I play drums, and love a good groove or something that burrows a place in my soul. That said, here are ten great grooves. I’m staying away from really well known songs in an effort to turn you on to some different music.
In no certain order:
1) Fifteen Minutes of Fame - Michael Cartellone – Damn Yankees.
A cool rock groove with a touch of funk with the bass drum. Michael easily could have played it safer, but I’m so glad he didn’t. I saw Michael live before, and he is ” energy”. Last time I checked, he was touring with Skynyrd.
2) Gypsy Train – Jeff Porcaro – Toto
I know a lot of people associate Jeff with Rosanna, but there are a lot of other songs with Jeff on it that are also phenomenal. This was Jeff wearing his rock cap on Toto’s Kingdom of Desire. To hear Jeff stretch out at the end
This was Jeff’s last release with Toto before he unexpectedly passed away.
3) Dream in Blue – Los Lobos This groove is so infectious, it spreads faster than swine flu.
4) Fashion Fever – Level 42 – Live at Wembly, and/or Running in the Family. My jaw dropped watching Phil Gould in Level 42’s Live at Wembly. His grooves have a lot going on, and if you are checking it out, make sure you get one of these two versions – there are a few versions out there. He is a king of sublety.
5) 6:00 - Dream Theater – Mike Portnoy
This song is well known to any Dream Theater fan, but hearing it for the first time really got me excited about drumming again. I had the pleasure to meet Mike at a DT concert in Pittsburgh.
6) Till The End - Jeff Porcaro – Toto
It’s just a fun groove to play. When this was released, this woke me up to a whole new level of Jeff. Add in some one handed rolls ending in rimshots, and you’ve got a fun time with the drumsticks.
7) Last Goodbye – Matt Johnson – Jeff Buckley
Matt is probably the most underrated guy out there, and he was quoted as saying that had he known how big the album Grace was, he would have spent more time on it. Not to worry, Matt, it is great as it is. His fills punctuate a very sharp groove. I really like his hi hat and bass drum work. This song is a fave among Jeff Buckley fans. A lot of people only know “Hallelujah”, but if so, you’re missing out on Jeff’s secret weapon.
No Surrender – Alan Jackman – The Outfield
A cool sixteeth note pulse with some creativity mixed with some great cymbal groovin. It feels magical somehow. This song really takes off on the creative chorus. It was recently announced that he rejoined the band after being away for several years. Looking forward to seeing what he comes up with again.
9) Operation – Bryan Holmes -The Producers
The entire You Make The Heat release in the eighties was a testament to Bryan Holmes’s playing creative drum riffs to very melodic songs. The whole drumset gets used in a pretty cool way, especially in this cut.
10) Friends, Lovers or Nothing – Steve Jordan – John Mayer
Steve closes the Battle Studies release in 2009 with this mid-tempo blues number. Great swingin groove, longer beatle-esque fills, and Steve being blues-pop Steve, which he does so well.
What are some of your own favorite hidden groove gems on drums?