The drummer with Animals as Leaders has gone about as deeply into the art as one man can, and he loves nothing more than sharing what he’s discovered. Here’s to the explorers!
Like everything he plays on the drumset, the name he chose for his debut album as a leader—Roots Before Branches—is intriguing, and no accident. Few players have such a deep understanding of where they come from, or as wide a scope of where they can go.
For a long time the Nashville music industry was defined—some say hampered—by an imaginary wall dividing session and touring musicians. Each side had its top-call players, but even among these rarified individuals, there were few exceptions to the rules of separation. Dan Needham’s drumming is indeed exceptional, for its quality and consistency, but also for how much it’s been valued by the movers and shakers on both sides of the divide.