The Rhythm Best of drums 2014 polls have received over 34,000 votes, and we're now ready to roll out the winners. The nominees were what we considered to be the drummers and gear that have excelled in 2014. Here, we present the best New Drummer of 2014. First up we have Richard Spaven.
2014 highlight: A unique talent with versatility to spare, Richard tackles everything from jazz to hip-hop, and his metronomic groove and soulful style is spellbinding. He’s played with Jose James and Flying Lotus, but in 2014 he also released a soulful, trip-hoppy, jazzy solo album, Whole Other, which Rhythm described as an “eclectic mix that showcases a bright, British talent who can blend polyrhythmic beats with deep pocket groove”.
2014 highlight:Atlanta Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke have turned our heads this year with their album, The Whippoorwill, a blend of Black Crowes, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the hard, straightahead rock of AC/DC. Brit Turner is the man keeping it grooving from the back with considerable flair.
2014 highlight: After collaborating with the likes of Meshell Ndegeocello, Wayne Krantz and Gretschen Parlato, drummer/composer Guiliana released his solo debut, My Life Starts Now, in 2014. His drumming is informed by the hard bop of Art and Elvin but he also delves deeply into the electronic end of modern jazz, and provides rhythmic complexity via busy jazz rock and d’n’b.
2014 highlight: Michigan metallers King 810 are driven with the kind of furious and powerful metal drumming that made Joey Jordison’s name with Slipknot, and the man responsible for backing King 810’s sinister grooves and angry riffs is Andrew Workman. The band’s debut album, Memoirs Of A Murderer, released this year, is an absolute cracker.
2014 highlight: Born and raised in St Louis, Missouri, Andre Boyd has held the drum seat in Cirque Du Soleil’s touring production Quidam for four years. It’s a gig that requires a huge range of stylistic applications which, Andre told Rhythm earlier this year, he’s achieved through church drumming – and we’re sure he’s bound for even greater things yet.
2014 highlight:Blending r’n’b and rock, Boston Massachusetts’BadRabbits have been making waves since the release of their debut album American Love in 2013. This year has witnessed the band, with drummer Sheel Davé, touring that album and showcasing Sheel’s tasty playing and deep pocket groove – live shows that have inspired mosh pits and stage diving, despite them being an r’n’b act!
2014 highlight: Anika Niles first caught our attention on YouTube, where her self-penned song 'Alter Ego' showcased not only her songwriting ability but her talents behind the kit – a sweet groove, a way with complex rhythms and the influence of her hero, Toto’s Jeff Porcaro. The track is peppered with tasty playing, and the YouTube video of the song is close to a million views and counting.
2014 highlight: West Yorkshire’s finest indie rock outfit, Marmozets, unleashed their awesome debut album this year, and brought to our attention the genre-defying playing of drummer Josh, who brings metal power, jazz chops and pop sensibilities to the band’s music, not to mention some mind-bending time signature changes. Live, they’re also one of the most exciting bands you’re likely to see and they were a definite highlight of both Download and Glastonbury festivals in 2014.
2014 highlight: Their debut album flew off the shelves this year, and amazing 2014 festival performances have won Royal Blood a huge following. They make a fearsome sound for a duo of bass and drums – playing the kit with skill and ferocity is Ben Thatcher, whose ability to fill the space with tasty licks and powerful hits is a key ingredient in the band’s success.
2014 highlight: Prince’s latest drum protogee Hannah Ford has really made her mark this year with the Purple One’s all-female 3rd Eye Girl band, displaying deep pocket grooves with a deft rock touch too. Considering the ton of new talent we’ve witnessed in 2014, topping this poll is no mean feat.
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