Mel Lewis Knew What Time It Was

And this should be required reading (listening) for every drummer, everywhere…

http://www.skidmore.edu/~flip/Site/History_of_Jazz_Drums/History_of_Jazz_Drums.html

Mel Lewis -- Photo By Rick Mattingly

Mel Lewis — Photo By Rick Mattingly

Long live Mel.

Heavy Heart

Back in ’05, I received a phone call from my dear friend Leslie, who (at that time) was working for Craviotto Drum Co., as head of artist relations and such. She’s a very sweet person and happened to be a fan of my drumming, as well as the group I was playing with back then. It’s always nice hearing from her and on that particular day she seemed very excited and said to me, “Hey man, someone hereĀ wants to talk to you…” A few seconds later, I hear this crackly voice on the other end and then these words… “Hi George, it’s Johnny Craviotto here. Man, Leslie played me some of your stuff and I really love your drumming. I would like to build you a drum. Is that cool?” Thus began a friendship that lasted to this very day and today I have just learned of his passing and I am oh so sad he’s gone. Johnny was an incredible soul and easily one of the finest craftsman I’ve ever known.

Rest in peace, my old friend and Godspeed.

Johnny Craviotto, RIP.

Johnny Craviotto, RIP.

So Long, Dreamy Desert Digs

Well y’all, my favorite spot in the Yucca Valley, Rimrock Ranch, was recently sold, so I might not be posting many more pics of it but we’re sending her off to the new owners this weekend and it’s sure to be a rockin good time!

Yes, I'm sad but this is gonna be a super fun gig!

Yes, I’m sad but this is gonna be a super fun gig!

Chillin' at Rimrock, back in 2013

Chillin’ at Rimrock, back in 2013

Sunrise at Rimrock Ranch

Sunrise at Rimrock Ranch

Gonna miss this place. Of course, it’s not really going anywhere, so…

Xoxo

Relax, Regroup, Refresh

Just spent five days on the road with my dear friend and superbad musician, Luther Dickinson, traveling the west coast and playing tunes from his brand new record. It was completely fulfilling in every way…

My friend...Luther Dickinson, sitting on stage during soundcheck at Mississippi Studios in Portland, OR -- April 4th, 2016

My friend…Luther Dickinson, sitting on stage during soundcheck at Mississippi Studios in Portland, OR — April 4th, 2016

We were joined by Nashville legend, Jim Lauderdale who opened every show (which Luther and I were invited to participate in, nightly) then joined Luther and I for ours. It was so much fun!

The one and only, Jim Lauderdale. Simply amazing singer, songwriter and all-around great guy!

The one and only, Jim Lauderdale. Simply amazing singer, songwriter and all-around great guy!

The three of us, on stage at Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael, CA -- Courtesy of Drew Johnson

The three of us, on stage at Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael, CA — Courtesy of Drew Johnson. We were joined that night by Phil Lesh, Charlie Musselwhite and the great Ethan Miller. Mind blown!

From Portland to Los Angeles, I must have spent a total of 20+ hours behind the wheel of our van and now I need a break. I’ve got a couple of weeks off before things get crazy again and decided it’d be a good idea to go spend some down-time with Dad. So…

Dad's place, Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Dad’s place, Natchitoches, Louisiana.

I’ll see y’all soon…

Xoxo

Johnny Craviotto

Johnny Craviotto is an amazing craftsman and I have owned several of his beautiful solid-shell snare drums. This man just can’t be stopped. His drums are unreal and this latest custom snare he made for me is one of the finest instruments I’ve ever seen, heard or played. It just sings! I feel incredibly fortunate to know him and own his drums. I mean, just take a look at this thing…

Woo, LAWD! 6 x 14, Birdseye Maple, 8-lug, Craviotto snare. Yessir.

Woo, LAWD! 6 x 14, Birdseye Maple, 8-lug, Craviotto snare. Yessir.

Thanks, Johnny.

Craviotto Drums. Go check ’em out!

Xoxo

That Great Gretsch Sound

I know what you’re thinking…Gretsch? Well, yes. Long before I was a freak for Rogers, I was pretty heavily into Gretsch drums and used to sing their praises to the world. In fact, when I made my move from Memphis to San Diego back in the early 90’s, I brought with me an 8-piece Birdseye set, which I’d purchased a few years prior from the Memphis Drum Shop and it served me well for the next 6 or 7 years, until I sold them off during a time of need but we won’t talk about that. HA! Anyhow, I went through several years of playing Bleifuss Handcrafted Custom drums then picked up a blue onyx Rogers kit and all of a sudden my life changed and I felt like I’d found my own sound.

That is, until last week…

1970's-era Stop Sign Badge Gretsch in lovely white nitron finish, courtesy of my dear friends at Revival Drum Shop in Portland. Whew, baby!

1970’s-era Stop Sign Badge Gretsch in lovely white nitron finish, courtesy of my dear friends at Revival Drum Shop in Portland. Whew, baby!

Many heartfelt thanks to my brothers at Revival Drum Shop for handing these guys over cause I’ll be using them on tour with the Peach Kings, coming up soon…they sound absolutely incredible!

13, 16 & 22 w 6 x 14 Craviotto Birdseye snare!

13, 16 & 22 w 6 x 14 Craviotto Birdseye snare!

People can change:)

Xoxo

Hittin’ The Road, Again

Yeah, it’s been a minute since I’ve jumped into a van with a bunch of folks and hit the pavement but when I got the call from one of my favorite LA rock groups, The Peach Kings, asking if I’d like to join them for a little 10-day run up the West Coast, there was some serious excitement in my bones. I just couldn’t say No, as my heart was aching for it and, aside from being two of the sweetest people I’ve ever played with, I truly love their music…

…so, here we go!

The Peach Kings -- West Coast Run, 2015!

The Peach Kings — West Coast Run, 2015!

The Peach Kings will be supporting, Smoke Season on this tour.

Rock!