What to practice…

I just got back from a month long UK tour.  I haven't done any practice at a kit since before we started - though I've had plenty of time on the pad warming up and working on hand technique. I tend to find that while I'm touring I rack up a list of things that I ought to work on.  Usually groove and fill based things that need some polish.  These are actually the things that would be most useful for me to work on as they have some real world application.  I tend to get quite excited about Read more [...]

Feel that kick drum…

For anyone who saw my BC2 video (see below) but thought the price tag was a bit much, Porter and Davies have now released the Gigster for a more affordable £599. I actually prefer the lighter, round, stool that comes with the Gigster and the Gigster engine itself provides exactly the same response as it's big brother.  The main differences are: The Gigster isn't built into a flight case. It has a fixed UK power cord (you need 240v to power it - don't take it to America) The mic/line Read more [...]

USA Gretsch Renown Maple for sale!

I'm selling my Gretsch Renown Maple kit. It's a fusion set with 10",12",14" toms and a 20" kick.  It's in great condition - it hasn't been gigged and I haven't used it much since I became a Sonor endorsee. New they cost about £1,000 (check Froogle).  I'm willing to let it go for £600.  You must be in the UK, and hopefully you'll be near enough that I can drive to meet you half way rather than try and box it up for shipping. Email me (joe@joecrabtree.com) if you're interested. Thanks, Joe You Read more [...]

Yes Man revisited… some inspiring tales

So I finished reading Yes Man for the second time on the flight back from Japan.  It's 6 years since I read it last so I'd forgotten a lot of the details.  I thoroughly enjoyed it second time around and it re-inspired me. I got up yesterday at 5am Japanese time (Japan is 8 hours ahead of UK so that's 11pm UK time.)  The journey to the airport, hanging around, and the 12 hour flight resulted in landing at Heathrow at 3pm UK time.  I'd managed to sleep for about 90 minutes on the plane.  Then Read more [...]

Playing Drums on Mick McConnel’s “My Kinda Heaven”

Last summer I had the pleasure of recording drums for Mick McConnell's solo album 'My Kinda Heaven'. I got the call after Wishbone Ash came back from playing in South Africa with Deep Purple and Uriah Heep. Trevor Bolder, Uriah Heep's bass player, is also featured on the album and he recommended me to Mick. Mick's regular gig is with Smokie but he's been saving up songs for a solo album for some time. He was a great guy to work with and some of his enthusiasm for scuba diving rubbed off on me Read more [...]

750 Words – Day 6

I got up at 7am this morning (early for a musician!), forced down some breakfast, and got a lift to the airport.  I checked my slightly over-weight suitcase and lugged my carry on bag through security.  I had to empty it of my laptop and a full set of drum mics which, to the non-musician, look fairly suspicious. When boarding I was pulled aside again and my bag was searched for a second time.  When I finally made it onto the plane, a bit tired and grumpy, it was a pleasant surprise to discover Read more [...]

Play like John Bonham!

Out of the thousands of drummers that have graced the earth there are only a few with a sound so distinctive that you can recognise them instantly. Out of those few you can probably count on one hand the ones that non-drummers will have heard of. We're pretty much talking Ringo, Keith Moon, Phil Collins, Stewart Copland and John Bonham.All the rest of them are drummer's drummers. I love Vinnie Coliuta, Dave Weckl, Omar Hakim, etc. etc. but they're pretty much outside the radar of non-drummers. Read more [...]

What’s been going on?

I seem to have neglected my website in recent months but have been very active posting blogs on the Wishbone Ash site (www.wishboneash.com/blog.asp).Today was a day off.  I haven't left the hotel.  Instead I spent all day in front of my laptop updating my website.  I've added the "Ask Joe" page to answer any questions you might have.  There's no navigation link at the moment but you can get there via the link on the main page. Touring has been full on Read more [...]

New Pendragon DVD

The Wishbone Ash tour has come to an end. We have a few festivals in August then another UK tour begins in October. You can check my gig dates here . If you can make it to any of the gigs please come and say hello.Last year I recorded a 21st Anniversary DVD with Pendragon. I really enjoyed playing this material and the DVD came out pretty well. You can find out more on the Pendragon website Read more [...]

On the road…

I'm halfway into a Wishbone Ash UK tour. I had a prior booking with Pendragon headlining RoSfest in Philadelphia at the end of April so I had to fly out there for 4 days for that gig. Arrived back in the UK at 7am Tuesday morning and rejoined Wishbone Ash for a gig that evening. Plenty of traveling!RoSFest was great. The gig went down really well. I had a great drum tech who helped get the kit set up just right. The monitor sound left something to be desired, but that always seems to be the Read more [...]