Hello, Modern Drummer readers! Charlie Woodburn here again, giving you an update on my drum happenings since the last time I blogged.
Being a session drummer is quite a challenge, but it’s one I love because I’m in a situation where I’m asked to play many styles. To record a country record with brushes and get the right feel, and then turn around and play experimental Krautrock and make it sound right, is a blast. Some drummers spend their whole life perfecting one style, like jazz or blues. My job is to listen to those styles and do my best to pay tribute to the drummers who’ve played it, and at the same time put a little something of my own on it. I’ve been writing about all my live gigs, recordings, and tours for the last two years on my website.
Since moving to Los Angeles in 1997, I’ve been in every playing situation imaginable. I usually play shows and record with my friends that I’m in a band with and then do session work. But that line can blur because I care about all the projects I do, so basically I’m in a band with everybody! My main band is Bell Gardens, who I’ve been playing with for about three years. Our new single, “Through the Rain,” is available for pre-order at southern.com, and our album Full Sundown Assembly will be released in September on Southern Records.
I also play with the band the Abe Lincoln Story, who I’ve been working with for over a year. The album What Time Is It?! It’s Story Time! is now available at bandcamp.com. I like playing with this group because its sound encompasses many styles: rock, jazz, swing, funk, hip-hop, soul, gospel—you name it. Plus the record has some great songwriting moments, thanks to bandleader Steve Moramarco and keyboardist Kristian Hoffman.
I also just recorded a record with the Ritchie West Band. My friend Brittney Westover is a talented singer, and her father was an amazing songwriter. Brittney’s goal was to pay tribute to him by recording his songs. The record is almost complete, and you can check out the progress at kickstarter.com. I’m a big fan of the underdog, the creative musician working on a project that is not always commercial. I want to help out in any way possible to bring creative ideas or struggling musicians to the public.
Being a session musician, I need great instruments. The products I endorse are Mapex drums, Soultone cymbals, and Vic Firth drumsticks. These companies have been helpful and generous to me, and I could not do it without them and their wonderful representatives.
I want to thank Modern Drummer and all its writers for all the articles over the years that have helped shape my playing and ideas about drumming. Whenever I have a question with anything related to drums, MD has an article about it—getting replaced in the studio, teching out your own drumkit, product reviews, sight-reading, and of course the drummer interviews. All of these articles have helped me make the right choices so that I can bring my musical dreams into reality. Thanks, Modern Drummer, for helping me out for the past twenty-five years, and see you on the road.