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Carter Beauford’s Greatest Drumming Moments



Stand Up is an especially soulful entry in the DMB catalog. Produced by Mark Batson, known for his work with Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Alicia Keys, it’s the product of a restless musical group that, having ended a long series of tour dates (several of which were recorded and released as standalone albums), returned home to Virginia only to realize it was itching to try something funkier and less textured than its traditional approach. A few phone calls later, the band found itself in the studio with Batson and a handful of groovy, pop-inflected songs. With an R&B producer at the helm, Beauford’s drumming comes through crisply and prominently — so clarified that at times it seems less complex than the expansive improvisational style for which he’s known. (It’s actually not.) On this track, which lends its name to the album, Beauford kicks things

off by repeating a naked rudimental snare lick three times before plowing into a ridiculously linear kick/snare/hat pattern that would find a home on one of James Brown’s extended ’60s soul jams. As the rest of the band gradually joins in, the song takes off to the races. Through verses, choruses, bridges, and a LeRoi Moore sax solo that would have made Maceo Parker proud, the drummer sticks to the Fabulous Flames playbook, carrying the momentum through his relentless adherence to the opening funk pattern and (totally out of character) barely playing any fills. The result? Distilled, rather than simplified, Beauford.



Everyday came at a moment of reflection for Dave Matthews Band. Earlier in the year, the group had entered the studio with longtime producer Steve Lillywhite, who had guided all of its studio albums to

that point (Under The Table And Dreaming, Crash, Before These Crowded Streets) and overseen its rise to fame. But the resulting recordings from that period, now known as “The Lillywhite Sessions,” were scrapped after the band’s record label deemed them too dark, too jammy, too — well, DMB. Back to square one, then. Matthews put heads together with pop producer Glen Ballard (who cowrote Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill and Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”) and wrote a dozen new, pared-back tunes that controversially sidelined two-thirds of the band: Boyd Tinsley on strings and LeRoi Moore on saxophone. Bassist Stefan Lessard and Beauford suffered the least. Like Bob Dylan and Blonde On Blonde, Everyday was DMB’s divisive electrification moment. For a drummer like Beauford, that meant muscling up behind the kit — shifting to more forceful, driving playing that wouldn’t get lost behind the amplified noise and pop sheen of Glen Ballard’s production. “Fool To Think,” on the back half of the album, is intensely mathematical. (It’s also one of the few tracks on Everyday that preserves the classic musical interplay of the full band). Beauford breaks down the rhythm of the song in a way that contrasts with the guitar and keyboard, giving it an off-kilter feel. He doesn’t play especially loudly, but every rimclick, hi-hat tap, and snare crack is deftly, almost clinically placed to provide contrast to the strings and vocals that wash over the song in broad strokes.





Photograph: RONN DUNNET

Red Rocks was the first “official” live DMB album and it gave listeners a taste for how the band interpreted its music outside the strict confines of the recording studio. Released in 1997, but plucked from a show in ’95, the album arrived to market less than a year after the single “Crash” became a fixture on mainstream radio. Red Rocks sold well enough that the band saw fit to continue mixing and mastering its live performances for sale, giving us the

December 2015

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DRUM! Magazine December 2015  

Try a copy of DRUM! and learn to play better faster. The huge (144 pages) holiday issue features jazz triple grammy winner Teri Lyne Carring...

DRUM! Magazine December 2015  

Try a copy of DRUM! and learn to play better faster. The huge (144 pages) holiday issue features jazz triple grammy winner Teri Lyne Carring...