Keltner, whose percussion work can be heard on countless landmark albums, including the solo projects of three of the four Beatles, as well as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton and Neil Young, will join Peart for the roundtable. It will examine the importance of going beyond drumming to master songwriting, penning lyrics and playing other instruments, and also look at the attributes of great drumming.
“Good drumming is good listening,” says Keltner, who just finished working on Jerry Lee Lewis' new album and is contributing to projects with Don Was and Dhani Harrison. “The drummer is like the catcher on a baseball team. He's involved in every play, and he's watching everything and everybody. He's got the ball in his hands all the time. You've got to be able to hear everything. The better your ear is trained, the better musician you're gonna be.”
Keltner cites Dave Grohl, who drummed for Nirvana and now fronts Foo Fighters, as an example of a drummer who hits hard but still has incredible finesse. “For my money, Dave has always been the greatest rock drummer I've ever heard,” he says. “Dave is proof that you can play hard and still groove like crazy. He has really interesting fills and supports the guitar and vocals in an amazing way.”
Keltner also admires the unique, laid-back style of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. “I was a peer of John Bonham, and I saw him play with Zeppelin at their first gig in the U.S.,” he recalls. “What was great about him was he played like a jazz drummer to me. I was like, ‘Wow, he sounds like a rock 'n' roll Elton John!' He also played like he had no cares and no worries.”