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Exclusive: Rob Drabkin Puts A Jammin’ Spin On Paul Simon

Rob Drabkin by Lucia De Giovanni
Rob Drabkin by Lucia De Giovanni


Rob Drabkin is here to remind the world that doing what you love can be a hell of a lot of fun. From performing solo as an award wining singer/songwriter to taking the stage as a dynamic front man, he’s shown throughout his career that growing and evolving as an artist can be as rewarding as it is challenging.

On October 16th, he self-released Live Vol. II, recorded at The Bluebird Theater in Denver, CO on January 17, 2014. The 15 track album is a follow up to Drabkin’s Live Vol. I, a tribute to Paul Simon’s seminal Graceland. It also marked a major moment for him, when he fully embraced the potential of collaboration. “It shifted the perception of my music,” he said, “from a mellow solo/singer-songwriter to a full band, jam rocking machine.” And jam they certainly do. 

The bulk of Vol. II is a return to Drabkin’s own work, demonstrating a band at the peak of their confidence and showmanship. However, covers of Simon carry onto Vol. II as well, including “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” premiering today on Elmore. Lengthy drum and trumpet solos push the jam beyond the ten minute mark, but add an undeniable flair and ebullience, recognizable through the cheers that ripple throughout the audience. Drabkin admits, “the drum solo on this track is my favorite part. Brian McRae (drums) and Eric Moon (percussion sounds/keys) have an undeniable chemistry and playing history together and it shines on this video.”

The boys don’t fall short on creating fun through visuals either. A hula-hooper does her thing alongside the grinning Drabkin, and if you’re searching high and low for the awesome drummer… he’s not there! Drabkin explains, “Eric is actually a great drummer on keys! It’s all programmed on a home-made key rig he’s been working on for the past five years and he’s got great sounds dialed in.” Another crowing glory of the jam is AnDré’s trumpet solo, which puts a truly unique, impressive spin on the original.

Watch the live performance of “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” below, and keep on the lookout for Live Vol. II, out now. 

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