You don’t need to be Miles Davis, The Grateful Dead or The Allman Brothers to have double drums on your albums. With the advent of digital recording (and even more so with looping), tracking and layering two complete drum tracks within a song has never been easier.
I was listening to my friend, Jonah Smith’s, new album, “Lights On”, and heard a great example of double drumming (by one drummer). On the track, “Cabin Fever”, drummer Joe Russo recorded two distinct drum parts. One is a light, 16th note brush groove on the snare and the other is a crisp halftime feel with sticks. When the two grooves are combined, the result is unique and highly musical.
Here is a clip of the track:
I highly recommend checking out the rest of this album. Produced by the Grammy award winning Malcolm Burn (Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith), it’s loaded with great songs and tasteful drumming. I think it’s Jonah’s best work to date and I’m excited to see where it takes him. It’s not yet in stores but you can download it directly from Jonah’s website.
Update I just found out that Jonah is playing at the Blue Note in NYC tomorrow night (Monday 3/30). It’s part of their “New Sound of Soul” series and Jonah is bringing a full string section with him. If you live in the New York area, get your tickets now!