New England, USA - January '08

** Gig List Updated: June 5th, 2008 **

** New Tech page (#5) added - May '06 **

Dave Mattacks Cropredy '07
L-R: DM, Neil Percy {Head of Timp’ & Perc’ @ Royal Academy of Music; Principal Perc’ w/LSO}, Simon Carrington {Principal Timp’ w/LPO}, John DeChristopher {Zildjian}. Pic’ taken after DM’s Master-class @ London’s Royal Acad’, March ’07
Good day & a very HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!  Thanks for taking the time to check out what's going on with my musical friends & I...  

We'll start with the usual look-over-the-shoulder. As previously mentioned, August found us in Cropredy, Oxfordshire, UK to guest @ "Fairport Convention's" 40th Anniversary music festival. The band hold a 3 day outdoor event every August, but this one was going to be rather different, especially for me as it's been 10 years since I left the band. I flew in five days earlier for rehearsals & 'warm-up' dates; as there were quite a few different line-ups I had been invited to play with [different permutations of FC personnel past & present], I'd had quite a bit of homework [writing out of 'sketch' drum parts, etc.,] to do. 

The Friday [Aug' 10th] night was given over to the "Liege & Leif " LP/CD line-up - the last time that particular combination of folks had played that material was in '69/'70, just after it's release  -  & I think you'll agree that's something of a time gap. 

Prior to that Friday night various members schedules meant our total reh' time on the Sunday before was cut to around 90 minutes, but on the 10th a combination of memory, adrenalin & ensemble professionalism kicked in, & the performance was well received by some 25,000+ people. Kudos must go to the wonderful singing of Chris While who stood in for the late Sandy Denny - Chris was simply terrific. 

Dave Mattacks Cropredy '07
Pic’ courtesy of Kevin Smith
The Saturday night [11th] was predominantly given over to Fairport's current line-up, but to make a rather complicated explanation/song-by-song-break-down a little simpler, I got to do some occasional double-drumming with one of my heroes, current FC drummer Gerry Conway. Gerry is truly one of the great English players; he has among others Cat Stevens [nearly all his recorded & live work] & - also like me – Jethro Tull on his considerable resume. The evening seemed to pass quickly, & the whole weekend - particularly for the social/fun side of things - was one of the most enjoyable I've had there. 

We followed this with a few days in Devon & Sussex visiting family & friends, & within a week I was back in Boston doing dates & recording sessions closely followed by more Rosanne Cash concerts. Some of you may have read/heard about Rosanne going in to hospital for brain surgery in late November; I'm very pleased to tell you that the op' was successful & Rosanne is well on the way - albeit a lengthy one - to full recovery. 

Though sessions, local dates, concerts [RC & others] - & a few private students - occupy most of my time, I was pleased to be able to fit in a Master-class on drum tuning & cymbal selection @ the New Hampshire Drum Expo in Oct', courtesy of organizer Cherie Willoughby.  Getting to talk/inform on a subject that continues to fascinate me in a room full of fellow players proved most enjoyable - to the extent that I had to be alerted of the time limitation [to allow for the next clinician] as I was somewhat engrossed in the Q&A part. I do hope that all who attended felt they came away with some positive & helpful info'. FYI, I'll be doing more of those - one in Cambridge [UK] in March just prior to the annual "Feast of Fiddles" tour, & another in Salem, MA in early Feb'. FOF dates are @  - & additional info' about the Master-class' will be on my site nearer the time. 

Dave Mattacks Snares
Steve Smith, Charlie Watts & DM after Steve's gig @ Harvard Square's "Regatta Bar"
Pic' courtesy of Jim McGathey/John DeChristopher of Zildjian
Just before Christmas, I was pleased to hear from good bass-chum Hutch Hutchinson. To cut a long one short, I got to sit-in [on a 'mini-kit'-snare, cymbal & tambourine] with Hutch, Jackson Brown & Bonnie Rait as they came through New Hampshire doing scaled down 'mini-concerts' in support of Senator John Edwards. To make a small contribution to that event was something I won't forget. 

My next update will likely include a list of CD's available that I've been involved with over the past 9 months or so. In the meantime, recent release CD's are ones from John Speziale, Tom Juravich & of course - special mention - "Super Genius" []. 

Media section' favourites -  some recent, some not-so...CD's: Kenny Werner - "Lawn Chair Society" / Clarvis,Barnes,Hart - "Swinging in Studio One" / Don Grolnick - "Media Noche" /  Larry Goldings - "Quartet" / Abby Lincoln -  "Abby sings Abby." 

DVD/Films: "No Country for Old Men" / "Lives of Others" / "The Good Shepard" / Dexter Gordon "Live in '63 &'64"  /  "Perfume." 

As I always write, don't hesitate to contact me of you've a music and/or percussion related question  -  I'll do my best to answer. 

I hope to see you on a gig soon!   Have a happy '08.
Dave Mattacks Snares
R.I.P Austin - our great friend for over 17 years.

Finally, whether you knew him or not, please say a prayer for our wonderful Jack Russell “Austin” who we’ve just said goodbye to today, January 13th after 17+ years with us – 8 of them here in the US - we loved him dearly. - DM 

ZILDJIAN Cymbals, YAMAHA Drums & Hardware, EVANS Drum Heads, PRO-MARK Sticks, LP Percussion, & PROTECTION RACKET & HARDCASE Drum Covers & Cases.