When we asked Drive-By Truckers drummer Brad Morgan to come up with a list of tracks that he’s been digging on with notable drum work, well, it was shocking to even get a response from the epically bearded Luddite. Morgan, one of those pure feel players, goes from spare and subtle to full-on bashing when you least expect it on rootsy new slab, English Oceans, an album that sees the ornery Athens, Georgia–based band digging even deeper into the mythos of the American South than they usually do. Morgan seems to find inspiration in the most unlikely of drum heroes, but then again this is no ordinary drummer.
The Man Roger Hawkins
The Jam “The House That Jack Built” by Aretha Franklin
Drum Moment “This is one of my all time favorite drum tracks. Roger’s backbeat and sense of feel drives this song so hard. I spend a lot of time working for that kind of groove. Love the hi-hat work on this one too.”
The Man Keith Moon
The Jam “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who
Drum Moment “From start to finish, the drums never stop. It’s over seven minutes of drums falling down stairs, yet still in perfect time. Many drummers can imitate Bonham but no one can play like Moon.”
The Man Jeff Porcaro
The Jam “Africa” by Toto
Drum Moment “The groove on this song really gives you the sense of motion. The tom fills were made for air drumming on road trips. I hope my bandmates don’t find out I’m listening to this song in the car.”
The Man Jody Stephens
The Jam “Kangaroo” by Big Star
Drum Moment “This drum track is genius. The song feels as though it’s falling apart at any moment. It is a lot of fun trying to figure out the cowbell part. I can honestly say this song is the sole reason I even bought — or ever play — the cowbell at all.”
The Man Nicko McBrain
The Jam “Where Eagles Dare” by Iron Maiden
Drum Moment “This is one of my favorite Iron Maiden songs. Nicko’s single bass pedal work and the triplet tom fills give it a lot of balls and carries the galloping feel throughout the song. It’s been a childhood dream of mine to own his exact setup and play Iron Maiden songs all day long.”


Band photo by Danny Clinch