Greasy. Funky. Sick. Gritty. Nasty. Dope. Dirty. Stanky.
Usually not exactly the adjectives anyone would like attached to their name but in Stanton Moore’s case, he probably hears them a lot.
For those you of you not familiar with his work, he made his mark with the mostly instrumental flavored Galactic but soon went on to lead his own groups and lend his talents to bands like Garage A Trois, Robert Walter, and Corrosion of Conformity. He’s currently on tour with the Stanton Moore Trio to promote Emphasis! (On Parenthesis) and he visited Nashville on September 7th.
Sponsored by the mighty Fork’s Drum Closet, Stanton gave a drum clinic to a very attentive audience at the Exit/In where his trio would perform later that night. Armed with his four-piece Gretsch kit, he covered many topics included musicality on the kit, finding the space between straight & swung, and gave away “the secret sticking pattern that will transform your playing instantly.”
After the clinic, I was lucky enough to have a quick informal dinner with Stanton and Gary Forkum (owner of Fork’s Drum Closet & friend to the Nashville drumming community) and conversation hardly even touched the subject of drums or “the biz” (we deal with that all day so give us a break!). We touched on the election, the storms in the Gulf, and Stanton shared some beautiful pictures of his recent wedding. I couldn’t stay for the show but I managed to commit to a private lesson with Stanton the next day at Fork’s. With that being said.... I’ve never ever ever never had a drum set lesson before.
<insert your own jokes here>
I’m a little panicked because like I just told you.... I’ve never ever ever never had a drum set lesson before!! My psychosis started creep in with “what to bring” “what to ask” “how to record it” “what if I suck that day”... that usual stuff. Now I’ve played drum kit in front of 17,000+ in Michigan, on national television (with Ali Landry standing next to me!), and even a 8-bar solo on quads in the Astrodome back in the 1800’s so why panic now?!? Well it’s too late to back out without being a complete tool....
I thought it would be a good idea to make and listen to a Stanton Playlist before I’m revealed as a fake. All of you have heard the stories of a guy arrested for impersonating a doctor for weeks on end before being caught, right?
“Mr. Wolfford, I’m afraid that we’ll be confiscating all of your gear for impersonating a drummer.”
Song after song, I was reminded why he’s a favorite of today’s drummers... everything he plays just feels good. He answered every question I had and took me through a maze of music history and performed examples on the practice kit. At the end of the lesson, I knew I had a lot of information to absorb and incorporate into my own playing but... I didn’t even play! He was there to answer the questions about his style and not work out the knots of mine. I have to admit that I was little disappointed though. We wrapped up and I drove him back to the venue where his crew was preparing for their trek to Raleigh, NC.
Photo by Rick Malkin
I didn’t even touch on the humanitarian side of Stanton but he does a tremendous amount for the New Orleans music community and it’s players. If you get a chance to see him in any musical setting.... wear something old ‘cause you might get some “grease” on you!