Thanks Dom Famularo!

November 4th, 2015 No comments

Modern Drummer MagazineJust a shout out to renowned drum educator Dom Famularo for listing me and my site on his “recommended teachers list” posted in this month’s Modern Drummer.  You can view the list at Modern Drummer by clicking here.

 

Categories: Blog, Music, Photos, Updates

Get REAL drum tracks on YOUR session!

July 25th, 2014 No comments

Welcome to the Official Homepage of Dave Dykstra!

Hello and Welcome to the site!  If you are looking for someone to do some drum related work for you or you are just incredibly bored, this is the site for you!  In addition to performing live, I now am offering drum and bass track services globally.  That means, if you are looking to get an authentic  drum and bass track added to your recording, no matter where you are in the world, we can make it happen.  The drums are recorded at high resolution (Up to 24 bit/192k) in 12 separate tracks and are similar in quality to what you would get hiring a major studio in Nashville or LA. Please contact for rates and more details on production services.

While you’re here, please check out my video and audio pages!  I have a ton of video to go through from last year, it will hopefully start popping up soon!

Thanks for visiting!

Dave

Categories: Blog, Music, Travel, Updates, Welcome

Somethin’ Funky

April 19th, 2014 Comments off

Check out an excerpt from my latest reel – Here is “Somethin’ Funky” – Special thanks to Fran Daily for filming this for me :-)

Categories: Blog, Music, Updates

Want to class up your Christmas or New Years party?

November 20th, 2015 No comments

Performing at Nissan SadiumHaving a Christmas party or get-together?  Why not class it up by hiring one of Nashville’s finest jazz quartets?  My group The Soulbirds has performed for private and corporate events ranging from small garden parties to large corporate functions at Nissan Stadium and the Music City Center.  We strive to get set the perfect mood for any affair! To book us on your next event, please contact me here or call 615-521-1565.

 

 

 

Sample recordings for your enjoyment:

Categories: Blog, Media, Music

Drum Clinic at Union University THIS Monday!

November 15th, 2015 No comments

HMonday Nov 16, 4:00pm!ey Jackson, TN!  I will be stopping by Union University on Monday, November 16th from 4:00-5:30 for a clinic!  Topics include essential grooves for today’s working drummer and professionalism in the music industry.  If you are interested in taking a 30 min private lesson as some of you have already expressed, I will make myself available tomorrow night from 6:00pm until 9:00. Spaces are limited, so please let me know if you are interested!  You can reserve a space by clicking here. The clinic itself is free and open to the public.  Looking forward to seeing y’all there!

Clinic Address:

Union University  Jennings Hall

Jackson, TN 38305

Categories: Blog, Music, Travel

Tribute to Rock Drumming Legend Hal Blaine (Part I)

November 11th, 2015 No comments

As an important part of my development as a drummer, I like to research important innovators of the art.  This is “Part I” of an essay I wrote on the the contributions of 1960’s L.A. session ace Hal Blaine.  I hope you find this informative and enjoyable.  I welcome any comments or discussion!  I will post this essay in 3 parts, each one week apart.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hal BlaineIn the spring of 1964, Dean Martin’s career could have been described at best as stagnant. The singer had not had a big hit in years and was desperate to find his way back onto the pop charts. He and his longtime pianist Ken Lane had written a song that had a great melody but was missing the modern twist of rock & roll, which was at its peak. They entrusted their song to producer Jimmy Bowen who assured them that he could turn the song into the hit they were looking for.

Bowen had an idea for the recording: to have an R&B style bottom end blended with a pop melody and strings.

He called in a group of L.A. session musicians who would become known as “The Wrecking Crew”, a name given by their hit-making drummer and leader, Hal Blaine. The Crew “weren’t simply hired to play. Lots of people could do that…they were the best of the best…able to not only execute quickly at the highest levels but also, provide valuable input along the way. (Hartman 2012, 131)” The song “Everybody Loves Somebody” became Martin’s first number one in ten years, revitalizing his career. “The magic touch” that The Wrecking Crew was known for had worked once again.

During the session, Martin was full of charm, swooning the myriad of fans that were invited to watch. Despite the theatrics, the recording of the country-themed song “Houston” was falling flat, and drummer Blaine knew it. He asked Bowen in his casual sort of way, “Jimmy, do me a favor…Let me overdub a little extra

percussion thing whenever you have a moment.” He proceeded to empty a glass ashtray and tapped out a rhythm that gave the song the western-style feel it had been lacking. And Blaine, “instantly helped turn the song into yet another top 40 hit record. (Hartman 2012, 132)”

This occurrence was not unique during the 1960’s. The Wrecking Crew, who originally referred to themselves as “The Clique”, had successfully replaced the old guard of session players as the top calls in L.A. Hal Blaine says it best, “It didn’t take long for word to get around that a new breed of musicians was making the hits. We were new in town, and it seemed like everything we touched turned to gold. (Blaine-Groggin 2010, 51)” Blaine coined the term “Wrecking Crew” from the older guys who kept saying “we were wrecking the business. (Elder 2015)” Contrary to the opinion of the blue blazer, seasoned session players who scoffed at this new breed of Levis and t-shirts, The Wrecking Crew were “far from being rock & roll punks…[they were] seasoned professionals who’d cut their teeth on the road with jazz combos, or working sessions with MOR (middle of the road) singers at Capital and Colombia. (Brown 2007, 110)”

In the 1960’s, Los Angeles became the hotbed for the entertainment industry, and names like Elvis, Sam Cooke, The Mamas and the Papas, The Fifth Dimension, The Beach Boys, The Carpenters, The Ventures, The Byrds, The Monkees, Neil Diamond and Bobby Darin, Simon & Garfunkel regularly found their way on to

the charts, and well-known classics such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin had their careers revitalized. Unbeknownst to the listening public, “The Wrecking Crew nevertheless played for, with, and in the service of nearly every prominent American pop performer of the decade, to the point that it’s probably easier to make a list of the acts it didn’t support. (New Yorker 2013)”

The Wrecking Crew consisted of a revolving core group of musicians including Hal Blaine , Carol Kaye, Tommy Tedesco, Earl Palmer, Barney Kessel, Plas Johnson, Al Casey, Glen Campbell, James Burton, Leon Russell, Larry Knechtel, Joe Osborn, Jack Nitzsche and dozens of others. According to bassist Joe Osborn, day-to-day life for these musicians often included three or four sessions per day. The musicians were often unaware of the artist the song was for, or even the song’s name, but that didn’t matter – they were hired to make hits. They often didn’t realize a song they had recorded was a hit until they heard it on the radio (Osborn 2015).

The record companies would withhold the credits to allow the impression that each individual group performed their own music on their albums. With the public totally unaware, The Wrecking Crew secretly performed on literally thousands of songs. Blaine explains, “We figured most people understood, although for obvious reasons, our behind-the-scenes role was not publicized. In many cases the stars were too busy touring to spend the weeks and weeks in the

studio it usually takes to make a great record. (Blaine 2010, 73)” Despite the lack of credit, The Crew was raking it in; bassist Carol Kaye famously stated that at one point she was “making more money than the president of the United States. (Tedesco 2008)” Despite the fact that the public was unaware of The Crew’s existence, and much to the dismay of the old-guard session players, The Wrecking Crew emerged as the dominant force in the record industry in the early 1960’s.

During this period, the record industry had shifted away from strict, big band arrangements, and with rock & roll at its peak, producers became interested in more than recording arrangements; textures, sound effects, microphone techniques and the recording process became as essential as the arrangements themselves.

Also, studios now had access to more sophisticated equipment that could facilitate seemingly infinite possibilities for producers. These factors shifted the purpose of recording from a primarily technical mechanism to one of artistic invention (Moorefield 2005).

Among the many producers who utilized the services of The Wrecking Crew, perhaps the most prominent is Phil Spector. Famous for his “Wall of Sound”, Spector looked at the studio much as an artist would look at a canvas. His technique involved “putting a lot of instrumentalists in the recording studio and having them all play at once. (Ibid., 11)” For example, his personnel for Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” consisted of four guitars, four basses, three

keyboards, two percussionists, two drummers, two vocalists, six horns and a full string section (Ibid., 11). His recordings also are trademarked by significant amounts of reverb. Spector would demand countless takes from his musicians, expecting to make a hit with every song and artist he chose. And it paid off as he and his tight knit crew of musicians set the world on fire with hit after hit.

When looking at The Wrecking Crew, perhaps the most critical member of the group was Hal Blaine, who not only coined the term “Wrecking Crew” but was viewed as the central figure in the group. Blaine’s discography includes over 8,000 records, movies and jingles. He recorded the beat to over 170 top ten records, 40 number ones, and won a record-setting 6 records of the year in a row from 1966 to ‘71 (Myers 2011). In addition to the pure numbers, Blaine played sessions in nearly every genre of music, from the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” to Sinatra’s’ “Strangers in the Night”. With credits in name and number as significant as Blaine’s, it would be impossible to simply attribute his success to being in the right place at the right time in history.

Hal Blaine’s skills transcended great musicianship. He was also creative, inventive, easy to work with, and a natural born leader. Blaine’s work in the studio not only redefined the role of the session player but also, his work as a drummer reinvented the instrument, and solidified the relatively new concept of rock & roll drumming. Hal’s career was critical to the development of future ace session drummers such as Jim Gordon, Jim Keltner, JR Robinson and Jeff Porcaro, who each would go on to have prolific recording careers of their own (Amendola 2005).

See “Part II” Next Week!

Bibliography

Amendola, Billy. 2005. “An Interview with Hal Blaine.” Modern Drummer, July. Accessed April 29, 2015. http://www.moderndrummer.com/site/2005/07/hal-blaine- 2/#_

Barry, Jeff, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector. 1963. “Be My Baby”. Recorded, July. Hollywood, CA: Gold Star Studios.

Blaine, Hal and David Groggin. 2010. Hal Blaine and the Wrecking Crew. 3rd ed. Alma, MI: Rebeats Publications.

Blaine, Hal, subject. “Image of Hal Blaine.” http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Hal_Blaine.html. Accessed April 29, 2015.

Brown, Rick. 2007. Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector. New York: Alfred A. Knoff.

Culture Desk. 2013. “The Session Musicians who Dominated Nineteen-Sixties Pop.” New Yorker, December 3. Accessed March 3, 2015.

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-session-musicians-who- dominated-nineteen-sixties-pop.

Drummers. 2010. “The Greats: Hal Blaine.” Modern Drummer. http://www.moderndrummer.com/site/2010/03/hal-blaine/#.VUFk897fX8t

Elder, Sam. 2015. “Behind the Music Behind the Music: ‘Wrecking Crew’ Played Pop’s Biggest Hits.” Newsweek, March 14. Accessed April 29. http://www.newsweek.com/2015/03/27/behind-scenes-wrecking-crew-musicians- behind-pop-biggest-hits-313713.html

Frith, Simon and Andrew Goodwin, ed. 1990. On the Record: Rock, Pop, and the Written Word. New York: Pantheon Books.

Gordon, Jim, subject. “Image of Jim Gordon” http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Jim_Gordon.html. Accessed April 29, 2015.

Hartman, Kent. 2012. The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock & Roll’s Best Kept Secret. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Martin, Gene, Photographer. “Dave Weckl.” http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Dave_Weckl.html. Accessed April 29, 2015).

Moorefield, Virgil. 2005. The Producer as Composer: Shaping the Sounds of Popular Music. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

21

Myers, Marc. 2011. “Who Else Made More Hit Songs?” Wall Street Journal, March 23. Accessed April 29, 2015. http://on.wsj.com/1w7rhQM

Osborn, Joe. 2015. Interview by Author. Nashville. April 21.

Orthmann, David and Jos L Knaepen, photographer. 2007. “Max Roach,” http://www.allaboutjazz.com/a-tribute-to-max-roach-max-roach-by-david-a- orthmann.php, Accessed April 29, 2015

Rule, Greg. 1997. “Jeff Porcaro: The Legend. Drum! Magazine. August/September. Accessed April 29, 2015. http://www.drummagazine.com/features/post/jeff-porcaro- the-legend/

Simon & Garfunkel. 1970. “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Released January 26. Colombia Records.

Smith, Chad. 2006. “The Studio Kings.” Modern Drummer, June.
Tedesco, Denny. 2008. The Wrecking Crew. Lunchbox Entertainment. Live Screening,

Magnolia Pictures, 2015.

Tedesco, Denny. 2009. “A Message from the Director of the documentary film, ‘The Wrecking Crew’.” In Hal Blaine & The Wrecking Crew. Alma, MI: Rebeats Publications.

Thompson, Dave. 2003. Wall of Pain: The Biography of Phil Spector. London, UK: Sanctuary Publishing, Ltd.

“Cowboy Ride”

October 30th, 2015 No comments

I have had the pleasure of working with Country Artist for a while now, and it is very exciting to see the many things he’s got going on.  He recently released a video titled “Cowboy Ride,” which pays tribute to many of the great cowboys of the past.  The video in in rotation on Zuus and GAC, so check it out!


 

Categories: Blog

Working with William Michael Morgan

October 9th, 2015 No comments

I recently got the opportunity to work with brand new Warner Music artist William Michael Morgan.   The fun and challenging part of my job is to get a call in the 11th hour to come and deliver on a gig, and this case was no exception.  I got the call 2 days before show time, and the show was opening for Brett Eldredge, with no rehearsal.  No pressure, right?  haha.  Anyways, it was a blast to go in and make some music with William Michael.  If you haven’t heard his single, “I Met A Girl,” you NEED to go check it out!  #williammichaelmorgan #imetagirl

 

at soundcheck...

Getting warmed up…

Categories: Blog

Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree Broadcast with Rex Allen Jr.

November 11th, 2014 No comments

Last week I had the pleasure of working with some great musicians and friends of mine backing up the great Rex Allen Jr.  Rex’s dad was one of the original western music legends from the 30s and 40s and Rex Jr. has carried the tradition since, releasing several gold records and singles throughout his career as well.

On Saturday, we performed for the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree, which is the second longest running live radio broadcast, second only to the Opry.  It was a cool experience to perform in such a historic format, and truly an honor to work with such fine players.

Anyways, here are a few pics from the night…

Left to right: Dave Wilson (Bass), Zach Runquist (utility), Rex Allen Jr., Nick Palmer (Guitar), Yours Truly (Drums)

Left to right: Dave Wilson (Bass), Zach Runquist (utility), Rex Allen Jr., Nick Palmer (Guitar), Yours Truly (Drums)

The Texas Troubador Theatre
 On Stage...

Categories: Blog

All I Need – New Music Video from Paul Bogart!

September 27th, 2014 No comments

Check out this cool video I had the opportunity to perform on!  Unlike most music videos, this one has live audio recorded on site (most bands mime to the record)

Enjoy!

 

Categories: Blog

AEA Ribbon Mic Shootout

July 24th, 2014 No comments

Hey Guys, last night I had a great time demoing some mics with Travis Atkinson from AEA Ribbon Microphones.  We used 5 tracks, kick, snare, overhead, a mic just over the top of the kick and a stereo room mic.  With such a simple setup, it seems like a lot of detail would be lost, right?  Wrong.  The mics at AEA are rockin’ awesome and deliver an incredibly natural, detailed and earthy vibe.  We used a vintage 1970’s era ludwig kit with a couple  different snares.  I liked it so much, I thought I’d post some of the results…

Vintage Ludwig Kit

 

 

Categories: Blog, Media, Music