"This is all I ever wanted to do in life from the time I was 5 years old. I like to think that I've grown a little bit as a person, but at the same time the 5-year-old in me still feels that love and excitement. I still play with that excitement." - Fred of clients Cowboy Mouth
"I remember having a conversation with my dad and saying, 'Dad, I'm running a small business.' And whether you are working in music, tech, or medicine, that is the mindset you need to have in today's world." - client Rich Redmond, drummer for Jason Aldean, speaker, actor, entrepreneur.
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Chris Kimmerer: With one teacher at Belmont, in Nashville, it just drove him nuts that I would want to play some things with traditional grip and some things matched grip. Physically it makes more sense to play matched. You have more muscles this way. I totally dig that. But there's something about flipping that over to traditional. It kind of frees my limbs up a little bit. I think it is also better for nuanced playing.
I tend to have a lot more power behind the matched grip, which works for the big rooms we're playing now. I also find matched grip a lot more consistent, which has been a big factor for making records and doing sessions as well. The consistency of how you hit that drum is everything.
I'll go to traditional grip when I want to stay off of back beats and the rim shot thing. I use that when I want to just find that center of the drum and let the instrument speak that way.
"This is how I’ve made my living since I was a teenager. It hasn’t been easy but I’m doing something creative, something that’s satisfying to the soul." - Kim Wilson of clients The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Chris Kimmerer: Maybe it's been a long day. Or it's been a sticky, sweaty, whatever kind of day. Or you're not feeling well. Whatever it is, you can almost fight through those first couple of tunes and then there's just something that happens. You get to a spot where you're two or three tunes into the show and thinking, "Oh yeah, this is what I love! This is the best part of my day."
We've all played through illness. A couple of weeks ago, I had sprained my wrist. I was in California and took a spill on my bicycle and still had to play that night. Even on those nights, when every back beat was kind of throbbing, I still felt, "Man, this is the best part of the day."
I'm proud of the guys I get to work with for being people that would help pick you up, help you get to that spot musically and also personally. That's something that I'm really proud of with this camp… the band, the crew, everybody. Everyone maintains that head space. That's no BS. That's a very true statement and something I think we're really proud of.
Client John Papa Gros: I was bothered by the complaining surrounding certain aspects of the rebuilding process. Not that it was unwarranted, but I was hearing a lot more of the negatives and not enough of the positives that were happening around us. New Orleans is our home and we should be excited about how far we have come. There have been a lot of great things that have happened since Katrina, making us stronger than we were. The message of "River's On Fire" is the city is on the right path, there are good things going on and you can see it all over town.
Cris: What advice would you give to up-and-coming musicians?
Troy Luccketta (Tesla): I would say be true to yourself. Find your individuality. Be yourself, not someone else. Do it for all the right reasons because there's a place for all of us, no matter what it is. Whether we teach, we play live, we just play in a cover band. There are so many different areas where we could find what it is we want to do. Not everybody wants to be on the road. I would say, try to diversify though. Because if you have enough diversity, you can find yourself doing different things. That's what I did.
Jonatha Brooke: I found it particularly scary with my play "My Mother Has 4 Noses". Most of the things I talk about in the play ... I have NEVER said in public. I have never talked about growing up as a Christian Scientist. I have never talked about my mother losing her nose to skin cancer. That’s why “4 Noses" feels like the culmination -- musically, theatrically, emotionally -- of all the truths I have never spoken before.
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