Monthly Archives: December 2020

Wrapping up the year

2020 has certainly been a year of challenges. However, there have been some highlights. Drumeo held a phenomenal drum festival that featured some of the best drummers of yesterday and today. I will close out this year by sharing some of my favorite performances. Have a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. I look forward to sharing lots of interesting posts with you in 2021. I already have some great ones lined up.

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Remembering Mike

When I was in the seventh grade I began a long friendship with a bassist named Mike Mizia. We both shared a common interest in music and he introduced me to a lot of bands I wouldn’t have otherwise listened to. Not classic or heavy metal bands, I knew about them. But other groups that have stuck with me to this day. Bands like The Cult, REM and INXS. He even turned me onto pop groups like Wilson Phillips a few years later. Mike’s tastes weren’t limited to genres. He loved good music. We spent hours listening to all kinds of music and watching MTV at his house. We also traded cassettes we recorded off our records so we wouldn’t have to buy them ourselves.

In seventh grade we both hatched a plan to ask our parents for “real” musical instruments for Christmas and our plan worked. Mike got a shiny black Ibanez bass and Peavy amp and I got a beautiful set of white Pearl drums. We immediately got together and formed a little duet we called “RATH”. Mike even drew up a cool looking logo that we put on my bass drum. The first song we learned was “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple. We were so proud of ourselves. We eventually got a couple guys to join us and even played an assembly at our Middle School. When we got to High School we tried out and made a band made up of upper classmen called White Lightning. We got good and even played a few parties and competed in a Battle of the Bands. Those were some of our best times in high school.

Mike stuck with music after graduation and went on to play for several successful groups (High Voltage and The Ike McCoy Band) and even recorded some great music. A year ago, he sent me the last CD he recorded, and it sounded great. Mike was still playing at his best. I was always proud to know that we had started out together. Sometimes when I play my drums I flashback to those days and as a goof I start playing “Smoke on the Water.”

Mike passed away suddenly this past week. The comments that are being posted on Facebook are a testament to the friends that Mike leaves behind both musicians and non-musicians alike. We each remember Mike in our own way but we will all miss him together.

Here’s some video of Mike performing with The Ike McCoy Band. You can get a real feel for his bass playing technique:

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On sale just in time for Christmas

If you’re looking for a great present for that history buff in your family check out these books by your blog host:

The Civil War in Spotsylvania County: Confederate Campfires at the Crossroads by Michael Aubrecht (Available in Paperback – Hardcover – Kindle)

From 1861 to 1865, hundreds of thousands of troops from both sides of the Civil War marched through, battled and camped in the woods and fields of Spotsylvania County, earning it the nickname ‘Crossroads of the Civil War.’ When not engaged with the enemy or drilling, a different kind of battle occupied soldier’s boredom, hunger, disease, homesickness, harsh winters and spirits both broken and swigged. Focusing specifically on the local Confederate encampments, renowned author and historian Michael Aubrecht draws from published memoirs, diaries, letters and testimonials from those who were there to give a fascinating new look into the day-to-day experiences of camp life in the Confederate army. So huddle around the fire and discover the days when the only meal was a scrap of hardtack, temptation was mighty and a new game they called ‘baseball’ passed the time when not playing poker or waging a snowball war on fellow compatriots.

Historic Churches of Fredericksburg: Houses of the Holy by Michael Aubrecht (Available in Paperback)

Historic Churches of Fredericksburg: Houses of the Holy recalls stories of rebellion, racism and reconstruction as experienced by Secessionists, Unionists and the African American population in Fredericksburg’s landmark churches during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Using a wide variety of materials compiled from the local National Park archives, author Michael Aubrecht presents multiple perspectives from local believers and nonbelievers who witnessed the country’s Great Divide. Learn about the importance of faith in old Fredericksburg through the recollections of local clergy such as Reverend Tucker Lacy; excerpts from slave narratives as recorded by Joseph F. Walker; impressions of military commanders such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson; and stories of the conflict over African American churches.

These titles are currently ON SALE and available directly from The History Press at: Books by Michael Aubrecht

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Own a Piece of History

You may have heard by now that Frankie Banali passed away after battling Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer. (I was fortunate enough to interview Frankie a while back and it was one of my most enjoyable talks. You can read the entire interview here: Frankie Banali)

About a year before he passed, Frankie asked Donn Bennett of Donn’s Drum Vault to coordinate the sale of his extensive drum collection. It was imperative to him that they found homes with drummers and fans who would appreciate them as much as he did. Frankie left behind 35 drum sets, 115 snares and 100 cymbals to be made available for purchase by his fans. The collection is extensive and features Ludwig, Rogers, Slingerland and Leedy drums and Sabian cymbals that are all signed by Frankie. All of the drums come with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Frankie’s wife Regina Banali, as well as a pair of Frankie Banali signature drumsticks.

According to Donn’s website: “His drums were deeply important to him. He often said that ‘All I need are my family, music and drums.’ His drums were so much more than tools of his trade. They were a pathway to his soul. His vast collection of drums reflect the multi-faceted drummer and person he was. Many of his sets reflect his deep admiration and respect for John Bonham while others recognize his love of great jazz drummers like Elvin Jones. The stunning visual presence of all his drums clearly reflect Frankie’s keen artistic eye.”

You can access the collection here: Frankie Banali Collection.

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Interview: Eric Selby

Recently I was introduced to drummer and producer Eric Selby. Eric has performed live and recorded with many talented artists, including: Daryl Johnson (The Neville Brothers, Emmylou Harris, U2, Bob Dylan), Lenny Castro (Adele, The Rolling Stones, Steely Dan, Maroon 5, Stevie Wonder) and James East (Elton John, Lionel Richie, Eric Clapton). He has also been featured in Modern Drummer and Eric has also been named Blue411‘s “Drum Thumper ‘Jimi’ Award” winner, been nominated for multiple WAMMIE awards, inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and #1 on Blues411‘s charts multiple times.

That’s quite an impressive resume for sure. In 2020, Eric moved out in front of the drum kit releasing his first solo record of original music, entitled “Do, Baby.” as well as two singles, “Anxious Zen” and “Another Page.” These releases are a culmination of the various styles and genres he has had the opportunity to embrace through his musical travels. Eric has recruited many of his musical associates along the way to give these releases a new vibe and emotion with every song.

MA: Tell us what attracted you to the drums and what attracted you to singing?

ES: I am the youngest of five sons, and my older brothers all played instruments. When I came of age to join them, they needed a drummer. So at nine years old, I took up the drums but kept learning other instruments from my brothers (i.e. keys, guitar, etc.). I’ve been in bands ever since then and professionally since I was 18. I played in progressive/fusion/alternative bands for many years and then started performing in the genres of blues, funk and New Orleans groove. I had the opportunity to play with many iconic musicians and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Through all of the rhythm section years, I continued to play guitar and write music, really, to entertain myself. Thankfully, I keep honing my craft and continue to do so today.

Since I have been a drummer “by trade,” I really was never particularly interested in being the “front man,” so singing is still a bit foreign to me. The songs that I have recorded were written by me, so I knew, from a performance/emotion/production point-of-view, how I heard it conveyed in my head. So it seemed naturally appropriate for me to sing them too. As a drummer in a band, I had often been a back-up singer so singing wasn’t new, just the “lead” part is something I’m learning to embrace now.

MA: What are the unique challenges between being a drummer and being a producer?

ES: One challenge that comes to mind is for the producer in me to ensure that the drummer in me plays to serve the song. As a drummer, it’s certainly easy for me to over-play because I can, but the reality is to properly deliver a song, whether live or on a recording, the musician must truly serve and support the song. One of the producer’s main roles is to ensure the song is being served properly by the musicians for the artist’s project.

The two roles are intrinsically similar and completely different at the same time. The rhythm section of a song is a vital part of the production, so it is weaved in, but I think I wear a completely different hat when I am producing the song in my head to be laid down “on tape.” I have been working hand-in-hand with an amazing producer based in Arlington, VA, named Marco Delmar, who has an innate way of understanding my layman’s terms for vibes, sounds, and effects. By working his magic on the board, he can manifest what I’m hearing in my own melon. In addition to Marco, Don Côqayohômuwôk Chapman (Firefall’s Larry Burnett & Rick Roberts, America) has been instrumental in providing such support on these songs with foundational and thematic parts and background vocals. Those two guys really make my job easy because I have confidence in both of their incredible talents.

MA: How did you come about recording your own solo record?

ES: I had been writing songs for years, on my couch at home to entertain myself or, as a single Dad, to simply irritate my four daughters. After I had about a dozen or so tunes that I thought were decent, I thought it would be cool to record them for fun and posterity, again, just for myself and family or friends. I had no idea these songs would receive the response that they have! My new songs have gotten amazing airplay literally around the world, plus phenomenal reviews, and the distinct honor of being on Roots Music Report’s Albums and Singles Charts for over 6 months now!

With the success of the Do, Baby EP and encouragement from fans to deliver more tunes, I jumped back into the studio and continued writing and tracking. I am now working on my sophomore effort and have released two singles from that project, “Anxious Zen” and “Another Page”, and I have a third single entitled “Orbit” due for release in January 2021.

MA: Which do you find more rewarding, drumming or singing?

ES: Hands down, drumming. I have been drumming for 40+ years, so my language and versatility with that instrument are far more fluent. My comfort, confidence, and musicality in drumming is considerably stronger than my singing. Lead singing is a new instrument for me and one that I look forward to developing further, as I do with all of the instruments I try to pick up.

Admittedly, I have never been a natural with any instrument. I have worked at playing the drums, guitar, piano, and singing. The old adage about reaping what you sow really rings true for me. I am strongest on drums because I have invested so much time into it. As I heard Will Smith once say, “Self-discipline is the center of all material success.” I will continue to focus on bettering myself at these instruments and in all aspects of my life, for that matter.

MA: Do you plan on touring to support this record?

ES: Although it would really be cool if I could, the immediate answer is no. Until we have a vaccine readily available to all, and people are being intelligent and exercising smart health practices, I don’t think it’s smart for me to be touring. I totally understand that it would significantly increase the exposure of these records, but in the grand scheme, it is worth far more to me to do the right thing for right now.

My current thought is to release my second EP in 2021 and see where things stand with the health of my family and the nation. If all seems under control, then I may revisit the idea of touring with the right people.

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy working on my own project. And, I am absolutely psyched to continue tracking drums and percussion in the studio for all the amazing artists that I am blessed to work with on their own projects!

You can listen to a preview of Eric’s music here: listen to Anxious Zen and Another Page

Visit Eric’s webpage at:

Socials: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Spotify // YouTube // SoundCloud

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Now an Updated Edition!

Its two weeks until Christmas and there is still time to pick up our book FUNdamentals(TM) of Drumming for Kids. This book is exactly what it sounds like: a fun way of introducing the basics of drumming to children between the ages of five and ten.

Although there have been many programs developed for teaching music theory to children, few cater to this younger age group. By using a combination of enjoyable and familiar learning techniques, children are able to gain a better understanding of rhythm and the basic philosophies of playing drums.

FUNdamentals(TM) of Drumming for Kids has been written so it can be used by individual children and by multiple students in a classroom. It’s complemented by exclusive video shot at Drum Channel Studios, which contains additional information and playing examples of the FUNdamentals philosophy and exercises. Video is accessed online using the unique code in each book.

Purchase on

Here’s an overview of our program:

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Perfecto Podcast

You may not be aware, but probably won’t be surprised to know that my friend and co-author (who also is an actor, and teacher, and entrepreneur, and motivational speaker, I could go on…) has his own popular podcast called “The Rich Redmond Show.”

The entertaining and educational podcast is about all things music, motivation and success. It features candid conversations with musicians, actors, comedians, authors and thought leaders about their lives and the stories that shaped them. It is hosted by Rich and his co-host Jim McCarthy.

Rich is the longtime drummer with Jason Aldean and many other veteran musicians and artists. He has been heard on thousands of songs, over 25 of which have been #1 hits! Jim has voiced well over 10,000 pieces and garnered an ear for audio production business which he now uses for various podcasts, commercials and promos.

Just some of Rich’s guests include: Victoria Jackson (Saturday Night Live), David Cook (Winner of American Idol Season 8), Katie Cook (Host, CMT), Dann Huff (world class record producer-Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban), Libby Vincek (Season 36 of CBS’ Survivor), Neil Thrasher (one of the most recorded songwriter’s on the planet), Johnny Garcia (band leader for Garth Brooks) and Shaun Silva (hit video director for Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney).

Specific drummers Rich has hosted include: Ray Luzier (drummer for David Lee Roth and Korn) and Paul Leim, Greg Morrow, Lonnie Wilson, Eddie Bayers (the world’s most recorded drummers).

If you like to learn how people become successful and stay there listen to “The Rich Redmond Show.”

Listen to the Podcast

For more information, visit

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