While I was in the market for a new drum rug, which can be quite expensive, I stumbled upon these mini $2 door mats from Ikea. They were perfect. They were black, light weight, and they had non-slip rubber underneath. I thought to myself, “What if I could somehow string these together, and get them to fold neatly into a trap case?” And, that is just what I did.

IKEA Drum Rug

I scooped up 8 of these IKEA BORRIS door mats, brought them home, lined them up in two groups of four mats each, and applied good old black duct/gaffer tape to them. I wrapped the tape around the top and bottom to make sure it would hold securely, leaving about .5cm in between so you could fold it with ease. When you need to use them, you just line the both of them up together and set up your kit. Works a treat. See figure A.

So, for $16 and a little duct tape, you can have a rug that folds up into one of your cases for those gigs where you show up and find the drummer’s worst nightmare… the slippery, hard wood floor!

Billy Preston
Billy Preston

Hearing that Billy Preston had past away really hit home. He was a favourite around the house when I was younger. “Nothing from Nothing” and “Will It Go Round In Circles” have always been favorites of mine, but it wasn’t until much later that I found out that he was a highly sought after player for the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and Eric Clapton. I was fortunate enough to actually see him live in 2000 with Clapton in Boston. It was a smooth show, especially with Steve Gadd on the kit. Billy Preston was a free, inspiring musician.

Rest in peace Billy Preston…

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

Last weekend we went to catch Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at the Prince of Wales here in Melbourne. We had been hearing these rave reviews for about a week before the show, so we were hoping it wouldn’t spoil it if they weren’t as good as everyone was saying they were. Even radio DJs were betting that it was the best show they had seen all year, and you know they must see quite a few.

From the first note this band had the entire audience in the palm of their hands. Every tune they played was as if it came down from somewhere up above and blessed the audience with groove. I have never seen a band switch gears so effortlessly before, and Sharon Jones delivered it all with a smile. She knows. It’s the only way to describe her. She just knows music and life. And what a voice.

The band were first rate, dressed in suits, and played in the pocket all night long. The drummer played kick, snare, hats, and a crash/ride. That’s it! He turned it out though, especially with such a mean left hand. I think every drummer should try that setup sometime, it’s a true test to see how musical you can be. Sounds like it would be easy, but it isn’t.

The band was headed to Europe next. If they come to your city, or you see that name somewhere in your city, go buy tickets. You will witness a true celebration of music, in the form of a nasty, funk & soul review.

Robert Palmer
Robert Palmer

Forget everything you think of Robert Palmer from the 80’s and 90’s. “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley” is a true 70’s New Orleans-flavored funk masterpiece in every way. Vocal, melodies, music, production… they are all bad to the bone. Not to mention the fact that the band is a mix of The Meters and Little Feat. Zigaboo Modeliste! Every drummer should know that name if they don’t already. He is a drumming pioneer.

Robert Palmer is so smooth as well. It’s probably safe to say that he gives one of the best vocal performances ever recorded. This was when rock stars were actually real stars, the genuine thing. It is pure talent. Purely musical. They aren’t trying to be anything, they’re just playing from the heart. You can actually feel it. Lowell George’s guitar parts on this record go where most musicians can only dream of. Truly. And when you listen with headphones, this record is like an orgasm of instruments and vocals filling your ears.

[Please stand]

The Lord is my drummer, I shall not rush.
He maketh me to lay out in tasteful places
He leadeth me beside cool meter changes
He restoreth my “one”.

Yeah man, though I read through the trickiest of charts,
I will fear no train wrecks.
For You are with it.
Your ride and Your snare, they comfort me

You setteth up a solo for me
In the presence of mine guitarists.
You annointeth my lines with drive.
My groove overfloweth.

Surely good feel and swing will follow me
through all the tunes of each set.
And I will dwell in the pocket
the whole gig long.

Amen. 😉