Photo by G. Barber

Talking About Band Camaraderie, Awards, and Projects

Hello MD readers! It’s quite possible that many of you, like myself, have memories of running to the local music store to grab the latest monthly issue of Modern Drummer. I am a huge fan, so I’d like to start by saying what an honor it is to be a part of “On The Beat.”

My passion for the drums started when I was about three years old, and my ability to play grew naturally as my father and uncles were musicians. I would play with my family every weekend at local events, concerts, and church services all over the Tampa Bay area. They taught me so much. By the time I was fifteen, I was playing drums in a local Top 40 pop band, performing at the hottest lounges, nightclubs, and music venues in the area. I met many other great players and started to gain a positive reputation around town. I worked hard, and these first gigs snowballed into bigger gigs and calls to play on people’s albums. By the age of twenty-three, I was touring with national recording artists around the US and abroad. That’s been my life ever since.

My current project is Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers. Our sound is edgy rock ’n’ roll blues with a ton of vocals and vocal harmonies. This is a band that grew out of friendship and respect for each other as players. We’ve played with each other for many years, well before forming this band. We recorded our first album, Live in Seattle, together as Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers in 2015, and we released The EastWest Sessions in 2017, which debuted at number three on the Billboard Blues chart. We released All I Got For Christmas Is The Blues in 2018 debuting at number one on the RMR Holiday chart, and we have a brand new album No Good Deed dropping June 28, 2019.

In between, we’ve toured non-stop. In 2018, we won eight Independent Blues Awards including Artist of the Year, and Best Blues Rock Album. We also won an Independent award for Best Blues Song Fan Award for “Pretty Good For A Girl” featuring Joe Bonamassa. In 2019, we won the LA Music Critics Award for Best Holiday Album, and Mindi Abair was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist: Horn.

My role with the band requires a high level of consistent energetic playing while maintaining a strong vocal presence. I sing lead on a number of songs, and contribute heavily to the background vocals in every other song. It’s a family atmosphere, as we all contribute every part of ourselves and complete each other as band members. I think that camaraderie translates to the audience and they feel the energy and abandon we play with at every show.

My go-to gear includes DW drums and hardware, with my Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum. There’s something magical about that 6×14 snare; it works in everything I do. Whether I’m in a recording session or performing live, this is my snare drum for life. I also use Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth drumsticks, Evans drumheads and Alien Ears. Thanks for reading and see you on the road!

For more, go to: https://www.mindiabair.com.