Keech Rainwater of Lonestar : Modern DrummerHey, everybody, my name is Keech Rainwater, and I’m from the country band Lonestar. I know, country music, right? Actually, we rock pretty hard and have been for the past eighteen years. I started out when I was about twelve years old and kind of already knew how to play a drumkit by listening to Boston and other ’70s rock bands—knowing basic beats and playing at my desk with pencils and tapping my feet.

One day I heard some neighbors in my Texas neighborhood jamming in a garage with drums and guitar. So I followed the sound and waited my turn to play the drums as all the other kids had done. When I sat down and played—I think it was “China Grove” by the Doobie Brothers—the guitar player asked how long had I been playing and I said, “This is my first time!”

It was encouraging to me, and I kept at it until after graduating high school, where I joined a band in Plano, Texas that played all the clubs around Dallas and Ft. Worth. I was in and out of bands for most of the ’80s, and in 1987 I joined a rocking country band called Canyon and toured with them for five years. We made three albums and had a great career, until the label folded.

I met our guitar player, Michael Britt, when he had replaced Canyons guitar player Johnny Boatright a year and a half before we disbanded. Michael Britt called me from Nashville and talked me into moving there and joining Texassee—which later became Lonestar. We started making records and never stopped. We were with RCA/BNA records for twelve years and produced many albums and had #1 hits with “Amazed,” “I’m Already There,” “My Front Porch Lookin’ In,” and a few more country hits with some pop crossover success.

I play Mapex drums and use Zildjian cymbals and Pro-Mark sticks. My early influences were Boston, Pat Travers—I wore out that Go For What You Know live album and can still play just about every note! Tommy Aldridge was like a God to me. Also Phil Collins—and then I heard this guy named Vinnie Colaiuta.

Playing in the studio these days is such a joy. The creative energy is what really drives us. We have been a band for so long now that we kind of know what the other guys are thinking. Nashville is a great place to live and record, and there are a lot of writing opportunities.

Our latest record is called Party Heard Around The World. It’s been two-plus years in the making. I’m so happy with the way the drums turned out on the CD. They totally rock, thanks to some awesome Nashville engineers.

In closing, I just wanted to say that I have been reading Modern Drummer since my early days in Texas. Thank you, guys, for what you do and for inspiring all of us to keep drumming!

For more on Keech Rainwater and Lonestar, go to www.lonestarnow.com.