San Jose, Calif., This year's Drummies have been very interesting for a variety of reasons. As previously reported, recording voting occurred as 6500 drummers casted 100,000 votes in the 40 categories that make up The Drummies.
Neil Peart, for a fourth straight time, has won Drummer Of The Year." It was a very tight race with Peart winning over Travis Barker by just six votes. It's reasonable to assume that Peart's lucky number is 6 since he can play in 6/6, 6/8, 6/24 and so on.
Over the last three years, Peart's performance has been somewhat of a controversial subject. It's unquestionable that he has a way to influence drummers of all age groups and demographics.
Glenn Noyes, National Drum and Percussion Buyer for Guitar Center, provided some interesting insight into the Peart Popularity.
"Neil was, is, and always will be an icon in the drum world. So many drummers (including myself) have spent countless hours practicing to Neil's licks; trying to nail the perfect feel, dynamic range and subtle nuances. Now the next generation is discovering Neil and there is a whole new excitement level being discovered and developed. His creative drum parts, patterns and fills, along with incredible lyric writing are what keep him on top of the polls year after year. He always leaves you wanting more.."
Another industry veteran, Ed Stenger, who runs a Rush fan website, Rushisaband.com, shed some stroke perspective as well.
It's no surprise to me that Neil Peart has won Drummer of the Year 3 years running. The man has become synonymous with drumming over his 40+ year career. Every drummer knows who he is and wishes they were half as skilled.
As a result of his Drummies success, Neil Peart will be inducted into the Drummikes Hall Of Fame. Additional reports will discuss the timing.
Though Travis did not win Drummer of the year, the man who overcame a devastating plane crash did pick up his 15th and 16th Drummies in the Punk Drummer and Mainstream Pop categories. There were plenty of other previous winners as well. Thirteen-time champ, Giovanni Hidalgo, was voted Latin Percussionist of the Year. Carter Beauford, who is a 14-time winner and previous Drummer of the Year, won the Jam Band category. Another 14-time winner, Luis Conte, won for best Studio Percussionist. Nine-time winner Dave Weckl won Jazz Drummer of the Year. And, Jim Riley of Rascal Flatts repeated as country drummer of the year.
Dave Constantin, DRUM! managing editor noted Though there were some familiar names at the top of the poll, there were also lots of first-time winners." For example, Stanton Moore [Galactic] got his first Drummie in the Funk Drummer category. Cobus Potgeiter, a Youtube drumming sensation, walked off with Rising Star of the Year honors. Aaron Spears [Backstreet Boys, Usher, etc.] picked up his first win as Studio Drummer Of The Year and doubled with a victory as R&B/Blues Drummer.
Being on TV helped some drummers to pick up votes. Frank Knuckles of the Roots got his first win as Live Performer. The Roots' profile has risen due to their gig on Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show. And, second in that category was previous winner Valerie Naranjo, of Saturday Night Live.
Jazz/funk vibraphonist Stefon Harris picked up his first win in the Mallet Percussionist category; Marcie Chapa won the Percussion Rising Star category; The ensemble D'Drum won the Percussion group category; Aaron Gillespie, formerly of the band, Under Oath, won the Live Performer category.
There were also disappointments. Topping the close-but-no-cigar finishers was all-world drummer Steve Jordan. He was among the top runners-up in four different categories but did not get a win. And, Zac Farro of Paramore came very close in the Mainstream Pop and Alternative Rock categories.
Products and Media
It was a big year for Pearl Drums, which picked up industry awards for the Pearl MHP Masters Mahogany Drum Set, the Pearl Eliminator Demon Drive Pedal and the Pearl Jingle Cajon--a triple win, that no company has accomplished before. Craviotto Drums won Custom Drum Maker of the Year.
Virgil Donati's Double Bass Freedom" and Benny Grebs' The Language of Drumming," captured the book and DVD categories, while drummerworld.com repeated as web site of the year. Here's to all the winners.
HALL OF FAME
The Drummies are a chance once a year to honor those musicians who made a contribution in the past year, and inspired us all to want to play better. In the fifteen plus years of the Drummies a dozen drummers have five or more category wins, and they will be inducted into the Drummie Hall of Fame in 2011. Stay tuned.
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