigs. My impression (not a drummer), is that it is likely a boring gig for most bands…simple rhythms, not a lot of room for creativity. Would be interested to hear your thoughts about this. What’s like, the epitome of country drumming (i.e., who’s country’s Neil Peart or John Bonham?).
July 11, 2019 @ 9:17 am
FWIW’s, the only country drummer I would recognize off hand would be Jimmy Fadden or Lil’ Joe.
July 11, 2019 @ 11:10 am
One of my favorite current drummers is Eddie Bayers.
July 11, 2019 @ 9:27 am
Being a country drummer is the easiest and hardest job at the same time. On one hand, you don’t have to be incredibly technically proficient like the drummers in metal or prog rock (though some country drummers still are). But at the same time, you have to know your place and practice restraint, which is difficult for any musician. The place of a country drummer is to be heard and not seen, to blend in with the rest of the music, to understand that country is about the song, the voice, and the lead players first. It’s a selfless job, but also very critical to the music. It takes a certain type of animal to be a good country drummer, to know your place, be fine with just keeping the rhythm, and understand that your creativity comes out in your ear and restraint, and knowing where to add subtle textures as opposed waiting for the next monster drum fill.
July 11, 2019 @ 2:57 pm
As a sometime country drummer and all-the-time country singer and writer I’ll offer this .
If you LOVE the genre , the great songs , the guys ‘n girls who know how to write ’em ……..if you are touched by the overall vibe / emotion …if you ‘get it ‘ and can nail the feel being a country drummer is an absolute joy .
its all about playing the song …listening to dynamics , listening to and appreciating the singer’s delivery and supporting it BECAUSE you were listening BECAUSE you love how a COUNTRY singer sings a song . this won’t happen with machines …ever . this barely happens in ‘ rock’ , whatever your definition of that may be these days . the only other genre where this stuff is vitally important is jazz . in these respects , the ‘ country’ drummer ‘ is a first cousin of the jazz drummer. they both have to LOVE it first .
July 11, 2019 @ 3:42 pm
You don’t have to be a technically proficient drummer to play prog rock? Are you not familiar with Alan White, Carl Palmer, Bill Bruford, Vinnie Colaiuta, every Frank Zappa drummer, every Jethro Tull drummer, Michel Giles, etc? Technical proficiency is fundamental to prog rock drumming.
July 11, 2019 @ 3:48 pm
I think you misunderstood my point. You most definitely have to be technically proficient to play prog rock. I’m saying you don’t have to be as technically proficient as prog rock drummers to play country. A country drummer’s stock in trade is being reserved, sometimes in the face of great technical skill.
July 13, 2019 @ 10:16 am
You are correct … I misread your post and apologize. The article itself is hilarious … great job.
July 11, 2019 @ 3:46 pm
I always found it interesting that, arguably the greatest drummer of all time buddy Rich, despised country music because of this. Rich wasn’t always the most likable of folks, and thought country drummers to be pretty much bereft of skill/talent.
July 11, 2019 @ 7:18 pm
It’s a shame to see a man with a beautiful talent, through his own pride and contempt for others, turn his talent into something ugly and repulsive.
July 15, 2019 @ 11:28 am
I saw him on an old episode of Dick Cavett last year running down country music completely as a musical genre. In fact, I believe he said it was too simple musically to actually be considered music. He was going on and on about “music theory” and “If you really know anything about music”. He just sounded like a big a-hole to me.
July 11, 2019 @ 10:32 am
you know that’s Trig in the picture
July 11, 2019 @ 12:28 pm
Yes! And I bet he’s a good one. This article is one of the best “fake news” stories of late but it definitely makes a good although sad point. Good way to point it out Trig!
King Honky Of Crackershire
July 11, 2019 @ 9:18 am
Well, look on the bright side, maybe we’ll get a total reset, and go back to the pre- Bob Wills days. I’ve always heard history repeats itself.
July 11, 2019 @ 9:35 am
Being put out to pasture along with the steel guitar and fiddle. Sad state of affairs. Trigger’s description of a drummer in the country setting is excellent. Being a pedal steel & electric guitar player myself, all the instruments in the band should compliment the song and artists. I actually thinks it takes much skill to be subdued and shine in brief moments to accentuate a song.
The best way to say it is this. One person leaves a performance and says, “What a singer.” Another leaves and says, “Wow. What a hot band.” A third leaves and says, “Man, what a song.” The latter is the preference and hoped-for outcome.
July 11, 2019 @ 9:42 am
That lovely shimmer bathing Rob Melancon’s “Pinkville”….., well, it’s not born from a printed circuit board.
And how can you execute any sort of a proper rimshot, or drag a brush across a coated batter head, without an actual snare drum?
It’s analogous to all the dynamics possible when a human interacts with a stringed instrument.
July 11, 2019 @ 10:14 am
Thanks Trig. I just reads me some funny shit! Now, if only it were a laughing matter.
July 11, 2019 @ 10:16 am
I heard a more than capable country band at a county fair recently. They played to a click. The drummer had excellent restraint and dynamics. But they never took off.
The click is death.
July 11, 2019 @ 10:18 am
You forgot to mention on August 8th, they all go to an underground padded bunker.
July 11, 2019 @ 11:39 am
You just can’t have electronic drum beats in country music. Maybe as a one-off novelty track at the end of an album, but certainly no more. Yeah, drums weren’t originally part of country, but the genre is built on that tradition of live performance, honky tonks, barn dances, “folk songs and blues” etc. I’m not against electronic music by any means – it has its place, but it’s not compatible with country.
July 11, 2019 @ 2:42 pm
I know a lot of purists on here have nothing but disdain for Brothers Osborne, but they actually have a real, live drummer (Adam Box), and I cannot imagine them ever putting him on the unemployment line. There are at least still a few acts that have not gone EDM.
July 11, 2019 @ 2:59 pm
The timing of this is poor, considering the deadly hit and run in East Nashville last night.
July 11, 2019 @ 6:20 pm
Sad indeed. And we all know the lead guitarist is next to go on the endangered list. Hell musicians in general will probably be on the endangered list by 2025 the way things are going.
July 11, 2019 @ 7:19 pm
Don’t lose heart. Start a band.
July 11, 2019 @ 8:29 pm
Hey Trigger, thanks for recognising the plight of drummers the world over. As a drummer myself, I lament the substitution of real drums with synthetic beats – all sounding exactly the same and precisely in-time to the nanosecond!
Of course the music corporates are happy to have one less mouth to feed. Indeed, with the advent of digital sampling and mimicry they have almost eliminated bassists and guitarists too (depending somewhat on the music genre).
I remember when the music had as much (or more) recognisable character as the singing.
July 11, 2019 @ 10:17 pm
several years back my son’s band recorded their second pop album with the label they were signed to at the time . the drummer’s role in that recording process was to oversee the programming of the ‘beats’ by the producer . the band , including their drummer , would then play live shows to those tracks .
in fact ,about 10 years back I saw Burt Bacharach play a concert with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra . wow …to hear all of those classics played by THE MAN himself in one show …orchestrated ! it was an unbelievable experience. but here’s the kicker . burt announced that the next few tunes were new ones from an upcoming album and proceeded to fire up his laptop ONSTAGE and trigger the drum beats ( loops ) which he explained were programmed by Dr. Dre . I kid you not . even the great burt bacharach had been sucked into trendy sonics .
WTF has music come to ?
July 13, 2019 @ 12:37 am
On the bright side, I was happy and amused to see that I am not the only commenter here to have seen Burt Bacharach in concert.
For reasons that escape me, of all of his songs, the ones stuck in my head now are, “Close to You” and “Heartlight.” (Yeah, I’ve seen Neil Diamond in concert, too. I’ve had an eclectic live music history so far.)
July 11, 2019 @ 11:08 pm
Alright I’m going to be honest here and say although I’ve been a drummer since 1968 when my dad brought the first Ludwig set into the house for himself to play and I saw Ringo on TV in 64. I’ve only ever known about Rock, Metal, Jazz, and Pop drumming. Influenced by everyone from Ringo, Peart, Collins, Bruford, and of course Stewart Copeland. Country music and it’s drummers/drumming weren’t anything I ever thought of until 5 years ago when Country and 2 years later this site took over my musical life. All I can say is what Trig said and should be a given. It IS about THE SONG and especially in Country just stay out of the way and play what the songwriter wants in the song. That being said…… I now find myself watching and listening to the drummers I now go see in Cody’s band, Whitey’s band The 78’s, etc…. and I find myself wondering…………. what if?? (Someone else would take it to another level?) I especially watch Sarah and although Kevin McClain plays the songs note for note perfect (albeit ambivalently) it’s John Howie Jr. that I missed and never saw. (my fault) I feel like I missed out on the real Disarmers. John’s a fuckin pounder like (Grohl/Bonham) and tore it up on the 2 records I crank in my car on a daily basis…lol
He plays HARD and those songs deserve that enthusiasm. Off the top of my head I thought the other night watching Ward Davis’ drummer…….. I thought…..If I was Cody I might grab that guy? He’s good! ….not that Cody’s drummer is bad……BUT! …. there’s always someone that might??…………..You guys on here are much more in tune with the musicians in all the bands we talk about everyday on here than I am not to mention Country music history of which I know nothing. It takes someone to really blow me away to seek out a name. A soundman recently asked me the difference of what I listen to now compared to when I grew up and I told him……back in the day in Rock and Metal we knew every musician in every bands name and these days at least in Country music sadly almost no one does? Am I wrong? I’ve certainly learned that Country drumming isn’t as easy as everybody or I thinks/thought it was that’s 100% for sure. I appreciate the pro Country drummers I see playing these songs we love night after night to little or no accolades.
July 12, 2019 @ 6:47 am
Yo. Howie is the real damn deal. Not many folks that can both hit hard and play shuffles. His solo act’s band (the Rosewood Bluff) is one of the best rhythmic country bands in the business, and I think a lot of it stems from Howie knowing the perspective from behind the kit.
July 11, 2019 @ 11:18 pm
I don’t know if you realize just how good this line is:
“His rhythm was impeccable, and nobody was better at a shuffle beat, even if he sometimes sped up waltzes, and interrupted guitarists in practice with incessant snare rudiments when they were trying to tune.”
Brilliantly subtle, yet apropos.
July 12, 2019 @ 6:01 am
Back in their heyday, one could rattle off drummers on country albums. Lonnie Wilson, Eddie Bayers, Greg Morrow, Chris McHugh, Shannon Forrest. Nowadays, seems Greg Morrow is the only name I see. Probably why Lonnie Wilson is working with George Strait’s Ace in the Hole band now. Granted, it’s an emotional position given what happened to Mike Kennedy.
July 12, 2019 @ 7:53 am
”Back in their heyday, one could rattle off drummers on country albums”
you mean back when we HAD albums and all the credits ( and often lyrics ) were listed right there on the jacket..?
streaming means no one knows who’s playing what on whose records and may , indeed , be part of the reason no one really cares as much about these things …including the record ….in these times .
July 14, 2019 @ 6:12 am
Good point. When the music is streamed none of that is available. I remember the albums days, recently unpacked a bunch from the attic. Back then we pored over those album covers, reading almost everything.
July 15, 2019 @ 11:41 am
Let’s not forget W.S. Holland of the Tennessee Three.
Snarky N. Appropriate
July 12, 2019 @ 7:22 am
#036 still owes me $20 bucks. Any info regarding an estate or relatives would be appreciated.
July 12, 2019 @ 3:12 pm
The golden age of country music was before they added drums. Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, Hank Snow…an upright bass sounds so much better than drums.
July 12, 2019 @ 4:26 pm
Lol okay dood
May 22, 2020 @ 10:00 am
……and let us not forget Lightnin’ Chance and his brush technique on the upright bass, which can be heard on a many recordings, Hank Sr., among many others. I’m not sure, but I do believe the stories that Buddy Harman, the Nashville drum hero that should be on our radar, was the originator of brush slap idea on the upright bass.
Let me add another note of good cheer if I may…..do a little research on your favorite record, or record producer / engineer, or “assistant”, more times than not you’ll find most were great players, or from the words of one of my favorites, Charlie Drayton), a musician that plays drums. Do some research, it’s eye opening how many record producers / engineers were really good drummers. One more thing, a really great drummer has to play emotionally, and with great restraint for the song, it’s something the musician must feel. By the way, Buddy Rich was a jealous prick! it helps to play a second or third instrument, and sing some harmony parts too!
July 13, 2019 @ 9:53 am
Let’s not forget Hal David’s role in that writing team , either . Hal is the guy we’re actually singing along to when we hear a ” Bacharach” tune ….Burt didn’t write lyrics .
Still …….these are the GREATS we should be holding up as our bar, regardless of genre , when we write or just listen to songs that may be hoping to achieve some longevity . And those writers and songs are becoming fewer and farther between .
Quincy Jones said it best , I think , when asked what he thinks of today’s songwriting . He said ( paraphrasing ) ” Nobody is doing their homework and learning from the greats ”
Are you gonna argue with Quincy ???
July 15, 2019 @ 9:12 am
‘When they came for the drummer
I said nothing
Because I was busy
Practicing I, IV, V; I, IV, V; I, IV, V’
Said the bass player.
When he finally spoke up
All he could say was,
‘Why are you guys looking at me now?’
July 18, 2019 @ 6:33 am
Yeah. Credits. Used to be you could go to All Music Guide and get that info. Now, it’s just an also-ran streaming site. Oh, they still list a few credits mainly on major label productions. I’ve submitted credits for projects. My credits never show up. I feel this further dehumanizes the music, makes it less personal. Anyway, shoutout to Nick Buda, my first call, flesh and blood, heart and soul, drummer.