(scroll down or click here for audio/video links)
I love the drums. It amounts to hitting things, either with delicacy or with power, ideally a combination of the two. The first instruments used by our species for a musical purpose would have been percussion instruments (likely two sticks, or two rocks, or possibly one stick and one rock). I love 70s drumming, backing singer-songwriters, writing parts, and improvising. And when duty calls, I like to rock.
I have toured extensively through Canada, the USA, Europe and the UK including many international festivals, with everyone from singer-songwriters to jazz big bands to punk bands. And for the convenience of those who hire me, I have, along with my Canadian passport, a US passport and a United Kingdom (EU) passport (my mom's a Yank, my dad's a Limey) which substantially cuts down on border related costs and paperwork.
Over the years I have played live and/or in the studio with:
Martin Tielli, The Hidden Cameras, Ramin Karimloo, Dave Bidini, Justin Rutledge, Lily Frost, Colleen Brown, Ford Pier, Spookey Ruben, Kate Rogers, Mia Sheard, Craig Cardiff, Charlotte Cornfield, Classic Albums Live, Great Aunt Ida, Tim Vesely, Kevin Fox, Selina Martin, Lori Cullen, Dave Matheson, Jory Nash, Dan Kershaw (The Brothers Cosmoline), Reid Jameson, John Sheard, Barzin, Dave Borins, Chris Warren, John Alcorn, Junetile, Matt Paxton, Kitchenmusik, Jamie Ruben, Steve Harkness, Jessica Moore, Gregg LeRock, Hamilton All-Star Big Band, Nick "The Brownman" Ali, Bobby Cairns, and others.
As a drummer in the house band of multi-act shows, I have backed Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies), Ron Sexsmith, Sarah Harmer, Daniel Lanois, Luke Doucet, Jill Barber, Matt Barber, Melissa MacLelland, Kurt Swinghammer, David Sereda, Molly Sweeney, Lenni Jabour, Paisley Jura, and more.
I have played soft-seat theatres all across Canada and the US and have opened for, or shared stages with Arcade Fire, Blue Rodeo, Hawksley Workman, Gord Downie and the Country of Miracles, 54-40, No Means No, Sarah Slean, the Waterboys, and Jenn Grant, among others.
My formal training as a drummer/musician came from the Grant MacEwan Music Program in Edmonton, followed by the University of Toronto where I obtained a Bachelor of Music degree in performance. I also studied for a couple years with international drum guru, Jim Blackley. He's heavy.
This is a tune from my debut record, Mouthparts and Wings, with Ron Sexsmith singing. The tune is called All Good Things (Come to Those Who Wait). I've always liked this slow half-time shuffle. Drums come in around 1:00 if you're impatient :)
Here's a video of Charlotte Cornfield and me playing live on a TFO television show called BRBR (I think it's pronounced 'bar-bar' -- those crazy French! ;) We are playing her song If You Don't Pursue which appears on her record Two Horses (which I also produced).
This is a live version of Beauty On, recorded by the CBC, that I did with Martin Tielli at Hugh's Room as part of a tour in 2008. Unfortunately the recording on this one didn't start until partway into the tune. Got most of it, though!
This tune is off Mia Sheard's latest record, The Curse of the Vorus. The only cover she has on the album, and it's a Paul Linklater song, entitled Stay Together. Vibey brushes and time signatures. Fun tune. Live-off-the-floor first take, I'm proud to say.
This is my tune, Jackhammer Burden from Mouthparts and Wings. I imagined myself as Matt Cameron (Soundgarden) when I played this one.
Ahh, Ford Pier. This is from Ford's record Organ Farming. The song is Maybe It Came At The Wrong Time. Some good old-fashioned prog-punk drumming here (sorry to categorize, Ford).
Another Charlotte Cornfield tune here. Construction on the Street, again from Two Horses. I really like the groove on this tune.
While I'm linking to my Soundcloud, I might as well grab this one. An excerpt of the bass and drums (Charlie James and me) playing a groove from Charlotte Cornfield's Harbord and Grace.