It took long enough!!!

After a few years of playing in this band, I finally played a gig where people actually understood what the hell we were laying on them.

The Street Beat Brass Band played a surprise 50th birthday party in Montclair, NJ last night. We started at one home, went out in the snow and had a mini second line parade through the streets of Montclair over towards the people who thought they were having a quiet dinner party.

To their surprise, we brought some good old New Orleans brass band music to warm up the hood and their hearts. The birthday folk have roots in NOLA and several party attendees did too. We partied for a good hour and a half.
They danced and danced.

We ate gumbo, jambalaya and they had boiled a big ass pot of crawfish. I couldn’t…I just couldn’t make myself eat one of them. I don’t think I’m ready.
I just got back from Africa and tried ostrich. Give me a few more months before I allow my taste buds to be shocked once again.

Back to the party…. Most of the gigs we play are in the city and from what I’ve seen, people in the north just don’t get NOLA music. The music is so damn infectious! How can you NOT dance to it? Well, folks up here must be thinking about their 401K, stock portfolio or something. Their dancing gene just doesn’t connect with NOLA. It’s all good. I get my fix when I go to New Orleans or play with this incredible group of musicians. We had a ball last night. I’m glad we made them so happy.

The Rewards Of Being A Musician

Being creative is one of the most rewarding parts about being a musician. There are others, like getting paid to travel to different cities and countries.
I love what I do for a living, although being a professional musician definitely ain’t easy. There can be a lot more downs than ups.

I feel that when the creative juices are flowing, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. The next best thing is watching people react to the music I’ve created with other musicians.

Why I ever chose to be a banker, insurance salesman or get a degree in business in the past still baffles me. I was born a musician and will always be one. I might not play drums for a living forever (I have new passions I’m pursuing), but it is a major part of who I am.

I love music!

Diana’s Drums

These are some beautiful shells. I played them recentky at a reading for a new musical called “Diana.”

We spent a week creating parts for the show. It was intense at times but a lot of fun because I got to work with David Bryan again.  He not only wrote the music for the musical Memphis that I was in from 2009-2012, but he is also the keyboardist for Bon Jovi

He’s great to work for. I know what he is looking for when it comes to certain drum grooves. He appreciated the fact that when he references songs like “Rag Doll” by Aerosmith or “Paradise By The Dashboard Lights,” I totally understand what he wants and where he is going. If he talked about playing a song that has the feel of a song in Les Miserables, I’d be lost. Rock songs? Yeah, I’m all over it.

He also knows how to write catchy tunes. I was singing them all week long. It was a great show. I hope it eventually comes to broadway. We’ll see.

These drums? A breeze to play. I haven’t really looked into Tama, but I think I’ll have to check more of their products out.

The team behind the Tony-winning Best Musical Memphis has reunited. Nearly ten years after their first collaboration bowed at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre, book writer Joe DiPietro, composer-lyricist David Bryan, and director Christopher Ashley will premiere an early version of their new musical Diana this summer as part of the Reading Festival at Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater.

Tucked away in upstate New York—and closed to critics—the trio will test the waters with the developmental reading. The story starts with a bit of Diana’s childhood before focusing on her 1981 marriage to Charles, Prince of Wales, and their subsequent separation. “Diana was 19 when she got married. Imagine yourself: 19 years old, most famous person in the world,” DiPietro tells Playbill. “She had this princess fantasy and when her fantasy came true, she realized fantasies don’t always play out the way you want.”

The majority of the show centers around Diana in her 20s, and DiPietro and Bryan emphasize they’re on the hunt for a new, young powerhouse actor. “Diana is a big role,” says DiPietro, “and there’s a lot of talented young people out there. We’ll find someone.”

http://www.playbill.com/article/what-we-know-about-the-broadway-bound-diana-musical

Diana – A New Musical

I just started a workshop of a new musical in the works called “Diana.” It had much of the same crew as “Memphis,” the show I was a part of back in 2009.
If these people are behind it, I’m sure it’s good!

“According to Broadway.com, the world premiere of Diana — an original musical set in 1981, as Diana prepared to marry Prince Charles — will take place during the 2018-2019 season of California’s La Jolla Playhouse. The musical will also explore the aftermath of that marriage, from her husband’s highly publicized affair with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to her relationship with the press.”

“While there’s been no word so far on who will take on the titular role, Diana’s story is in good hands. Diana is being brought to life by the Tony-award winning pair behind the 2009 Broadway musical Memphis, Joe DiPietro and David Bryan. Bryan is also the keyboard player for Bon Jovi.”

“Fittingly, the musical’s original score will feature both classical melodies and pop and rock songs reminiscent of the 1980s.”

Read more here: http://people.com/royals/princess-diana-muiscal-wedding-prince-charles/  

 

Creativity

It has been a long time since I’ve been in a setting where I can be fully creative. I reunited with a few longtime colleagues and began working on music for a new project. It is great tapping into the part of my brain where I can create music and have full input.

When I am a part of a new musical, I can get somewhat creative with the drum parts that I’ll be playing. I can only get so free with what I play because there are limits. I can’t play anything I want because I have to fit  into a complicated puzzle. I have to not only interact with the musicians, but I have to think about the dancers, the actors, and how it will work within the context of the show.

Creating drum parts for new shows is still a thrill, especially when it is a show that I will be playing for a long time. When I am in a workshop it can be fun too. I am not sure who will be playing the parts I help create in the future when it is a full production. Some of the time I play what is written in the score, but more often than not, I’m inventing new parts that become part of the show.

When I got the call to get back together and develop new material again, it was exciting because I need to tap into my creative side. If I’m not engaging that part of my brain, it tends to atrophy. It’s like a muscle that needs to be used on a regular basis. It is just part of who I am.

As we began interacting with one another in the room, it reminded me of the kinds of rehearsals I did on an almost daily basis when I came to New York City in 1993. Back then, it was all about new music and new ideas. It was a much younger me trying to find the newest thing to present to my friends and possible new fans. I have a lot of these sessions on cassette and from time to time revisit those days by listening back. There are times when I am pleasantly impressed with what I did and others where I ask myself, “what was I thinking?”

Being part of the community of creative people keeps me in a positive frame of mind. When you step back and think about it, everything around us was invented by someone. Someone had the idea to crate the smart phone, the tablet or the computer people are reading this on. Someone imaginative designed the layout of this site. Innovators wrote and performed the music you heard on the radio or in the supermarket. Artful people designed the table we ate from last night and designed the glass we drank from. Visionaries thought of the style of light that is lighting our home that was designed by a creative architect. Creativity is all around you.

Let the creatives loose and the world can be a better place. Or at least a more interesting one. Let’s see if the new music I am creating will inspire more inventiveness.

 

Clayton Craddock is a stay-at-home father of two children in New York City. He has a B.B.A from Howard University’s School of Business and is also a 18 year veteran of the fast paced New York City music scene. He has played drums with music legends such as Chuck Berry and The Stylistics and has played in a number of hit Broadway musicals including “tick…tick…BOOM, Memphis the Musical and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Audra McDonald. He has also worked on her a number of musicals; Footloose, Motown, The Color Purple, Bare, The First Wives Club, The Last Goodbye, Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, Evita, Cats, Spongebob Squarepants, and Avenue Q. Clayton is currently the drummer in a new Broadway bound musical titled Ain’t Too Proud.

Clayton has written for A Voice For Men, The Good Men Project and is writing a memoir about fatherhood.

Departures: The Songs of Gualtieri & Sisco

I’m working with some truly talented people tomorrow (Wednesday Jan 10th at 9:30PM) at Feinstein’s 54 Below. Come down and see us if you can!

Departures: The Songs of Gualtieri & Sisco

Award-winning collaborative team Tom Gualtieri (lyrics) and David Sisco (music) return to Feinstein’s/54 Below with a brand new collection of songs that celebrate and skewer contemporary life and relationships. After years of collaborating on full-scale musicals (including Falling to Earth, I’m Afraid You’re Afraid, and a forthcoming project with book writer Michael Zam), Gualtieri & Sisco explore the intersection between compelling storytelling and exciting musical forms to create a dynamic cycle of songs. A bevy of Broadway talents bring to life their unique meld of musical theatre with pop/rock and folk influences.

Directed by Laura Josepher

Featuring:

Ta’Rea Campbell
Alexandra Foucard
Amy Justman
Kevin Massey
Dennis Stowe

More info HERE: https://54below.com/events/songs-tom-gualtieri-david-sisco/

 

A New Year- New Goals

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my site.  I plan to write one piece every day for the entire year. I have so many things I would like to say and share. I hope to be engaging as well as thought provoking.

If you have been following me on twitter (@claytoncraddock), Instagram (claytoncraddock) or on my blog over the past 7 years (www.socraddockmethod.com), you should know that I have plenty of things to write about.

Readers of my site may or may not agree with me, but I want to make an attemtp to get people talking. I want a conversation and constructive dialogue.

I’d like to have readers find common ground and see things from another person’s point of view. I don’t feel that anyone should change their minds or abandon whatever values they may have, but I would like to shed some light on new ways of thinking about current events and different ideologies.

I’ll be letting everyone know about the venues were I am performing and any cool gigs I may have, but I plan to share other things that I find interesting.

My intention with my posts are also a workshop for my writing. The best way to get better at something is to just do it, so my daily writing will be a way to work on a new craft. I’ve been interested in writing for a long time and I want to find a way to do it on a regular basis. I’m more than halfway completed with a memoir I have been writing for years. One of my many goals for myself in  2018 include completeing it by the end of the year.

I have no idea what this year will bring. I’m sure there will be plenty of ups and downs, just like any other year. I’m trying to stay positive and look at the bright side of things. There usually is a silver lining in most situations.

Stay tuned for some thought provoking posts in the near future. I like to stir the pot. Feel free to leave a comment or two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 – Looking Forward

I’m excited to begin this year for a few reasons. I’m going to be traveling to South Africa. I was asked to play drums for the Swarthmore College Alumni Gospel Choir. We have a South Africa Performance Tour in collaboration with First United Methodist Church of Germantown. We are  traveling to Johannesburg, Soweto, Bedfordview, Pilanesberg National Park, Langa Township, Table Mountain, Robben Island, Cape Point, and Cape Town. I’ve never been to any country in Africa and cant wait to see this one. I hear it’s beautiful. 

In March, I am performing with young performers from the Weill Music Institute’s program. I will share the stage with some talented young musicians in an event titled “A Time Like This: Music For Change” at Carnegie Hall on March 11th at 3PM. Kenny Seymour is the musical director and I am really looking forward to performing here.

In June and July I will be continuing what was started in California last fall. I will be traveling to Washington D.C. to be a part of the pre-Broadway run of the amazing musical “Ain’t Too Proud –  The Life And Times of The Temptations.” We will be in the Eisenhower Theater from Tuesday June 19th until Sunday July 22nd.  The show enjoyed its critically acclaimed, record-breaking world premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it became the highest-grossing production in the venue’s nearly 50-year history.

I had my first show subbing at Spongebob Squarepants last week and will be back subbing for an AMAZING drummer (Damien Bassman) from time to time there. It’s such a fun show to play and even more fun to watch from the audience. I saw it with my girlfriend and highly recommend it.

 

Clayton Craddock is a stay-at-home father of two children in New York City. He has a B.B.A from Howard University’s School of Business and is also a 18 year veteran of the fast paced New York City music scene. He has played drums with music legends such as Chuck Berry and The Stylistics and has played in a number of hit Broadway musicals including “tick…tick…BOOM, Memphis the Musical and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Audra McDonald. He has also worked on her a number of musicals; Footloose, Motown, The Color Purple, Bare, The First Wives Club, The Last Goodbye, Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, Evita, Cats, Spongebob Squarepants, and Avenue Q. Clayton is currently the drummer in a new Broadway bound musical titled Ain’t Too Proud.

Clayton has written for A Voice For Men, The Good Men Project and is writing a memoir about fatherhood.