Give the drummer some! Two hours of songs with great drums

I was steering wheel drumming (my favorite pastime) when I realized we had not yet used a #ThematicStatic set to celebrate the heartbeat of the band, the president of rhythm nation, the mighty drummer. So we remedied that with two consecutive weeks of requests — including those particularly inspiring to a few working drummers* who introduced their favorites via voice memo. Listen (👇🏼) to the January 19 and January 26 shows for blistering and funky fills.

*Hear from Philip Walker of Jive Talk, Teresa Esguerra of Built to Spill and Prism Bitch, Jerry Pentecost of Old Crow Medicine Show and Shelby Keeler from Pom Pom Squad! Want YOUR voice on a future #ThematicStatic broadcast? Make your request at You’ll also have the chance via @WNXPNashville on Twitter or Instagram. Next week’s theme is songs with numbers in the titles.

#ThematicStatic Playlist – 1/19/23

Queens of the Stone Age –No One Knows” – This was a request by Max and the drummer on this release happened to be Dave Grohl. You know, the drummer for Nirvana. The guy who can be a drummer or a front man (Foo Fighters) and nail it all. If you stick through the whole hour, you’ll get more of Grohl wielding the sticks.

SAULT “Strong” – Christina, great request! The mysterious R&B/soul collective known as SAULT included this one on their 2020 Untiled (Rise) record.

Fleet Foxes – “Cradling Mother, Cradling Woman” – Nashville-based drummer Phil Walker of Jive Talk dropped knowledge on us about Grizzly Bear’s drummer Christopher Bear tracking on FF’s 2020 release Shore. Hear the technical description of Phil’s admiration for this one:

Irma Thomas – “I Need Your Love So Bad – I must share what Stephen Trageser of The Nashville Scene said about this request, verbatim:

Doesn’t have a complicated drum part
but the way the drums and bass
are locked in, they sound like one instrument!

Goose on Irma Thomas

Toto – “Rosanna” – I had truly forgotten how hard this track goes. After listener and friend Jason Paradise (who plays lead guitar for local band Dirt Reynolds, by the way) requested this one for its Purdie Shuffle, I went down the rabbit hole of “Rosanna” folklore. And, gang, it’s a beautiful place.

Indigo Girls – “Fill It Up Again” – What a lovely surprise that this was the pick of certified rock drummer Teresa Esguerra, currently gigging with her band Prism Bitch and also the legendary Doug Marsch-fronted Built to Spill. Love what Teresa says about the Indigo Girls’ range in drummers. She added, via text, that celebrated studio drummer Matt Chamberlain had worked with the Indigos. “Every drummer loves Matt Chamberlain. I think you lose your drum licensure if you don’t.”

Adele – “Rumor Has It” – Laura on Instagram said this song made her want to learn how to play drums. I checked and it’s Jerrod “Skins” Bettis, fittingly enough, smackin’ the skins.

James Brown – “Funky Drummer” – Kevin mentioned that this is the most sampled drum in hip-hop. Can you listen for other tunes when you hear it originally done here?

The Beach Boys – “Here She Comes” – Jerry Pentecost — a decorated Nashville drummer currently percussive as all hell for Old Crow Medicine Show — pulled up a proverbial chair to tell us a story about falling in love with the drums on this tune from a post-Pet Sounds era BBs:

Cat Power – “He War” – Another Dave Grohl Special, this one lending support to Chan Marshall and requested by Drew.

#ThematicStatic Playlist – 1/26/23

Grizzly Bear – “Two Weeks” – Dave requested this (my words) perfect pop song, again with Christopher Bear on drums (see above for Philip Walker’s pick on the 1/19 show, Fleet Foxes ft. Bear).

The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army” – All hail Jack’s “little sister” Meg on the kit. No, you’re not a major sporting event, though it’s hard to go without this one if/when you DO attend ballgames. ICYMI, January 31 is the last day to join Third Man Records’ The Vault and get your hands on an Elephant 20th Anniversary set.

Green Day – “She” – Terra called in and left a voice memo to request this one, along with other great drum songs like Foo Fighters’ “My Hero” and Phil Collins’ OG gated-reverb drum hit (compressed to oblivion) “In The Air Tonight.”

Mother’s Finest – “Baby Love” – Heath Ledbetter is a local drummer who recommended this throwback ’70s jam from the Atlanta funk-rock band.

Daft Punk – “Contact” – Ooooooh, ahhhhh, take me to space! Rex requested this closing track from Daft Punk’s fantastic 2013 record Random Access Memories (no way that’s 10 years ago).

Lyn Collins – “Think (About It)” – Your nighttime host and resident hip-hop fanatic Marquis Munson giddily delivered the scoop on this classic drum break. People are so obsessed with the roots of this popularly sampled loop, this video exists isolating the sample:

Sleater-Kinney – “Youth Decay” – Anna gave credit where it’s absolutely due to original S-K member and founding drummer Janet Weiss, who’s also played with indie greats such as Stephen Malkmus, Bright Eyes, The Shins and more. She’ll be here with her longrunning duo Quasi on March 25 in The Blue Room!

Rush – “Spirit of Radio” – Don’t miss Jude’s glorious introductory tribute to Neil Peart, the late drummer of Rush. The riff on this one is iconic and so are the drums. Preston had previously requested “Tom Sawyer” but we’re a radio station and the spirit of Peart PERSISTS over these airwaves!

R.E.M. – “The One I Love” – Chris reached out from out of town for this one!

The Roots – “Game Theory” – Shelby Keller plays drums for New York band Pom Pom Squad, who recently opened for Bartees Strange at The Basement East and also played our Sonic Cathedral earlier last year. Shelby was kind enough to leave me a voice memo about her devotion to drummer Questlove of The Roots when she requested this particular track.

Can – “Vitamin C” – Local artist, producer and sound engineer Buddy Hughen, who makes our Sonic Cathedral sessions sound soooo good, asked for Can. Fun fact, when you Google “Can Vitamin C” the auto-fill, first up, is “cause diarrhea?” I didn’t fall prey to that clickbait so y’all are on your own with WebMD doomscrolling.

Interpol – “Evil” – One of my personal favorite steering wheel drum tracks is this one from the band’s 2004 record Antics.

Phish – “Glide” – Mike! What a choice cut for showing off the drumming acumen of one Jonathan Fishman, the namesake of one of the biggest touring bands of the last 40 years, still selling out indoor arenas and outdoor amphitheaters across the country. This tune appears on the 1992 studio album A Picture of Nectar.