A variety of amazing music, gigs and people have helped make the past few years an exciting time for me.
I recorded and toured with Vinx, (formerly a member of Sting’s band, but an amazing artist in his own right) throughout much of 2015. We played venues like the famous NYC jazz club Birdland, Trumpets Jazz Club in NJ, and Bohemian Caverns in DC.
Back in 2013 I got my ‘drum solo fix’ when I was awarded 1st place in Drum Fun, New England’s largest drum competition. It was blast sharing the stage with 31 other drummers.
More recently I have become involved in two exciting projects which have kept me very busy. Bayside is a high energy group based in Boston MA. This special event band play clubs, weddings, and major events, like the United Nations Galla of Greater Boston. Definitely one of Boston’s top bands.
The other band that I have just begun working for is the power rock trio “The Conniption Fits”. This has been a fun gig, where I get to cut loose a bit. The set list ranges all the way from 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s rock, to original material. We just released the single “Misinformed Informant”, producing over 100,000 streams in the first two weeks.
In between gigs with these bands I provide drum lessons in the Portsmouth, NH area, freelance, playing and recording in a vast array of projects. I recently had the opportunity to sit in with a great singer songwriter named Brad Myrick. He just called out tunes like “Across the Universe” and “All Along the Watchtower” and we let it fly. Nothing like spontaneity and improvisation! I also performed with a great country singer named Jimmy Lehoux. I had done some studio work for him in the past so it was a blast sharing the stage with him.
Some of the Musicians Along the Way…
Over the last 25 plus years I have toured, performed and recorded with some amazing musicians including: Vinx (Sting), Don Friedman, Billy Lee (The Platters), Lenny Stallworth, John Lockwood, Alan Rowe, Jay T. Jenkins (D’Angello), Bayside, The Conniption Fits, Mark Damon (The Pretty Reckless), William “Prez” Bush, Bill Barnes, Bill Jones, Steve Canty, Amanda Carr, Don Davis, Joe Delault, Charlie Jennison, Chuck Gabriel, Scott Kiefner, Dan Lofthouse, Dan Miller, Brad Myrick, David Newsam, Fly Spinach Fly, The Freeze Brothers Band, Garth Stevenson, Greg Loughmen, Groovechild, Gus Carlson, Havens Too Murgatroid, Jacques Raymond, Jerry (The Reverend) Paquette, John Daly, John Hunter, John Lorentz, Mike Lewis Band, Ken Fitzgerald, Kristin Mueller Trio, Big Nick, Mark Herbert Big Band, Mark Paquin, Mark Shilanski, Matt Langley, Peter Prince and Moon Boot Lover, Nether, Leo Quintero, Dan Shure, Nate Wilson, The New Hampshire Jazz Orchestra, Noah Jarrett, Phil Sargent, Ryan Parker, The Seacoast Big Band, Shagg, Steve Burke, Tom Martin, Tony Gallo, Tim Theriault, Vitamin C., Andre Vasconcelos, Andy Voelker, and Rod Welles.
More Musical Experiences
Throughout the 1990’s (while in college) and into the early 2000’s I performed extensively in what was considered the “Jam Band” scene. It was a sort of East Coast music movement led by bands like Phish and other ‘experimental’ groups. I was fortunate to be playing for sold out crowds at music festivals and packed houses in some amazing clubs. Many of these clubs like NYC’s Lion’s Den have closed, but some, The Middle East “Downstairs” is still open and going strong. This was a great time for live original music.
As the millennia came I continued working on my craft, but I also began to focus more on studying jazz and blues. Although I had a degree in music performance, and had already played with many big bands and jazz combo’s, I had seemed to miss out on a vital part of music, the Blues. Practicing Blues is one thing, gigging and living it is another. It was around this time I ended up in Memphis TN playing in the “International Blues Challenge”.
I wouldn’t say the venues on Bourbon Street, LA are as authentic as they may have once been, (I have definitely played in a lot of Blues Bars that were more like what you see on TV, or read about. The kind where you make sure you know where the exits are, and which piece of gear you’re gonna grab first if it comes down to having to run). But Memphis was great. Loads of talent and lots of fun!
While the venues became smaller and more intimate, the level of musicianship around me rose and pushed me to a higher level. Although these forms of music offer freedom for spontaneity and improvisation I have always been content to just lay down a groove. Recently I received a compliment from the great bassist Lenny Stallworth. He said, “you got a great pocket”. I will never forget that because to me that is the most important part of being a drummer.
A Few Last Words
It seems a bit pointless to try and say how I sound as a musician. The old cliche’ “the proof is in the pudding” are words well served. But I challenge every musician out there to say they haven’t discussed with their cohorts the ‘voice’ of a musician they heard, the vibe of an album, or the emotion brought on by a song. Musicians are constantly using terms of color, texture, feel and emotion to describe the amazing aspects of the auditory world.
With that said, how would I describe myself as a musician? A great listener, open minded, driven, easy to work with, emotional, powerful but sensitive, aspiring and inspiring. The demands of a drummer in particular such as providing groove, pocket, and time, and the notion of playing with depth and dynamics while supporting the tune have always been in the forefront of my mind.
I am comfortable in saying I have “chops”, and that I can play fast, that I can play with technical complexity and that I can read at a high level. I am constantly working on these facets and believe they are of great importance. But the underlying reason I practice these skills is so I do not need to ‘think’ so much when I’m playing music. The last thing I want while performing is to be trying to figure out how or what to play.
You can find some examples of me performing, along with some instructional videos at youtube.com/scottkinnison. My Events Calendar will let you know when and where I will be playing next.
LOOKING FOR A DRUM TEACHER IN PORTSMOUTH, NH?
If you are you looking for an experienced, friendly, and professional drum teacher, or need a drummer for an upcoming live performance or studio work please contact me.
Drum Center of Portsmouth
144 Lafayette Rd, North Hampton, NH 03862