The most influential drummers of 2012

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Photo of a drummer in action

2012 may now be history, but there is still a little more to talk about before we leave it behind, such as finding out who were the most influential artists of 2012. Over the next month or so, I'll post opinions on the topic from artists, commentators, teachers, and others, with whom they thought were the best artists in a number of roles. This week we start with drummers.

You often hear a lot about singers and guitarists, but for most bands drummers are a crucial part. Their playing can really make a good song what it is, and their skill on the set can influence generations of drummers after them, just as guitarists can influence future guitarists. So, with that in mind, I set out to ask some folks who actually drum who they thought was the most influential drummer of 2012.

My first respondent was Adam Silverman. Since late 2011, Silverman has been the drummer for country artist Lauren Alaina, the runner-up on season 10 of American Idol. He also blogs at his site Silverman told me about the drummer for Jason Aldean, who Alaina toured with last year.

I think Rich Redmond has been huge in the last year. He's my mentor and I love both his playing and his musicianship.

I was also able to get in contact with Sheldon Kreger, a blogger at Kreger's choice comes from the jazz fusion genre.

If I were to choose one, I'd say Herbert Pirker's work with Alex Machacek was really outstanding. Alex's compositions are some of the most complex in all of music, and Pirker really did a great job on that album [Fat, released September 18, 2012] and it deserves MUCH more attention.

Kreger shared this video with me, featuring "Why Not," a piece from Fat

Kreger also commented on who he thought had a great impact on drumming while performing live.

I may also do a piece on live performances. But, in case I sweep this under the rug, here is my list:
  • Virgil Donati with Allan Holdsworth
  • Jojo Mayer and Nerve
  • Antonio Sanches with the Pat Metheny Unity Band
I personally got to see Jojo Mayer and Nerve, and also the Pat Metheny Unity Band here in Portland last year. They were two of the most incredible performances I've ever seen.

There is also great footage of the Nerve tour, and lots of really great stuff from the Allan Holdsworth tour on YouTube. Virgil's playing is something I'm paying very close attention to these days.

Thanks to both Silverman and Kreger for providing responses. Next up in the series I'll explore the most influential guitarists of 2012. If you have any opinion on the subject, please comment below with who you think is the most influential guitarist and why. I'll include the best responses (if any) in the next post!

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