Virgil Howe, English Rock Drummer and Son of Yes Guitarist Steve Howe, Passes

Virgil Howe, the drummer for the British rock band Little Barrie, passed away this past September 11 at the age of forty-one. Virgil, the youngest son of Yes guitarist Steve Howe, recorded three full-length albums with Little Barrie since joining in 2007 and played with the group on the theme song for the Breaking Bad spinoff show Better Call Saul.

“We’re heartbroken that we have lost our dear friend and brother Virgil Howe,” Little Barrie vocalist and guitarist Barrie Cadogan says. “Our thoughts are with his daughter, family, and partner.” Lewis Wharton, bassist and vocalist for the group, adds, “I’m utterly devastated to lose my friend and a positive force in my life.”

PMC educators and retailers offered free drum lessons at select Vans Warped Tour stops throughout the country this past summer.

Free Drum Lesson Lab Tents Once Again Featured on Vans Warped Tour

This past summer, for the sixth year in a row, the Percussion Marketing Council (PMC) sponsored Free Drum Lesson Lab Tents at six Vans Warped Tour stops across the United States. The PMC says the grassroots approach exemplifies the organization’s mission to create and expand the next generation of drummers and connect retailers with youth-oriented markets in local communities by providing free beginner drum lessons.

Billy Cuthrell, a PMC member with the Raleigh, North Carolina, music retailer Progressive Music Center and program director for the PMC Warped Tour initiative, introduced the idea eight years ago. “I’d been pushing to get outside the normal channels for finding and growing new drummers,” he says. “The attendees matched our target demographic perfectly.”

PMC member Hal Leonard Corporation, represented by the company’s vice president of musical instrument products, Brad Smith, was at the Milwaukee stop, which was hosted

by the Cascio Interstate Music Superstore. “It still amazes me every year,” Smith says. “A new crop of young people wants to play drums, and more than half of them are female. These are our people.”

Plans are in development for the 2018 PMC summer tour, with dates and locations announced in early spring.

Latin Percussion Joins MusiCares Hurricane Relief Efforts

This past September, percussion manufacturer Latin Percussion joined forces with the MusiCares Foundation, a philanthropic organization supported by the U.S.-based Recording Academy, in pledging support to those in the music community who’ve been affected by recent devastating hurricanes. LP plans to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of a limited edition Texas Flag Collect-a-Bell cowbell to MusiCares’ Relief Fund. Assistance includes coverage of medical expenses, clothing, instrument and recording equipment replacement, relocation costs, home repairs, debris removal, and basic living expenses such as shelter, food, utilities, and transportation.

Donations can also be made to the relief fund at Music professionals impacted by the storms can request disaster relief by contacting the South Regional MusiCares office toll free at 877-626-2748.

The Texas Flag Collect-a-Bell is based on LP’s popular Black Beauty Cowbell model. The company uses a special process to embed the graphics into the cowbell’s surface for a durable look and sound. Sales and shipping of the Texas Flag bell are limited to the United States.

Who’s Playing What

Edward Tucker (Fate Up) is using Regal Tip drumsticks, Soultone cymbals, and Humes & Berg drum cases.

Ben Thatcher

Ben Thatcher (Royal Blood), Tony Royster Jr. (Katy Perry), and Denny Fongheiser (Ann Wilson) have joined the Porter & Davies family of artists.

Photo by David O’Donohue

Ian O’Neill (Kelsea Ballerini) has joined the Vater artist roster.