Monday, October 19, 2009

DrumDrops Volume One, Contemporary Keyboard 1978

DrumDrops Volume One record album advertisement from pg 41 of Contemporary Keyboard, February 1978.

Before the idea of drum machines and sampling CDs came along, there had probably been a few attempts at providing a relatively low-tech/low-cost way to get some solid beats into the hands of musicians. The Powerhouse 8-Track Rhythm Unit was one that I blogged about recently, but DrumDrops was probably the lowest priced alternative to hiring a live drummer at the time. In 1978 a record album full of live drum tracks could be yours for a measly $9.95 US, the equivalent to $27.71 US today.

Although the ad makes no mention of any names associated with the recording of the album, a quick search online found that it was produced by Joey Vieira, and the drums were played by "one of the finest session drummers on the West Coast"- David Crigger. David has been performing professionally since the age of 18 both in the studio and on stage with virtually everyone in the biz - from the Don Ellis Orchestra to Rick Springfield to David Foster to Elvis Costello to Burt Bacharach. You can learn more about David and keep up to date with where he's recording and performing on his Web site.

By the end of 1982 seven DrumDrops albums had been produced, six of which you can hear David's drumming. The albums proved quite popular at the time and according to his biography, are still popular today:
"The current demand for drum loops as well as a renewed interest in 70's grooves and recording qualities have made the five disks very sought after items. And though it's been seventeen years since the last "DrumDrops" album was recorded, David is still frequently stopped and asked, "Hey! Aren't you the Drum Drops guy?"
Throughout my research I came across many vinyl sites that have these albums for sale. I'm tempted to start my collection today.

I'll hopefully blog more about David Crigger and Joey Vieira in future DrumDrops blog posts.

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