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Drummer Spotlight: Fred Below


    This week’s blog is a spotlight on Fred Below, a drummer who was integral to the art of blues drumming. He was one of the genre’s pioneers, working as a session drummer for the infamous Chicago based label Chess records as well as holding it down in concert with some of the most influential artists of the time. The man is also known for laying a solid rock foundation for the Chuck Berry classic “Johnny B. Goode”. After I discovered his tasteful playing in the above mentions, I dug deeper and found out he actually started performing as a jazz drummer in the 1940’s. A well rounded player no doubt and his contribution to drumming is immeasurable.   

     I revisited Fred’s playing this past week as influence for a blues session I have scheduled for this coming weekend. The tracks to be recorded mix elements of the blues, jazz, and rock. He is one of my favorite early players who composed grooves for these genres. Fred appears from time to time in drum publications as well as some mentions in books and DVD’s. I’ve included two clips below I especially like. I’m sure all you blues fans will enjoy. For all you drummer’s, please take some time and research more on the great Fred Below.


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