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Thunderbird Sun Transformation by Dave Brogan

"Thunderbird Sun Transformation" was produced by Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips and features performances by Bluhm, Jackie Greene, Dan Lebowitz (ALO), Paul Hoaglin (The Mother Hips) and Tim Young.

I'll be doing a few "dates" along the Cali coast in May with Garrin Benfield and Tom Treund. The three of us first came together last year for a songwriter's round-robin at the Brick and Mortar in San Francisco at the behest of Dave Marguiles, music impresario of the High Sierra Music Festival. Garrin is a guitarist, Tom's main ax is the upright bass and with me on drums we form a complete instrumental trio. We're doing songs from each of our songbooks as well as tunes from our common love- the Grateful Dead.

I'm really excited to play with these guys some more. Garrin is an amazing songwriter with an emotional depth unparalleled and Tom is a major force on the LA scene, collaborating with the likes of Ben Harper, Brett Dennen, Jackson Browne and Graham Parker. He's the resident troubadour of Venice Beach and just a brilliant craftsman of song. I hope you folks on the west coast can make it out to a show. Bring your ears and be prepared to hear every note, every word and every breath in between. Go to my shows page to get the dates!

Also: more information on Garrin Benfield and Tom Freund

It was an amazing summer of music with ALO and others. In April we did an East Coast tour with the Ryan Montbleu Band - hitting some of the usual haunts and a few new ones (Syracuse!!!). Ryan and the guys are extremely kind, great musicians and a joy to hang and play with. We worked up a spirited rendition of Paul Simon's "Graceland" to close out each night. Music is joyous!

The highlight of that tour was meeting ALO fan, Jeff Bowman. Jeff helped the authorities in the Boston Marathon case by identifying one of the bombers and was standing at the finish line when the bombs went off. He's a hero, super courageous, a total inspiration and an amazingly cool guy to boot. He couldn't make it to the Boston show so a few of his friends brought the band over to his rehab facility for an impromptu acoustic concert. Jeff did show up at our show in Falmouth a couple of months later. Jeff, you're the man. Hope to see you again soon.

Had a great Sensations show in early May at the Hipnic Festival in Big Sur, Ca. Songwriter / singer / guitarist Greg Loiacano is a master of, well, songwriting, singing and guitar! It is always an honor to play with him. Check my shows page for more Sensations to come in October.

I recorded the drum tracks for Huckle's album Wooden Melodies back in 2011… which was a blast. (That album came out super dope and you can check out a couple of tracks on my music page.) We rocked it at the Portland Blues and Roots Festival on the Fourth of July. As we walked on stage it was 10,000 people all looking at us like "who are you?" But luckily they were open to some acoustic hard rock played from the heart and we quickly won over the citizens of Portlandia. Revisiting all of Huckle's material was refreshing and exhilerating. And that city puts on one of the longest fireworks shows I have ever seen!

ALO was invited back to Bonnaroo this year and, well, it was pretty epic. We were joined onstage by Tim and Nicki Bluhm, the Ryan Montbleu Band and Jack Johnson came out for an extended sit in. Oh, and it was my birthday! The band and all of the guests sounded great. In between sets I caught Paul McCartney and ZZ Top. Jim Tobin, you owe me a ride in the chopper.

I'm looking forward to a session with songwriter Jeff Shattuck at the end of this month at the historic Hyde St. Studios (formerly Wally Heider's place) in San Francisco. I'll be providing drum and vocal tracking. Also really looking forward to a short NorCal run with Brokedown in Bakersfield- just a few left-coast gen-xers playing the best country music ever written… CALIFORNIA country. Again, check the shows page.

I just finished designing a drum set clinic aimed at jr. high and high school players, working title "Drumming for Music," which explores some concepts of how the drum set functions on both a musical and human level. This fall I'll be taking it around to the schools in the Weber and Davis County area near my current home in Ogden, UT for some fine-tuning. I'm also restarting my teaching practice out here so if anyone knows a budding drummer in the Salt Lake / Ogden area who wants to buckle down and learn some crazy drum stuff- send them my way!

Until next time...

ALO's seventh annual Tour D'Amour is well under way and I'm looking forward to every single show between now (Grass Valley, CA) and the end (two nights at the Fillmore in SF!). Please see my shows page for all the dates and other upcoming projects which include…

A reunion with Evil Farmer! My old college band. The band I cut my teeth in and on. It was the early 90s and the scene was UCSB - Isla Vista, a cauldron of spontaneous live music that spawned ALO, Ugly Kid Joe, Toad the Wet Sprocket (sort of), Rebellution and Jack Johnson (sort of), a definite Outliers situation. We were rocking proto-jam style back when all we had to go by was the Dead and the Doors! Phish came through in 1992 (famous Live at the Anaconda tape) but I missed them because I didn't know who they were.

If the Farmer would have stayed together we would be a super group - Ari Gorman on Bass is a busy gigger around the Bay Area and a Beatles scholar. Keyboardist and songwriter Paul Moore is a film and dance composer living is Seattle. Guitarist Dan Zimmerman is a wizard of shred and a total embodiment of the SoCal jazz-rock sound. Think Robben Ford with Joni Mitchell. We made one album called- Nice. We'll be playing our material late night after the Friday ALO Fillmore show at Studio 352 - the famous loft on Clement street. There will be a lot of miles traveled to make this show happen so if you are at all interested in my roots or the influences of ALO you have to be there. This is gonna blow minds.

Another biggie - I have invited an all-star cast of musicians to join me at the Connecticut Yankee in SF on February 24th and, oh-my-god!, most of them said yes. That means the stage is going to be crowded and I bet the room will be, too. These are all my favorite folks that I've been so lucky to make music with over the last four years. Tim and Nicki Bluhm, Greg Loicano (by the way, Evil Farmer used to play with the Hips in '92 down in SB. Weird). Kate Gaffney, Mark Karan, Reed Mathis, Steve Adams, Dan Eisenberg, Chris Haugen, Garrin Bennfield, Sean Leahy, Evil Farmer, Dave Brogan Band with Colin Hoops, Ben Jacobs, and whoever else shows up. 8pm! 8pm Sunday. Come nurse your ALO hangover with some special stuff.

A busy 2012 is finally winding down after an exciting summer festival season. ALO hit up Bonnaroo, Gathering of the Vibes, Floyd Fest (a good one!), Farm Aid (with Neil, Willie, The Coug and Dave- amazing!) and the Life is Good Festival. The Hangtown Ball in Placerville, Ca. shall be the last one of the year. I'm looking forward to a relaxing winter break and another fun-filled, action-packed year in 2013 with ALO, Brokedown in Bakersfield and the Sensations. Much thanks to two badass bookers: Tom Chauncey (Partisan Artists- ALO) and Joshua Knight (Monterrey Peninsula- Brokedown in Bakersfield) for making it all happen.

Speaking of Sensations - that's the solo project of Greg Loiacano from the Mother Hips. The music is set for a progressive pop-folk power trio and I love it. Please take a listen to some Sensations music at www.listentomyshapes.com.

If you are into drums or the pursuit of mastery in any performance field please visit my blog-a-log-a-ding-dong at this here url: davebrogansdrumblog.wordpress.com. I have been a little lax in posting lately, but that's because it's just a blog and I'm really busy BUT- I'm about to go on a blogging-spree real quick here, so check it soon, like tomorrow.

If you've never been to my site before please have a look around. There are some videos and a sample of all the albums I've played on and there are cool pictures, too. I do also Facebook and you can "like" me on there or, "be my friend."

Until next time… adios!

It's the end of May and ALO's run of the East and Midwest is almost complete. We've had a great tour and it was a pleasure to reconnect with all of our East Coast fans- who we don't get to see often enough!

DRUM! Magazine did a feature on me in their May issue complete with interview, a transcription of "Speed of Dreams" (from ALO's new album- more about that in a second) and a diagram of my current set-up. It's pretty cool. I thought the interviewer, Dave Weiss, did a great job.

My band's new album, Sounds Like This, is out! Pick up a copy- preferably CD or LP, or iTunes if you must. We tried to tap into ALO's old party-vibe with a more dance friendly, live sounding approach. So far it's received good reviews from critics and fans alike 'cause it's hella groovy. (…and genius!)

Heading into the summer and fall there are a lot more dates on the horizon with both ALO and Brokedown in Bakersfield, my awesome classic country band, including Bonaroo, All Good Fest, High Sierra Music Fest, Floyd Fest and Gathering of the Vibes. Go to the SHOWS page for complete info.

2012 has started off with a bang- after sending off the final mixes for the new ALO album Dave was out for a couple of weeks with the band on their annual Tour D'Amour of California. They will finish up on February 25th in San Francisco at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium with Nicki Bluhm opening. Also, the show will be mixed in quadraphonic sound! So, if you're in the Bay Area and you geek out on that kind of thing, don't miss it!

It's shaping up to be a very busy year of extensive touring with both ALO and Brokedown in Bakersfield on the calendar. ALO will be an official part of this year's SXSW music festival and has been confirmed for the Wakarusa and Bonaroo festivals as well. Look for Dave and the band at the New Orleans Jazz Fest and on the East Coast this year, too.

Brokedown in Bakersfield, Dave's classic California country band, will again be hitting all points California in April.

Also, Dave is looking forward to being a part of Marin county guitarist Mark Karan's bi-weekly residency at the newly re-opened Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, Ca. The club, once the local haunt of Bay Area veteran artists like Santana, Jerry Garcia, Heuy Lewis and Bonnie Raitt has been given new life by Mark's old boss, Ratdog leader Bob Weir. The residency is designed to mirror the informal, drop-on-in vibe of the old venue and will be a total who's who of players from the area. The first session, with Dave on drums (and lead vocals), will commence on February 22nd and include Pete Sears (Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship), Pete Canton, Steve Adams (ALO), Joe Kyle Jr.(Waybacks) and Hutch Hutcherson (Sheryl Crow) on bass, Mark Karan and Greg Loicano (Mother Hips) on guitars, Mike Finnegan (Taj Mahal, Tracy Chapman) and Danny Eiseberg (Ryan Adams, Mother Hips) on keys and David Phillips on pedal steel.

Click over to the Shows page to see all upcoming dates!

Dave has been hard at work in the studio and on stage. He just finished three weeks of sessions working with ALO on their next, as yet untitled, album for Brushfire Records. The band took up residence at Mission Bells recording in San Francisco. Studio owner and longtime ALO collaborator Dave Simon-Baker was once again behind the console for the new record. Brogan also recently laid down drum tracks at Hyde St. Studios for songwriter Jeff Shattuck. Tracking took place under the direction of engineer Jamie Durr in studio C, where Jerry Garcia's made his first solo album!

Earlier in the month Dave accompanied Brokedown in Bakersfield to the Rooster Stage of the great Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park. Also known as "BiB," Brokedown in Bakersfield has created a buzz with their earnest cover renditions of traditional California country songs. You can learn more about the group here, at their website.

Coming up, Dave will provide the beats on ALO's "Halloweekend Haunt" October 27-31. The band will be premiering some of the material from their new album over a five-night run of various costume themes and special guests. Don't miss what will probably be the band's last shows of 2011!

And finally, Dave is very excited about recently signing on to endorse Vic Firth drum sticks and Aquarian drum heads. Both companies make superior products and it is truly an honor for Dave to be part of their amazing rosters of artists! Big thanks to Joe Testa at Vic Firth and Chris Brady, at Aquarian, for the drum love. And for all of you fans who asked for a signed drumstick or head in the past- ask again. Now you might get one!

We've made some updates to Dave's Drum Blog and will periodically be releasing some cool videos Dave created on his drum cam. Check out Dave Brogan's Drum Blog for his latest entries. Also head over to his Facebook Page for his latest video with Tom Freund playing "Digs" together. We've also added some new streaming music and FREE downloads on his Bandpage here.

Check out Dave Brogan's Drum Blog (his sharing portal for his Drum Set Master Studies Project). The Drum Set Master Studies Project will be a year (or more) long journey into the exploration of master drumming. Dave will be blogging along the way and sharing the lessons, techniques and more that he learns. Dave is also currently involved in developing a very cool new solo project of Eli Jebidiah's of Poor Man's Whiskey called Huckle. He will be playing shows with Huckle throughout July. During the month of August, Dave will be spending plenty of time in the studio focusing on a solo "drumcentric" EP and a forthcoming ALO album to be released in 2012.

If you thought you may seen Dave holding it down with Mickey Hart this past Saturday at Wavy Gravy's 75th Birthday Party at the Craneway, you were right! And Jay Blakesberg was there too and snapped a good one. Thanks Jay!

I'm joining a band of heavy hitters for Wavy Gravy's 75th Birthday Bash this Saturday. Mickey Hart will lead Steve Kimock, Dave Schools, Vir McCoy and me in a set to celebrate Wavy and the timeless music he's been a part of. MC'ed by Wavy Gravy himself and The Clown Conspiracy, the night will also serve as a benefit for Seva's international health programs. The line-up is outstanding, make sure to get tickets and not miss this one for the record books.

Saturday, May 14th, 2011 - 7pm - Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, CA
Featuring - Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Zero, Hot Buttered Rum, The Nashvillains, Ace of Cups
Plus - Barry Sless, Barry Melton, Bobby Vega, Henry Kaiser, Jeff Chimenti, John Molo, Mark Karan, Narada Michael Walden, Nicki Bluhm, Pete Sears, Robin Sylvester & Steve Kimock

It's time once again for ALO's 5th annual Tour D'Amour. We kicked things off at the Fillmore in San Francisco on January 28th to an exuberant crowd of Northern Californians with parents and friends in attendance. I was thrilled to have one of my main music heros, songwriter Sean Hayes, open the show. He also joined us onstage for a version of his song "Alabama Chicken." Sean is a true master and it was an honor to back him on the drums. Nicki Bluhm joined us, as well, for her song "Jetplane." People are buzzing about her right now- for good reason. Her new album, Driftwood, is awesome.

We will be hitting multiple cities in California throughout the month of February. Check out my shows page for more deets. Also, I'll be playing with the all star Beck cover band Newfangled Wasteland on 2/16 at Cafe Du Nord. Check out the Facebook event for more details.

I spent most of January in the studio laying down keyboards and drums for Marin based singer-songwriter Jerry Hannan for his upcoming album. Jerry had a challenging approach to the drum parts: no backbeats! Well, very few backbeats at least. The result- fresh sounding beats way outside of the box. I'm looking forward to hearing the final result and working more on this exciting project.

Nicki Bluhm has just released a great record called Driftwood. I played drums on six of the eleven tracks on the album, which was recorded at Mission Bells studio in San Francisco, the same place I made Thunderbird Sun Transformation. Also on the album are Tim Bluhm, Jackie Greene and Nicki's regular band, which includes my ALO bandmate, Steve Adams, on bass. Driftwood is available through finer online outlets everywhere. Check out Nicki Bluhm and buy her new album here.

For the last few months I have been studying drums with Pete Magadini. Pete has instructed many well known bay area drummers, including Ches Smith from Mr. Bungle and Steve Smith of Journey fame. He is best known for his books on Polyrhythms- playing multiple time signatures simultaneously. It's fun, mind-melting stuff! I can already see how Pete's instruction has improved my playing on many levels. He is currently my Yoda.