059 – John Root: Understanding Styles, Diversifying Your Workload, Playing Lower Broadway Gigs in Nashville,
John defines what it means to be a working drummer in Nashville Tennessee. Since his move to Nashville in 1993 from Connecticut, John has covered it all from international touring to studio work to maintaining a steady stream of work in Nashville’s lower broadway district.
John’s early influences include Neil Smith, Nigel Ollsen, Jim Keltner, Hal Blaine, Billy Cobham, Bill Bruford and all the Motown drummers.
Shortly after high school, John worked with a ten-piece band that played international dance music that covered every imaginable style and shared a bill with “Sun Ra and his Omniverse Arkestra”.
Within the first week of moving to Nashville in 1993, John got the gig as the Grand Ole Gospel Time staff drummer, which continued for three years of weekly Friday night live radio gigs at the Grand Ole Opry House. In the proceeding years, John’s experienced a range of international touring with artists that include Becky Hobbs, The Forrester Sisters, Rhonda Vincent and Hank Williams III, Highway 101, and Tammy Cochran. These tours at times coincided with national gigs with the Dukes of Hazard Reunion Tour, backing up Tom Wopat and John Schneider.
John’s studio work has covered many styles including Christian, Country, Gospel, Bluegrass, Rock and Peruvian Pan Flute.
Many of John’s live gigs are on “Lower Broadway” (the heart and soul of Nashville’s live music scene), which bring in an estimated 100,000 patrons monthly.
John pulls from his years of experience in creating full time work for himself as well as defining success on his own terms.
In this podcast, John talks about:
Diversifying your work load
Having a “conversation” in the studio
Playing on lower Broadway in Nashville
Getting paid as a tech in maintaining kits in 8 different clubs
Overcoming classic pitfalls
Getting used to house kits in the studio
Keeping your commitments – “sub-etiquette”
Meeting Steve Gadd in a Mapco
John endorses Sonor drums, Paiste cymbals, Regal Tip sticks and Montineri drums