Here in the U.S., it seems that every time you turn around, there is another "reality" television show. Sometimes it really seems like a never-ending parade of clowns. Now, my wife and I don't watch much tv, but when we do, we like for it to have some value. Aside from endless re-runs of MASH, I'd like to learn something from any tv that I watch...maybe a herd of water buffalo getting picked off one by one by a ravenous pride of lions on the Discovery Channel...or maybe the history of the eighteen wheeler on the History Channel...or maybe the Motley Crue "Behind the Music" on VH1 (...how many times to I have to hear the same old tiring Nikki Sixx overdose story?!?!?!...).
Anyway, the bottom line is that there really is a lot of crap on tv. So it's always nice when a reality tv show that requires talent hits the air. Right here in Meinl USA's hometown, Nashville, Tennessee, there is a show being filmed by the name of Nashville Star. It has the same premise as the American Idol tv show, only it's got the Nashville / Country Music slant. The cool part is that there is actually some real talent going on. But even if the contestants were all lame, which not all of them are, there is still some real talent in the backing band that has been hired to provide the music for the starry-eyed hopefuls that are belting it out on-stage for those watching to either cheer on or jeer off.
The backing band consists of some extremely talented Nashville musicians, who when they're not working on the tv show, are backing up some of the biggest names in the country music biz, among other things.
I went to a rehearsal for Nashville Star recently to catch up with Meinl cymbal artist Carlo Marino, who is the drummer in the backing band. Carlo was deftly alternating click track tempos and musical charts for each song, all the while having a lot of fun playing music with his fellow hired guns. Given the fact that the show is being aired on a major network like NBC as well as on the cable network CMT (that's Country Music Television....), I would have thought that security would have been a little tight, since even the rehearsals are being filmed. But I learned a long time ago that if you act like what you're doing is all you ever knew how to do and act like wherever you are, that's where you're supposed to be, then no one will ever hassle you. So that's what I did and no one even knew I was there. I said hello to a couple of Carlo's band mates who I have met previously and sat behind him taking pics and filming him playing. I'll have some footage posted on the Meinl Cymbals website soon, but in the meantime, check out a few pics I took.
Carlo really made it look all too easy. I guess that, among other things, is why he's on the gig. He's a good drummer and a good guy. Anyway, if you're here in the States, tune into an episode or two of Nashville Star for some fine musicianship. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.