Monday, May 31, 2010

Preston Epps

There are not too many rock / pop / R&B headliners who are percussionists. The only other one I can think of offhand is Mongo Santamaria.

I’m not referring to drummers here; I am referring to those who play all those instruments that you smack, but aren’t part of the drum kit. Epps’ specialty seems to have been bongos, but one thinks also of the tabla, tambourine, cowbell etc.

As for Preston Epps, I have both of his hits.

Preston Epps:

Bongo Rock – The use of bongo as a lead instrument is very rare. Much later Santana's use of percussion was a major part of their arrangements. But here it’s up front and centre. This is from the summer of 1959. Redone by The Incredible Bongo Band in 1973.
Bongo Bongo Bongo – More bongo. From the summer of 1960. I wouldn’t mind hearing Cowbell Cowbell Cowbell.

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