Wonder is released today. It’s the third album I worked on for Jody & The Jerms. It was extremely fulfilling getting to work at OX4 Sound with Mark Gardener of RIDE at the controls (huge thanks to Marsha Beckingham and Claire Meaden who made this possible). Mark has created the most relaxing and distraction free creative environment. His production and engineering skills (not to mention his vast experience as an artist himself), combined with his warm and calming nature, make it the perfect working environment for letting your musical imagination flourish and getting your best ideas down on ‘tape’ and thanks to Mark, sounding great. We were also lucky to be blessed with the wonderful culinary creations of Marija, not to mention her friendship, care and encouragement.
The completion of Wonder marks a turning point for me, as I’m unable to take on the live shows scheduled to promote the album. The unfortunate reality is that maintaining yourself as a reasonably competent, roadworthy drummer doesn’t come for free, however the indie circuit at this level tends to run on beat up kit, nervous enthusiasm, sweat and thin air, and generally isn’t in the habit of paying. So I’m reluctantly forced to stand down as the regular drummer for Jody And The Jerms and wish my old friends the best of luck.
Here’s a lyric video to sing along to x
2020 served to remind me what music is all about. We invest hard to become working professionals & It’s easy to forget that we get into it to be creative & have fun with friends (well that’s me anyway). Of course the money is crucial as a professional, but for me, when I can’t get out to work as a musician, it’s the people I miss (both my colleagues and friends in the audience). So I’ve been lucky that I did actually get to make music this year thanks to good friends.
The year started well, with a 3rd anniversary certificate from Ludwig Drums, a coveted place in Nick Mason’s historic London drum store, ‘Chas Footes’ 100th anniversary display window, plus some festivals & deps in the diary. Jody & the Jerms had their debut outing on stage & were preparing for summer festivals, then suddenly boom! on March 14th, it was my last gig of the year with The Quarry Katz. The pandemic hit and like many, I walked a lot, had good quality family time and mountain biked loads! Then we got the go ahead for Jody & the Jerms to return to recording in the summer. We completed the debut album ‘Deeper’ at Woodworm Studio & Safehouse Studio & it was swiftly sent around the world for reviews & radio play.
I put my hand to making videos and ended up producing 3 for Jody & the Jerms. I’m particularly pleased with Deeper. There was some more recording, with our friends Claire Moore & Simon Hale, who for years we’ve met with as families purely to eat, drink, talk and be merry. But this time, Simon played piano, I played drums, Claire sang, then we drank talked & got merry as usual. The recording was used as a fundraiser for the charity ‘Acting for others’.
The Quarry Katz managed a meet up in September when coronavirus had eased & planned a video recording in a village hall, so we could perform at a distance then put the video out to followers. Unfortunately the renewed surge of the virus put an end to that, but we were pleased that we had at least seen each other face to face.
My fingers are crossed for a speedy & trouble free vaccine roll out now. Although there is already a new Jody & the Jerms single set for a February release, I’m trying not to get too excited about what lies ahead musically in 2021 – but I know one thing – once a musician – always a musician.
All the very best to you all, especially if you’ve managed to read this far!
Here’s to good health “
“For Jody & The Jerms we have just received our annual round up from Spotify and we’re absolutely made up! Spotify is just one of a variety of platforms our music gets uploaded to when we release it, so the listening figures represent just a slice of the support we’ve been getting from you. Considering we only got together 14 months ago, our debut album has only recently been released and like most artists, we haven’t been able to get out there to play live for you, this feels like a mammoth achievement. An absolutely massive thank you to everyone who has supported us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Bring on 2021!”
” Jody & The Jerms debut album Deeper was released in September and It’s going really well! But I have to say, it’s so hard not being able to get out and gig it. So as a band we’ve been keeping ourselves busy by keeping the creative juices flowing. We’ve been back in the recording studio working on an alternative Christmas single plus a brand new original track. We’ve recorded Niall and Jody’s brand new song ‘Belong’ and also reworked a classic which we all love! Strawberry Switchblade’s early 80s hit ‘Since Yesterday’. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks putting together my third video for J&J. This time it’s a retro style, low resolution cartoon animation. See what you think and if you’re into J&J’s music and want download some more, or grab a CD, head on over to Spotify, iTunes or even better, our bandcamp page. Thanks all x”
“It’s finally here. After over a year in the making, it’s release day for Jody & The Jerms debut album Deeper! It’s available now on all major download platforms; Spotify, iTunes etc, or better still, head over to Bandcamp to get a copy. Click the link: https://jodyandthejerms.bandcamp.com/album/deeper”
“If you’re missing a bit of West End glitz and glamour in your life, crack open a bottle of fizz, sit back, relax and click play on this! 🥂 It was a real pleasure to play a small part in this fantastic event hosted by Joe Allen Restaurant in partnership with the charity Acting for Others. If you’re able to, check out the Go Fund Me page (here or in the YouTube description). Otherwise simply enjoy the show. (If you’re in a real hurry, scroll forward to 49:50 for the legendary Claire Moore’s performance, accompanied by Simon Hale on piano and yours truly on drums) X”
“I’m so excited the 3rd of July has arrived – It’s release day for the title track from Jody & The Jerms forthcoming debut album ‘DEEPER’. You may have seen the video already (scroll down to 28/06/20 or take a look on the videos page here). The single is a Double A side with ‘I Knew A Boy’ and is available for streaming and downloading from all major online outlets. Previews have been well received with some great reviews coming in already. Head over to jodyandthejerms.com to check it out. Here are a few stills from the video:”
“It was a pleasure to be asked recently to record some brushes for a track with my very talented and lovely friend singer/actress Claire Moore (Phantom of The Opera, Miss Saigon, Mary Poppins etc) and composer/arranger Simon Hale (Sam Smith, Josh Groban, Jamiroquai etc). The piece is Claire’s beautiful contribution to an online event being hosted by Joe Allen’s this weekend at 8pm on Saturday July 4th. The event is free to attend, and features performances from a host of West End stars, with all donations going to the charity ‘Acting For Others‘. Click here for details.”
“You wait ages for a bus then two come along at once! After last week’s news of the Jody & The Jerms cover of The Only Ones’ classic ‘Another Girl Another Planet’, things have got busy for the band. This Friday (3rd July) sees the release of the summer single ‘Deeper’, taken from the forthcoming debut album of the same name (released September 4th 2020). You can pre-order the album here ”
“It’s been 3 months since my last update. A particularly weird 3 months. I hope you haven’t been affected too badly by the coronavirus pandemic. We sadly lost a friend early on. A lovely lady from our days on the Dovey Estuary in Southern Snowdonia. I doubt they would read this, but I send all of her family and friends our love. When we would visit she would always have a huge smile. We’ll miss her infectious laughter next time we’re up there.
Closer to where we live, our friends and family have been luckier. My wife is a teacher, so she’s been working extremely hard throughout and has been going through a careful decontamination routine when she returns from school. Our son has had his school lessons and guitar lesson, at the normal lesson times but on his school Chromebook at home with me. He’s actually got into the swing of it and has stayed up to date with friends through online gaming, zoom birthday parties and a couple of socially distanced one-to-one meet ups in our front garden. Personally, I’ve taken the time to get into a fitness routine (nothing too severe – my knees can’t take it). Despite living so close to the city, we are blessed with some fantastic woodland right on our doorstep here in Horspath and it’s been literally and metaphorically a real breath of fresh air getting out running or cycling regularly. We’ve truly appreciated how lucky we are with our surroundings during this crisis.
& so to music… I guess it goes without saying that my musical friends and I are all really missing gigging SO MUCH! It becomes such a central part of your life as time goes on. We live to see those venues filled with people enjoying themselves and forgetting the outside world for a little while. And of course, for many musicians, if not all of their income, live work generates an important chunk of it. So despite these challenges, it’s been reassuring to see everyone making the best of the situation, getting stuck into new challenges like online music teaching, remote recording sessions, live-streamed gigs and writing etc.
For me, I have to admit, I find it hard to stay focused on drumming without dates in the diary and songs to learn. I’ve missed the dep work I do, particularly with CASH, the Johnny Cash tribute. But it’s been fantastic that the musicians I work with more regularly have been getting creative. I’ve been able to record basic drum tracks at home for the Quarry Katz to get writing. Plus the new band I became part of last year, Jody & the Jerms, have been putting together lots of new music. We found a great studio, where the setup allowed us to record whilst sticking to social distancing as the lockdown eased up a little! Woodworm Studio run by the excellent Stuart Jones, was built by Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull) in a disused chapel in the small village he lived in, in the heart of the Cotswolds. It’s a lovely old building full of character, with nice facilities and a beautiful garden brimming with wildlife. With the incredible weather, it was the perfect spot for forgetting about the news and getting creative. We managed to record seven new songs there and we’re all really pleased with the results. Some of the mastered tracks have gone out to European radio stations and are already getting played. The first single will be a double A side and is set for release on July 3rd with an album to follow in September. In the meantime we decided to put out our tribute to one of our all-time favourite songs by the brilliant The Only Ones; our cover version of ‘Another Girl Another Planet’. There are a few photos below & I’m delighted to share the video above. Watch and enjoy!:”
“Although tonight’s show at the Jericho Tavern and the live acoustic session is cancelled, you can still tune in to BBC Radio Oxford at 3pm today for tunes and live chat from Jody & the Jerms.”
“Despite the Coronavirus’ best efforts, The Quarry Katz diary is thankfully filling up nicely for 2020 post Covid-19 shenanigans. There’s still room for more bookings if anyone needs a live rock n roll band for their event after all this. Drop me an email (email@example.com) or give Sean a call on 07712880440.”
“It’s been a busy few weeks getting the Jody & the Jerms live band up to speed ready for the live launch in Oxford. What a fantastic first night! There was a great turnout and despite the nerves the gig was a total triumph. The band seems to have generated quite a buzz, with pieces popping up in various magazines and on music websites, as well as plenty of radio play on local stations in the UK and national stations across Europe. The next gig for the Jerms will be Thurs 19th March at the legendary Jericho Tavern in Oxford, with a live radio session taking place earlier in the day (tickets available from eventbrite.com) plus there are a few festival slots coming up throughout the year. Check out Jody & the Jerms website for details”
“I felt extremely honoured to be included in legendary London drum shop Footes 100th anniversary display recently, alongside such drumming greats as Clem Cattini, Brian Bennett, Dave Mattacks, Ralph Salmins, Steve White, Pete Cater and many more. This historic gem of a shop was under threat from city developers until Nick Mason of Pink Floyd stepped in to help rescue it. Well worth a visit. Congratulations to Footes for weathering the storms! Here’s a link to their online shop: footesmusic.com“
“The perfect way to kick off 2020: It was a very lovely surprise to receive this certificate from Ludwig Drums today. It’s a huge honour and a total pleasure to be a member of the Ludwig Artist Family!”
“A nostalgic look back through 2019. A pretty good year: Some touring with the Mike Ross Band, more shows driving the unstoppable CASH train, Amy McCarley’s MECO album came out and I was made up to find my name on the sleeve alongside the likes of country music greats Marty Stuart, Kenny Vaughan and Pat Alger. There was a last minute surprise return to Maverick Festival with Superb guitarist Joe Wilkins to play with incredible Nashville artist Angel Snow. A brand new band; Jody & The Jerms, came out of nowhere after a low-key recording project in July started snowballing all by itself. By the end of the year we had national radio play, magazine reviews and 15,000 monthly listeners on Spotify! A very pleasant surprise. A friend from The Quarry Katz and I, launched our Rock n Roll Revue events back in May. We were shocked when it sold out six weeks in advance! The Quarry Katz went from strength to strength with our shows at the Rock n Roll Revue and also our first Vintage Festival. I even returned to the stage with the Troy Redfern Band all be it for one night only. All in all I’ve no complaints. 2019 was a good year. 2020 is already looking much busier, so fingers crossed for another good one. Happy New Year to you all! All the very best for the coming year and beyond.”
“It may seem unusual to release something in between Xmas and the New Year but with Jody & The Jerms were keen to release our new e.p. before moving into 2020 – as we are putting together live dates and looking forward to recording our first album.
You can get TODAY from all digital stores including Spotify, iTunes/Apple Music, Deezer etc etc. If you want to buy a CD then just visit our store and get it there. It’s already getting some nice radio play and press home and abroad. Here’s a lyric video (Images by Sam Bridge Photography)”
“It’s been another busy couple of months with Quarry Katz gigs plus more studio time with Jody and the Jerms. J&tJ has kind of grown legs all of its own. We put out our first single ‘Never Going Home’ and almost immediately started getting airplay including drive-time play on Spain’s main national radio station. We put out a second single ‘He Doesn’t Know Me Much at All’ and sent if off to a few music websites and magazines and were chuffed to get some lovely reviews with Jody being invited for various interviews and to introduce the single on BBC Radio Oxford. This is my favourite review from Claire Dukes at the Ocelot: “Both tracks are a cross combination of Blondie meets Kirsty MacColl, and yet echo bands such as Best Coast and Summer Camp. It’s kind of brilliant. It feels like such a young, youthful sound that you would think someone in their 20s made it. But simultaneously the songs sounds as if they were made in the 70s but slightly reworked and released in the 90s” We have an E.P. called ‘Today’ recorded and coming out soon plus we’ve been busy putting together a live band ready for a debut show planned for early 2020!”
“Throughout the summer I’ve been in and out of the recording studio with my good friend from our time in the Anydays, Nial Jeger with a new project named Jody and the Jerms. The first single from those sessions has just been released. It’s an upbeat re-working of what was quite a melancholy song by obscure 90’s ‘shoe-gaze’ band The Belltower. It’s called ‘Never Going Home’. Here’s the Spotify link: Never Going Home“
“An overdue update after a great summer break. Amongst more CASH band deputising, The main focus has been on the second all new Rock n Roll Revue event which was held in the beautiful Stadhampton Church! We rehearsed up a new pianist and a saxophonist for the Quarry Katz set which went off really well. The whole night was another triumph with Michel Sadones’ excellent cooking and the venue looking stunning all lit up and decorated.”
“It was a great weekend for the Quarry Katz. Two successful sets at the Vintage for Victory Festival in Cardiff, the hi-light of which was a fly past from a Lancaster Bomber during our second set. The audience suddenly rushed out of the marquee, so I downed sticks and we ran out and looked up in time to see the Lancaster banking around steeply to make a second pass! We also managed to catch some incredibly good acts including the Jive Aces and the Satin Dollz.”
“Maverick Festival with Angel Snow and Joe Wilkins last weekend turned out to be totally inspiring! We ended up playing two shows together, one on the Barn stage on Saturday and another on the Peacock stage on Sunday (Angel & Joe also played a set together on the Friday night as I was away on a CASH show in the West Midlands). We had a short run through a couple of songs I didn’t know right before going on, Angel and Joe on acoustic guitars, me playing an A4 pad of paper with brushes. So not a great deal of time to over-think our performance. Going on relatively blind like that takes an enormous amount of trust in your fellow musicians and faith in your own ability to stay cool on stage. The fear is something you get used to and playing freely without worrying about getting it just like the recorded version often results in a much better performance. I sincerely hope the crowd enjoyed it, they certainly seemed like they did, and we definitely enjoyed ourselves on stage! Angel is back in the UK on tour in November, when I hope to be able to re-join her and Joe again.”
“I was absolutely made up to get the call recently to back Nashville songwriter Angel Snow when she flies in for Maverick Festival in July. Angel’s songs are hauntingly beautiful and it’s easy to see how she ended up being asked to write for Alison Krauss. I’ll be joining her on drums and percussion plus a little bit of electronic percussion. As if that wasn’t enough, my good friend Joe Wilkins will be on guitar. Needless to say I’m super excited 🙂 Take a listen below:”
“It was good to get a call from my friend Troy Redfern needing a drummer last minute. We had a real blast on stage and I saw some old mates who I hadn’t seen in a while. I was pleasantly surprised that the tracks came back to me better than ever before and the set went really well. The real hi-light was when Troy’s 9 year old son joined us on stage to play slide guitar on John The Revelator!” (Thanks Andy Towell for the photo)
“More dep work with the excellent CASH. It’s always a pleasure playing with these guys and seeing the lovely audiences. We had a fantastic show at Norwich Waterfront on 15th June and I’ll be back with them again next Friday 5th July at Robin 2 in Bilston.”
“More Quarry Katz news. We make our London debut at the super cool Slim Jim’s Liquor Store in Islington on Saturday 20th July! Entry is FREE and we’d love to see all of our London friends there!”
“The Quarry Katz are really pleased to have been booked to play at Vintage for Victory Festival in Cardiff this July! It’s a really fun and friendly looking festival with the emphasis on dancing and Mid Century fashion. The fabulous Jive Aces are headlining and there’s even going to be a Lancaster Bomber fly past! You can catch The Quarry Katz on the Union Jack Club Stage at 3:30pm on Saturday 13th July at 2:30pm and again with a different set at 7:00pm. Visit the website here for tickets: Vintage for Victory “
“After months & months of planning, the first ever all new Rock n Roll Revue has finally been and gone. It went off absolutely brilliantly! Everyone had a truly wonderfull night, tucking into Michels Sadones’ mouthwatering crepes and French fries, drinking plenty of beer, wine and gin, enjoying the atmosphere in the hall with all the props and the projector show, plus dancing their socks off to the Quarry Katz. Just like we planned it 🙂 There is some very rough phone footage from the night – raw and rocking like the band! Tickets are on sale for the next event on Sept 14th in Stadhampton at https://www.wegottickets.com/event/468133 “
“Back from an ace run out on the Mike Ross Band tour! Playing great music with superb musicians Gaz, Tom and of course Mike. Lovely to catch up with friends Tony and Christine Moore and enjoy the beautiful scenery in the Lake District.”
“This should be fun, a beer festival in Oxfordshire with The Quarry Katz! We’re on stage at 8pm.”
“I’ve been looking forward to this since my debut with Mike Ross last month at the very successful opening night of the new ‘Echo Hotel Music Club’: I’ll be re-joining Mike Ross for his spring tour next week in support of his forthcoming album ‘The Clovis Limit’. We’ll be arriving in Sheffield ready for Friday nights show at The Honey Bee Blues Club, then we head off to the Lake District for Bowness Bay Blues Festival on Saturday. I played Bowness a couple of years back with The Troy Redfern Band and it was a great festival in such a stunning setting on the banks of Lake Windermere. Next we travel south for a Sunday night show at Bar Brunel in Bristol. I haven’t played in Bristol since we were there with The Anydays, but what I remember well, is that Bristol is a great city for Live Music and Live Music fans. Following that, Darren Lee returns to the tour from his arena shows with The Bat City Rollers and I head off for a short family holiday.”
“I was going to announce that tickets have gone on sale for a brand new show that I’m super excited about, called The all new Rock n Roll Revue, featuring the Quarry Katz and taking place on 11th May, but no sooner had the tickets gone on sale, it completely SOLD OUT! But the good news is, a second one is in the planning for September the 14th (see the video trailer below) and tickets have gone on sale here at WeGotTickets so grab them now if you want to come, this will sell out fast once its been officially announced. I absolutely cannot wait for these shows!”
“It was great to get the first dep with the Mike Ross Band under my belt, Mike’s regular drummer, Darren Lee is on tour with the Bay City Rollers, and was kind enough to give me a call to cover him. We played to a packed house of blues fans and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces and catch up with friends from the blues scene. I’ll be rejoining Mike for some dates on his Spring tour in April. I’m particularly looking forward to returning to Bowness Bay Blues Festival”
“I’ve been busy with the Quarry Katz in Henwood Studios recently. It’s a great sounding studio built with straw bails by owners Joe Henwood (producer/musician Nubiyan Twist) and Pete Brown (producer/musician Sam Brown). The brief was to make the sound as raw and vintage as possible, to try and replicate the sounds of early Rock n Roll recordings in places like Sun Studios where Elvis and Johnny Cash first recorded in Memphis back in the 1950s. The bulk of the band set up together in one room with the Piano through glass doors (as it’s much quieter than the other instruments). Speakers were used for monitoring rather than headphones, so every instrument was bleeding into every microphone! Just three mics on the drums; one on the bass drum, a single overhead and one on the bottom of my early fifties Leedy & Ludwig snare. Even the vocals, including the harmonies, were recorded live at the same time. Joe did a fantastic job and the tracks sound really authentic and raw and my Ludwig Classics and Istanbul Agops sounded awesome! Joe also added some fabulous baritone sax (the one single overdub throughout the entire session) to the JD McPherson track Northside Gal, check it out below: (there are a couple more on the Sounds page on here too)”
“Fantastic to be out with my good friends CASH during February. In particular it was fun to return to the venue with craziest load-in and walk on route in the UK: Sheffield O2 Academy! The walk to the stage from the dressing room takes you on a ridiculous tour of what feels like most of the narrow corridors that surround the building – and it’s not a small building! ”
“Congratulations to my good friend Amy McCarley on the release of her stunning album MECO today! A collection of really great songs, absolutely beautifully recorded in Nashville.”
“A few things to report as 2019 gets into gear. I’ll be out depping with CASH again soon, ‘payin respect to the man in black’ during their UK tour in February.
“It was a real pleasure to get together with some of my fellow Ludwig Drums artists in the UK recently. My good friends Ollie Harding (The Shires), Mat Hector (Iggy Pop), and Mark Claydon (Rhoda Dakar) and I had been talking with Jamie Corry at Active Music Distribution about doing something like this for a little while. Thanks to Jamie it finally came off on January 16th, when some of us headed into London for a night of drinks & drum talk in Soho. Hopefully the first of many.
This is what Ludwig UK had to say: ARTIST SPOTLIGHT – We hosted the 1st UK artist drinks last night in London. It was great to catch up with everyone who attended including Alex Bridge, Alex Marchisone, David Kelly, Donna Peters, Greg Bishop, James Trood, Karthik Poduval, Mark Claydon, Mat Hector, Ollie Harding, Paul Stone, Peter Dawson, Steve Rushton, Simon Hanson, Tom Mitchell, Elliott Henshaw”
Heres a grainy phone pic:”
“As well as some great times with friends and family throughout 2018, it’s not been a bad year for drumming! Here’s the year in drums:
I made the slightly scary decision to take a leap from the known to the unknown at the end of 2017, and I’ve been lucky to work with some super talented musicians and meet some great friends.
Highlights include a triumphant show with the Troy Redfern Band at The Great British Rock & Blues Festival back in Jan! We had some great friends in the audience who knew how hard we’d grafted to get there. Seeing them in one big room with huge grins and arms in the air is something I won’t forget in a long time! It looks like it’s been another great year for Troy, so Best of luck to him for 2019.
Jumping on board the CASH train alongside American Music Association UK instrumentalist of the year Chris Hillman, with just a couple of days notice was a rollercoaster ride that turned out to be heaps of fun! I was already a fan having marvelled at their show, in particular Matt Cowley’s fabulous drumming! (Thanks Ben and co for having me)
Souled Out Party Band at Brighton Grand was another blast: A brilliant band featuring frontman supreme John ‘Cat’ Catherall (Leading the entire dance floor in a conga line before the end of the first verse! Spectacular stuff.
During the summer, I found myself learning the absolutely beautiful songs of American country/roots artist Amy McCarley. Once again, more amazing musicians & great fun people to work with. (Amy’s new album MECO, recorded in Nashville with Kenny Vaughan no less, is out in the new year – just go and order it from Amazon – it’s superb!).
All topped off with some fun times with my good friends in Oxford; The Streamliner Blues Band and The Quarry Katz ! Hopefully more of the same next year?
Shout if you need a drummer…
Too many people to thank really. But thanks to Jamie at Ludwig Drums UK / Active Music Distribution all at BR Distribution Ltd / Istanbul Agop Cymbals, Remo UK, Protection Racket & Baskey for support with the best tools of the trade.
Special thanks go out to Matt Cowley and also Steve White, Mat Hector and Neal Wilkinson for help/support/guidance/friendship along the way.
All the best for 2019 X“
“Just back from a couple of ace dates depping with CASH (paying respect to the man in black) it was a great pleasure to play with these guys again. It’s a really great show and as well as Ben & Kiran who do such a respectful job of paying respect to Johnny Cash and June Carter, the stage is always full of excellent musicians! This time Rob Roy picking guitar beautifully and Craig Rhind absolutely breezing it on double bass. We’re at Manchester O2 next Saturday the 8th, this time with Seb Wesson on guitar and Charlie ‘Chuck’ Benfield on double bass, then for me it’s back to Oxford to rejoin the Quarry Katz for their annual Christmas Bash!”
“It was fun to make the annual trip to London Drum Show over the weekend. Ludwig, Istanbul Agop and Remo all in attendance. It’s always a great place to catch up with fellow drummers and make new friends. A particular hi-light was randomly ending up in a bar with my good friend Jules McLaren, talking drums and sharing jokes with the mighty John ‘JR’ Robinson (Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan etc, etc, etc…). But it was especially nice to bump into Andy Gangadeen again and spend some time chatting about our wonderful teacher Bob Armstrong (RIP) – he really is such a humble gent and was/is much loved by Bob and Charmaine.”
“Having taken a little time to get to know my new Ludwig Standard Model snare drum, I recorded a short video review. Thanks to the guys at Ludwig Drums“
“A few things to report: It’ll be great to step out with the ace Quarry Katz this weekend. We’re playing a show in our spiritual home; Quarry Hollow in Oxford. It’s for the 17th Headington Beer Festival which is always a fantastic weekend where they expect to see around 800 punters through the door in total! I’m also looking forward to stepping into the studio in Oxford with the brilliant Streamliner Blues Band in a couple of weeks. We’ll be laying down our first tracks together so I’m quite excited to hear the results. Finally the confirmed autumn/winter 2018 dates have been announced for the superb CASH (paying respect to the man in black) and I’m delighted to be onboard for their shows at Burnley, Preston and Manchester Academy”
“Take a look at this little beauty! I recently had the pleasure of a visit to Ludwig Drums UK for a catch up and a coffee with Jamie Corry, a nice little tour of the warehouse (which is currently jam packed with gear to die for, all on it’s way out to UK retailers) , plus to be presented with one of their brand new ‘standard model’ snare drums! Built in the U.S.A. in Ludwig’s Monroe facility, It features the gorgeous new P88 throw off, which is sleek, solid and has an incredibly positive action. It’s a five ply, 6.5 inch deep, maple drum finished in their new ‘Eco-Tech’ outer veneer (this lovely finish is called Brandy). It sounds great tuned high or low and thanks to its brightness, it cuts through the mix really effectively. I’ve found it really good for solid, cutting back beats. Thank you very much to all at Ludwig Drums.” (thanks Jamie Corry for the photo)
“Well that was a buzz! The Amy McCarley shows at Maverick Festival were a resounding success. We had a load of fun under the heat of the stage lights, in front of fantastic audiences on both Friday and Saturday night. Later on Saturday we were also honoured to be asked to perform Folsom Prison at an all star Johnny Cash tribute, where we were joined by none other than legendary pedal steel and dobro player BJ Cole! (see photo below – top right. He has a CV as long as your arm which includes Elton John, Robert Plant, Joan Armatrading, The Orb, David Gilmore, Sting etc etc etc…!) We really didn’t want it all to end. Amy is now home safe across the Atlantic in Alabama, but we’re all looking forward to her return for more of the same! Check out Amy’s music on iTunes or Spotify and you can follow her on Facebook & Instagram to keep up to date with what’s going on.” (Thanks Jason Balch for the photos)
“I’m really pleased to report that super talented American singer, guitarist and songwriter Amy McCarley flew into London from Alabama this week, where myself and accomplished musicians, guitarist Joe Wilkins and bassist Paul Reynolds, joined her to get stuck into full band rehearsals at Goldsmiths Music Studios. The songs are beautiful and have been an absolute pleasure to learn and play! (check Amy’s songs out on iTunes, Spotify etc) Rehearsals went really well and we’re all massively excited to be playing two shows at the award winning Maverick Festival in Suffolk over the weekend. We’ve also been invited to perform Folsom Prison Blues at the festitval’s all-star Johnny Cash tribute on Saturday night. Can’t wait!”
“Having recently chosen to take a bit of a leap into the dark, I’ve been getting involved in some new musical situations. Some great calls have been coming in, but I was particularly pleased to receive the call for this: I’m absolutely honoured to be working with the brilliant Amy McCarley when she flies in to the UK this summer. Check out her preview video for the forthcoming release MECO, beautifully played and recorded in Nashville with Grammy award winning guitarist Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris, The Pretenders, Lana Del Rey, Ray LaMontagne, etc, etc.):
“Issue 4 of Vintage Drums Legendary Sounds is now out. Being involved in the team, I’ve been privileged to have a sneak preview and it’s a cracking read! Mat Hector (Iggy Pop) talks about his music career but also all about Hunt Sales’ (The Stooges) stunning Ludwig kit that he’s been restoring. Also a great interview with Alex Reeves (Elbow etc.) Both Mat and Alex were Bob Armstrong students too, so I find it particularly interesting to to read all about their journeys. On top of that there is a fascinating interview with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch. Go to Vintage Drums Legendary Sounds to order a copy” Back to top
“Lots of plans in the pipeline for our rock ‘n’ roll band The Quarry Katz! We had a fun photoshoot last weekend, involving a greasy spoon, an old service station and two pubs. We have some cool little shows local to Oxford to get us warmed up for now – see the Quarry Kats on FB for dates – come and check us out if you can.” Back to top
“Really looking forward to tonight’s dep with Souled Out at the famous Brighton Grand. It’s gonna be fabulous!” Back to top
“Absolutely great to jump in last minute for a ‘seat-of-the-pants’ dep with the CASH band last night. Just two days notice, charting out and running through their set, then off to soundcheck to meet the guys along with dep guitarist, AMA-UK winner C.J. Hillman (Billy Bragg, Joe Purdy, Robert Vincent etc.) followed by the full show. Ben, Kiran and Chuck are great musicians and it was a fantastic night! Thanks for making me welcome and thanks to good friend and ace drummer, Matt Cowley for giving me the call.” www.cashbandlondon.co.uk
“I recently joined Nick Hopkin and the passionate team at Vintage Drums Legendary Sounds Magazine. It’s a great magazine with loads of articles on classic drums and interviews with legendary drummers. Issue 3 comes out today and is available as a digital download (£1.99) or printed (£5.99) from the Vintage Drums Legendary Sounds website“
“I’m looking forward to playing ‘Brews & Blues’ at Prescott Bike Fest with the Streamliner Blues Band on Sunday 15th April“ www.prescottbikefestival.co.uk
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“A couple of gigs: I’ll be in Oxford playing authentic, top quality Rock ‘n’ Roll with my good friends the ‘Quarry Katz’ at the Chequers in Headington Quarry on Saturday the 10th of Feb & then at Templars Bar, Cowley on Friday 23rd Feb”
“Just back from a triumphant weekend playing to a fantastic crowd at the Great British Rock & Blues Festival”
Words and video from Punkrocksal Media: “Ever seen Troy Redfern? Ashamedly, I hadn’t until last week, although I’d been told to go see him many times. Our paths just hadn’t crossed. So thank you to Butlins Live Music Weekends for bringing Troy to me. All the rumours were true. He was damn good. He moved like lightning in a blur of powerful wailing bluesy rock. And kudos to his rhythm section too for keeping up. A very powerful trio. “
Some of punkrocksal’s footage of ‘Salvation’ from the show:
Live Vid: Troy Redfern, ‘Salvation’
“I’ll be back out with Troy Redfern for his first show of 2018 at The Great British Rock & Blues Festival this weekend“
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“I have a low key gig coming up with my rock ‘n’ roll buddies The Quarry Katz“
“A few dates coming up with Troy Redfern wrapping things up for 2017”
“I had an excellent night in Oxford with John Doole’s very fine ‘Streamliner Blues Band’ at the Thursday Night Blues at the Jude The Obscure in Jericho last night: The Streamliner Blues Band on FB“Back to top
“I recently attended a tribute concert to my late teacher, the UK’s greatest dum educator; Bob Armstrong.
Words from Charmaine Armstrong:
“A room full of drummers, a room full of drumming, a room full of family, friends, students old and new but mostly a room FULL OF LOVE. What more could Bob have asked for? What more could I ask for this wonderful man who I love with all my heart and miss so very much. I know Bob will be sitting here beside me now as I write this message but the words, for once, would escape him. He would have been so proud, so humbled by the turn out and so very grateful that you all thought so much of him.
A MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone for yesterday’s Tribute to Bob. As I said yesterday he was really looking forward to attending this event and I feel he was there with us in all of you.
Thank you for the time that all the drummers gave. HM Royal Marines Corps of Drums/School of Music, Ian Thomas, Craig Blundell, Pete Riley, Phil Gould, Andy Gangadeen, Jack Pollitt, Nick Cohen, Aidan Glover, Mike Hackett and group. To Nathan Meadows and ALL at PMT who Bob loved working with, to All at Burnt Mill Academy, Alex Bridge, Harold Fisher – OMG the list is endless!! Of course to Al Murray – thank you so much for giving your time to host this special event – Bob would have loved you!!
But my BIGGEST thanks to our friend and a very special man in Bob’s life and in mine Steven White – I don’t know how I would have coped without you – thank you so much for everything Steve you are one amazing person. I loved all the playing but when you came on and did the New Orleans style drumming you brought Bob right into the room and I could just see/feel him sitting there with you playing – Thank you for that, a very special moment for me.
Thank you to each and every one who came to the event you were all amazing and it was so good to catch up again with everyone and to see Robin Jones (who used to dep for my Dad back in the day) was awesome.
To all of you who bought Bob’s drums and cymbals – cherish them, you have a part of Bob with you. But his Legacy lives on in all of you his students. What he would say is firstly the ‘P’ word then get out there and do what he has taught you. Amazing Day, Amazing Drummers – Thank you thank you xxx Apologies if I have left someone out but much love and thanks to everyone involved xxxx “
“Heading off to London this week for some Troy Redfern Band shows with Eliza Neals and The Narcotics (Detroit, USA): Eliza Neals“
“We wrapped up a successful festival season with a fantastic weekend of shows at The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival. We’ve had a great run of festivals this year. There have been audiences full of both new and familiar faces and we’ve been blessed with enthusiastic responses. Our two shows in Maryport were a real blast and well worth the traveling (and tasty fish and chips on the quayside, as personally recommended by Oliver Perry, fellow Ludwig drums stable-mate and sticksman for Joanne Shaw Taylor – cheers Olly ;). Gloucester R&B Festival was another real blast with a brilliant sound on the main stage outside the wonderful Cafe Rene. Lakefest, in the stunning grounds of Eastnor Castle was glorious in the sunshine and I almost managed to catch up with Pete Salisbury (The Verve, the Charlatans), but as is the way at festivals, I was driving out as he was driving in (We did however, manage to squeeze in a gig nearby in Ledbury the following day, where I did managed to catch up with an old school pal in a wonderful medieval inn up a very narrow cobbled street ‘The Prince of Wales’: Cheers Nick.) Next was the Old Bush Blues Fest near Worcester (formerly Bentworth Blues). The audience were well warmed up by the fabulous selection of bands from far and wide, and they were in great spirits – A brilliant gig. Plus we had the very talented young guitar ace Marcus Praestgaard-Stevens guest – look out for him! Finally we made the trip up to Colne for The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival. A top weekend where we were able to catch up with our old tour buddies; the Mark Pontin Group – great to catch Dafydd Llyr-Davies playing a gorgeous 1968 Ludwig Classic. It was also cool to look out into the audience during our first show and spot the lovely and super talented Matt Long of Catfish in the audience! Here is a picture from the Old Bush Blues Fest by ace photographer Roy Cano“
“I’m extremely pleased and very proud to announce I now endorse Istanbul Agop Cymbals. I was loaned a set to try on a gig out in Norway last year and fell for them immediately. I found them really warm, but with loads of depth and complexity; really versatile cymbals. Yesterday I finally managed to get my hands on my own set when I was a guest at UK distributers; BR Distribution. I was made extremely welcome by Kevin, John & Tom. John showed me through the full range including signatures, Sultans, Traditionals, Xists etc, then patiently and expertly spent 3 hours helping me put together my new setup.
So my setup? In the end I went for two brilliant crashes from the Xist range, a 17″ and a 16″, then an absolutely incredible 22″ Crash/Ride from the Traditional range, 14″ medium hi-hats from the Traditional range and finally a fabulous 14″ Trash Hit! Love ’em!! A fantastic day to say the least! I have no hesitation in recommending you try out Istanbul Agop cymbals if you haven’t already. ” Istanbul Agop“
“The funeral of my drum teacher Bob Armstrong took place this week on Wednesday 19th of July at South Essex Crematorium in Upminster:“It was a beautiful service which began with Bob being led in to the grounds by the brilliant Royal British Legion band and Romford Corps of Drums playing ‘Bubbles’ followed by an excellent piece written by Bob called ‘Jigsaw’ played by Romford Corps of Drums (who Bob taught).
The chapel was overflowing and the surrounding area was full with many friends, family and of course lots of drummers; students and colleagues from across the country. Bob’s best friend and colleague Harold Fisher and student and friend Steve White, as requested by Bob, read very lovely and moving eulogies. Harold gave a personal point of view from a friend which reminded us students that first and foremost Bob had been an accomplished and sought after professional musician before dedicating his life so diligently to sharing his passion, knowledge, experience and wisdom with all of us. Steve White’s eulogy was also very warm and personal giving an evocative account of his story as a student (Steve also read out a list of accomplished and acclaimed British drummers who had all studied with Bob. A stellar list indeed featuring world class musicians such as Neal Wilkinson, Phil Gould and Ian Thomas and in which my name unbelievably managed to pop up! I am certain my inclusion was an oversight but it nonetheless filled me with a deep sense of pride and great responsibility; I clearly need to raise my game to live up to that!).
An amazing track called ‘The Linear Kid’ was played through the PA to much applause which Harold had written for Bob and featured Bob’s incredible drumming throughout! (The first time many people had ever heard Bob performing other than brief demonstrations during lessons.) There was laughter when a 90bpm bass line started up as Bob’s committal began (a bass line provided to all students to practice to when they first began lessons with Bob Armstrong).
Many were able to move on to Orsett Hall afterwards to share memories and celebrate. There was a wonderful moment when drummer Russell Gilbrook called all students in the room to line up for a photograph. There was much laughter, but it was incredible to look around and realise you were part of this unique family created through the passion, dedication, love and care of one man! Personally I was really pleased to have the opportunity to speak with one of my all time favourite British drummers, ex student of Bob’s, Andy Gangadeen. I was finally able to let him know that it was after going to see him live that I was impelled to find a contact for Bob and plucked up the courage to make the initial enquiry about the possibility of lessons. Andy told me that exactly the same thing had happened to him before he contacted Bob years earlier.All in all it was a day I will never forget. Thank you to Charmaine Armstrong and all of Bob’s family for sharing it with us” Donations were made to Help Musicians UK and £525 was raised” Thanks Darren Ashford for these photographs:”
“Something a little different this weekend: I’ll be playing a set with the Streamliner Blues Band on Sunday afternoon at Oxford craft brewers; Tap Social Movement“
“I’ve just returned with the The Troy Redfern Band from a trio of successful shows taking in a double header at the Beaverwood Club, a support to Dr Feelgood at Bucks Blues Fest and a return to my original home-town in the Welsh Marches for a SOLD OUT show! Here is a review of the Beaverwood show from ace photographer and live music fan Ken Jackson (Some of Ken’s photography can be seen in the gallery section):
“Last Thursday the Troy Redfern Band appeared at the Beaverwood club in a double header with Catfish, everybody of course expected a great evening with not one but two great Bands. To say we were not disappointed would be an understatement.
Catfish and Troy Redfern are two of my favourite bands and to see them on the same bill together was amazing. Both Bands gave everything they had and wowed the audience with Troy and Matt Long and Catfish coming together on stage for an explosive finale.”
(thanks Amanda Howe for this ace shot taken at Bucks Blues Fest)”
“I was recently asked by drummer Steve White to create the artwork for the ‘TRIBUTE TO BOB‘, being held on 17th September at the Burnt Mill Academy in Essex. The night had originally been planned by Steve, as a night for drum educator Bob Armstrong to come along and enjoy seeing his star students doing what they do best along with a bit of comedy from comedian, drummer, drum entrepreneur and host; Al Murray (Bob loved a joke!), but with Bob’s passing his wife Charmaine agreed that the tribute could still go ahead as a celebration of his life and work. I am completely honoured to be able to contribute what I can towards a tribute to Bob and I’m grateful to Steve for asking me. It’s going to be an incredibly special event! I’ve worked on designs with Steve on many occasions spanning twelve years now. It was Bob who initiated our working relationship, so it seemed very fitting to be involved in this way.“
Tickets for the event can be purchased at www.bobarmstrong.eventbrite.co.uk“
“Some devastating news: I awoke this morning to a message from the lovely Steve White letting me know that my/our teacher Bob Armstrong passed away last night. A lovely man and a brilliant teacher who gave so much to so many. Thinking very much of his wife and family right now.
Love ya loads Bob,
“I’ve been blessed to be taught since 2005 by a brilliant teacher, the UK’s best in fact; Bob Armstrong: Bob is dedicated and strict, yet a passionate and friendly mentor; much more than simply a teacher. In fact Bob has changed my life, and my family and I absolutely treasure him. Recently I have noticed that Bob hasn’t been too well, soldiering on and still doing a fantastic job in lessons as ever, but having to cancel the odd lesson due to illness. Esteemed drummer, ex student and good friend of Bob; Steve White and drumming friend and legendary UK session ace Harold Fisher, have set up this just giving page, which I’d be grateful if you could take a look at by clicking on the link, and if at all possible, perhaps make a small donation to help him and his lovely wife Charmaine out? Thank you,
Words from Steve White & Harold Fisher:
“Bob Armstrong is without doubt a legend in the drumming community , first as a player and then as an educator of the highest order , literally thousands of eager students have made the pilgrimage to Essex to study with the master. To so many Bob is not only a teacher and a mentor but a friend. The list of students that have gone on to achieve successful and acclaimed careers is huge and simply a testament to Bob’s commitment , dedication and passion… Read on “ www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/BobArmstrong
“The Troy Redfern Band Spring Tour was brought to a successful climax at the end of a blistering run of shows. Here is a review by Alwyn Tinkler of the final show
“Troy who band? Yes the Troy Redfern band, standing room only in Maryport’s Navy Club this afternoon – the word must have got out, and rightly so… We had Troy playing exceptional guitar and StJohn driving out the bass line. But the man of the match for me today was drummer Alex Bridge, he just made it look too easy, never missed a beat and didn’t (from what I could see) break sweat – I told him so and he just smiled in an unassuming way – truly the signs of a great drummer ☺ I loved it! Look for them next time ‘cos I feel sure they enjoyed it as much as we did…” (Thanks Haluk Gurer for this action shot from their show in Derby)”
“A review by Alan Moore of last night’s Troy Redfern Band show at Richard Dunning’s brilliant little Tuesday Night Music Club
“WOW what can I say about tonight, it was Marvellous, it was Brilliant, it was Amazing, if you weren’t there you missed what was probably the best night ever, as if it wasn’t enough to go and see The Troy Redfern Band we were given Matt Long as a special guest but it didn’t stop there, Marcus Malone joined Troy for a rockin’ rendition of “Baby Please Don’t Go” then Troy called Adrian Thomas to the stage and along with Matts guitar he joined in with the festivities. There will be loadsa pictures, there are already live videos out there and I know more will follow, watch them intently as you kick youself for not making the effort to support live music at it’s best in our friendly brilliant little club. That was for everybody else to read if your name happens to be Richard your version is…….That was the best moderately average evening we have spent in your company and you really must try harder Hee Hee! Seriously IT WAS BRILLIANT we are gonna be talking about this evening for many years to come”
(Thanks Ken Jackson for this great photo. LtoR Troy, Alex, Marcus & Adrian.) TNMC“
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“HRH Blues festival at Sheffield O2 Academy is now completely sold out! Stage times have been published and the Troy Redfern Band will be on the second arena stage at 6:20pm www.hrhblues.com“
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“Great to hear Troy Redfern getting National Airplay on BBC Radio2 thanks to the Paul Jones Show! (Go to 00:42:19) www.BBC.co.uk/PaulJones“Back to top
“Thanks to the guys at Customskins for a super-fast turnaround and very high standard of work as usual; taking my design work and turning it into this fabulous printed Remo resonant head ready for the Spring tour! www.customskins.co.uk.“
“The lineup for Wallingford Blues & Beer festival has been announced and we’re incredibly excited to have the honour of stepping into the shoes of the likes of Wilko Johnson and Lawrence Jones to take the Saturday night headline slot with the Troy Redfern Band! www.bluesandbeer.co.uk.“Back to top
“Dates and venues have been announced for the Troy Redfern Band DIRT BLUES RITUAL spring tour. All dates including any additional dates are listed at www.troyredfern.com/dates.“
I have now signed with Remo Percussion and will now exclusively be using Remo Drumheads. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Remo for a warm welcome in to their artist family. Very pleased with my new drumheads. On tour with the Troy Redfern Band, I’ll be using a Vintage Ambassador head on my Ludwig 400 Snare drum and a Snare side Hazy beneath. The toms will also be fitted with Vintage Ambassadors on top, but with Diplomat Coated heads on the resonant sides. My bass drum will be fitted with a PS3 Coated batter head.”
“I’m extremely proud to announce I’ve become part of the Ludwig Drums family. A fantastic company with an extremely rich heritage and an artist roster that includes Ringo Starr and John Bonham. I’ll be using their Classic Maple drums in Vintage White Marine with a 22×14 bass drum, 13×9 rack tom and a 16×16 floor tom alongside my vintage 1965 Ludwig 400 snare drum. The drums look fabulous and sound immense!” Ludwig UK Artists
“The new Troy Redfern album DIRT BLUES RITUAL is released today! www.troyredfern.com/shop“
“The Troy Redfern Band’s slot has now been moved to headline, right after The Selecter for tonight’s show at Farmer Phill’s Festival! www.farmerphilsfestival.com“
“A great review from Penny Lee for our show with Deborah Bonham: “Great gig, what a night! Debbie Bonham was wonderful, Robert Plant was fab, great choice of songs from him and then The Troy Redfern Band really pulled it out the bag! They managed to continue the high level of musicianship and keep the spirit of the audience high, not an easy thing to do following Robert Plant! That was their 3rd gig of the day – you really couldn’t tell from their performance. They were awesome and it was great that everyone danced.”