With over a 150 episodes and counting, Working Drummer Podcast is the source for those interested in what it’s like to be a professional drummer. Each weekly interview showcases a performer with a sometimes less recognizable name but always impressive body of work. This unique approach has garnered a niche audience hungry for unfiltered stories about what it takes to make a living as a musician today.
Working Drummer hears from a diverse range of musicians who represent many different genres and scenes. The podcast has also featured some drumming heroes and mentors such as Peter Erskine, Eddie Bayers, Gregg Morrow, Steve Smith, Rich Redmond, Jason Sutter and Chad Cromwell.
The hosts of Working Drummer, Matthew Crouse and Zack Albetta, are full-time musicians with the experience and insight to ask the often-overlooked questions. Providing technical and production assistance, Mike Jackson helps to maintain the high quality that listeners have come to expect from Working Drummer.
You can stream all the episodes at www.workingdrummer.net or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
Real talk for drummers…. by Mark Domme – May 21, 2016
“This podcast gives an inside look at the who’s, how’s, and why’s of the best studio/touring drummers out there today…..I enjoy hearing the behind the scenes stories and advice from the top guys.”
A functional and practical resource……..by WWS II – March 31, 2017
“This podcast is awesome! Matt and Zack have a great grasp of what’s happening in the modern world of music. They are interviewing a nice variety of musicians who are in the trenches doing the work, playing, touring, teaching, and making music today, which gives a unique and approachable perspective.”
Born and raised in Columbus Ohio, Matt caught the music bug early. When he was seven, he had a friend whose father was in the entertainment business. Hanging out at rehearsals and on tour buses sold Matt on the idea of being a musician, or at the very least, a drummer. All this lead to spending his high school years at Fort Hayes vocational school for music and Capital University Conservatory of Music for college, studying under drum instructor Bob Breithaupt.
The musical diversity in Columbus gave Matt the chance to play with many great musicians and learning many different styles – from Big Band and Brazilian to Afro-Cuban and Fusion. All the while, he was doing his share of gigs with original rock bands and top 40 bands. Matt moved to Nashville in the summer of 1999 and since then, working as a freelance drummer has taken him to all 50 states in the U.S. and most of Canada, as well as overseas to Europe, Asia, The Middle East and The Caribbean.
Matt has performed in Nashville’s biggest and most venerated music venues like Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, Legends Corner and the Stage on Lower Broadway. He’s also worked in the beloved smaller clubs like The Family Wash, The 5 Spot, The Sutler and The Basement. Matt has toured both regionally and nationally with Adam and Shannon Wright, Mark Selby, Eddy Raven, Billy Dean, Stephen Simmons, Michelle Wright, and Warner Brothers artist Jason Jones. From 2009 to 2017 Matt was the full time drummer for the band Savannah Jack. He played percussion on their first studio record in 2010 opposite Steve Ferrone on drums. Matt played drums and percussion for the band’s second studio record in 2015. He has also worked with some great folks like SheDaisy, Jo Dee Messina, Carolina Rain and Danielle Peck. In the studio, Matt has had the pleasure of working with talented producers including Eric Fritsch, Teddy Morgan, Jim Reilley and Brent Maher, recording with numerous artists including Sheryl Crow, Buzz Cason, and actor Kevin Costner.
In 2018, Matt continues to stay busy in Nashville performing live and in the studio with people like Sony artist Robert Counts, Michelle Wright, Julie Roberts, Reagan Boggs, Tony Haan and Robin Dean Salmon.
Zack grew up in Sante Fe, NM, where he began drum lessons at age 8. Music was the focus of his high school years and he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance from Ball State University in Indiana. College provided him a host of performance opportunities, from orchestra to jazz band to percussion ensemble to original bands outside of school.
In 2003, Zack entered graduate school at The University of Missouri-Kansas City. His primary mentor was alto sax legend and Grammy nominee Bobby Watson, who stressed the importance of the audience’s experience. “When people come to hear live music,” Bobby said, “part of what they come for is ‘the hug’… They want to feel welcomed and included in what you’re doing. Anybody can play something nobody understands.” This has inspired Zack’s approach to music ever since. Zack also studied drumset with Doug Auwarter, a master drummer, author, and musicologist. In four years at UMKC, Zack earned Master’s degrees in Percussion Performance and Jazz & Studio Performance.
By the time he graduated in 2007, he was already in high demand on Kansas City’s rich and vibrant music scene. He spent the next three years playing with many of the area’s top artists and organizations including Bobby Watson, Mark Lowrey, The Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and the 18th & Vine Big Band, with whom he backed up three legendary vocalists – Mary Stallings, Ernie Andrews and five-time Grammy nominee Karrin Allyson.
In search of new performance opportunities and a bigger musical market, Zack set his sights on Los Angeles in 2010. Soon after arriving, he won an open audition to become a member of Disneyland’s Five & Dime Band. The Disney gig reminded him about the entertainment aspect of music, “the hug” that Bobby talked about. Music can be a serious expressive art form, but sometimes it’s just about the band putting on a good show and the audience having fun.
In 2014 Zack joined The Jennifer Keith Sextet, a retro-swing band led by Royal Crown Revue founder Mando Dorame. During Zack’s tenure, the group headlined at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, The Catalina JazzTrax Festival, and LA’s marquis venues including Cicada Club and The Edison. During five years in LA, Zack amassed a deep and varied list of performance credits including Grammy and Oscar winner Johnny Mandel, Grammy nominees Kim Richmond and Pete Christlieb, Jacques Lesure, Ty Bailie, Nick Mancini, Center Theatre Group, Musical Theatre West and 3D Theatricals.
Zack relocated to Atlanta in 2016. Within his first year there, he became a go-to for some of the best talent in the Southeast including Delta Moon, The Atlanta Funk Society, The Equinox Orchestra, Ansley Stewart, and Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics.
When Mike was a kid, his brother brought home a snare drum from school, a blue-silver swirl Ludwig with battered metal hoops. Mike was fascinated with it and before long, his brother had lost interest and relinquished it. Playing it instantly formed a connection to the music Mike was surrounded by. In a family of music lovers, many hours were spent listening to the hi-fi with records strewn out on the floor in front of the old console stereo. Roger Miller, Harry Nielsson, the Beatles, Johnny Mathis…
Mike loved the Beatles’ greatest hits records, but didn’t understand that they were compilations. He thought that every song was from the same time period. They all sounded so different from each other – voices, guitar sounds, drum sounds, each track was totally unique due to the production. Because of that experience, Mike fell in love with both the performance and production of music.
Now with over 20 years of experience as a composer, musician and producer, Mike has an even deeper emotional connection and ability to communicate with the language of music. Mike has composed, produced and engineered for a diverse range of projects and clients – advertising for Toyota, Victoria’s Secret, Proctor and Gamble and many other fortune 500 companies, album work for indie labels, episodic television work for footnote, art installations including the critically acclaimed “Light Tunnel” at the Detroit International Airport, and web television and documentaries, for which he was nominated by IAWTV for “Best Music” in the Drama category. Most recently, a track by artist Fred Haring produced by Mike was used in the “Old Fashioned” movie soundtrack.