Pat McDonald - Drums and Percussion

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Pat McDonald Of The Charlie
Daniels Band
2008-11-08

Greetings to all the MD faithful out there! My name is Pat McDonald, and Iím currently touring the world with The Charlie Daniels Band. Iíve been with CDB for almost ten years now, and aside from touring with the band, Iím keeping busy with session work and local gigging in Nashville.

We started out the touring season this year with the Volunteer Jam Tour featuring special guests .38 Special and Shooter Jennings. Weíve done several of these tours over the years, with a roster of guests including The Marshall Tucker Band, .38 Special (who have all become close friends), Dickey Betts & Great Southern, Molly Hatchet, Hank Williams Jr., Little Feat (a personal favorite of mineóI got to watch Richie Hayward lay it down hard and GREASY every night), Edgar Winter, Mark Farner, The Outlawsóanother outstanding bandóand many others.

A highlight of the past few years has been the giant group jam at the end of the show, where all the bands on the bill come out and play together. There have been times when we had five or six guitarists, two keyboard players, and two drummers all jamming at once. Itís always a big crowd favorite and itís given me a chance to play with a lot of the guys I grew up listening to.

Charlie is one of the greatest people Iíve ever had the pleasure of working with, and Iím proud to call him my friend. We have a great time onstage, and Iím constantly amazed at how humble and REAL he is: What you see is what you get. Heís become close with my family as well, and he always has time to share hugs and catch up on whatís going on with them. Iíve worked for some artists who barely knew my name, much less kept up on what my family was doing. Every year he even takes the time to call the mothers of everyone in the band and crew on Christmas Eve to wish them a merry Christmas. My mom looks forward to his calls every year. We also play a lot of golf in various towns we visit, and Iíve spent many hours with him riding in a golf cart, just shooting the breeze and talking football or food or music or whatever. We have a running bet during college football seasonóIím a diehard Georgia Bulldog fan, heís a Tennessee Volunteers fanóand he owes me a pile of cash this year. Ha! Heís a true patriot and one of the best bosses Iíve ever had. Iím really fortunate to be able to play with him every night.

Iíve been writing ďconceptualĒ articles and posting them on my Web site now and then. You can read them at the link below. Sitting in hotel rooms or riding on the bus for hours leaves a lot of down time to think and write, and I enjoy writing about things that Iíve found to be important for us drummers to think about. If any of you feel like taking a look and letting me know what you think, Iíd be flattered.

Iíve also had the privilege of getting a Grammy nomination in 2003, playing the Super Bowl pre-game show in 2005, recording a pile of new music (over ten CDsí worth), doing a few live DVD projects, performing all over the world in places like Japan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Germany, Kosovo, and Canada, playing music with several of my heroes and getting to know them as friends, and performing onstage several times for audiences of over 100,000 peopleóall with CDB since I got the gig in 1999. Itís been a great ride, and I consider myself very lucky to be able to do what I do. I dreamed of this as a kid, and itís turned out to be a dream-come-true for me. It still freaks me out to walk into a record store and see my picture on the CDs or DVDs, or to stand onstage in front of thousands of fans whoíve come to see us play.

Because of my position in the business, Iíve been able to grab a few endorsement deals, and I canít say enough how much I appreciate the support of the great folks at Gretsch drums/Kaman, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth drumsticks, Evans drumheads/Real Feel practice pads, Pearl drums, Factory Metal percussion, Westone ear monitors, DrumArt custom drumheads, and ButtKicker. Iíve made a lot of close friends at all these companies, and Iím really fortunate to be a part of all of their teams.

Thanks for taking the time to read, and I hope to see you guys on the road this year. Please drop me a note through my Web site, and let me know if weíre coming to your town. Itís always a pleasure to meet fellow drummers and talk shop!

Take care, and groove hard.

Pat

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