I’ve lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia for many years but I spent my formative years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It’s where I was born and raised and where I was introduced to music. My first garage band was called “White Lightning” and the few gigs we played are experiences that I still recall fondly. I am very lucky to remain in contact with the other members of the band. They all have gone on to record critically-acclaimed CDs and still play to audiences today. One spinoff group was called “The Drowning” and was founded by my friends (and former White Lightning members) Maroon David and Rich Petrucci. The only way I can describe them is a cross between The Cult and U2 with highly original and socially conscious songs that resonate with the listener.
One of my favorite opportunities to play the drums comes when I get to jam with The Drowning during trips to Pittsburgh. We usually play a cross between familiar cover tunes and a few of their originals that I have learned. (Plus I get to play a blue Ludwig Vistalite!) Maroon and Rich have been writing songs together for nearly 30 years and it shows in the influence of songwriting they produce. Songs like “23” and “Lightning for the Blind” personify their goal of inspiring critical thinking by the listener.
Playing live the band is hypnotic (Watch Here). Their two releases, Clear Native State and Every Hour Wounds, contain historical-themed songs influenced by David’s studies as a historian. Petrucci is a budding jazz guitarist who blends both tasteful and complex guitar parts that fit each and every song. Currently the band is on hiatus but I look forward to the next time I get to sit in with them. There’s something about playing good songs with good musicians that makes you appreciate your instrument.