Drumming With Friends: Checking In From The Road With Todd Nance

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Words by: Erika Rasmussen

Images by: Christan Newman

Todd Nance is perhaps best-known as the original drummer of Widespread Panic, but for others, including myself, he’s so much more than that.

Nance has composer credits on some classic songs, has contributed to projects such as Barbara Cue and brute, has sat-in with the likes of Bloodkin and the Dyrty Byrds and on top of all that he’s genuinely a nice guy. Whenever I’ve bumped into him (usually around the tiny metropolis of Athens), he’s always been a friendly face and never had the personality of a “rock star.” At least, not the rock star brat that I’d be if I were as successful as he.

That approachableness came through when I recently spoke with him about his current endeavors, including Todd Nance & Friends and his plans for future work. As always, he was a delight to speak with and it just made me look forward to the next show that much more.

JAMBASE: Hey, Todd. Thanks so much for your time today. I really appreciate it.

TODD NANCE: No problem, no problem.

JAMBASE: So, what are you doing as a musician these days?

TN: Playing music. [laughs] I’ve got a little band called Todd & Friends, and we’re going out and doing some tours. I had a project called Interstellar Boys.

JAMBASE: Ah, yes. What ever happened to Interstellar Boys?

TN: We’re all so far apart geographically, it’s just really hard to get together. Sometimes it’s tough to just work out the logistics. The other Interstellar Boys may as well be “out in space.” [laughs]

[Todd Nance & Friends – Can’t Change The Past – August 12, 2018 | Captured by Jonathon Crum]

JAMBASE: Is this current project of yours going to stick, you think?

TN: You know, we just have to keep playing and see if the people come out to see us. As long as there’s people to see us, we’ll probably keep on doing this. We’re just gonna see how this goes and if it keeps on rolling down the hill, then we’ll just keep riding it. If the wheels don’t come off. We’ve all got to a place now where we’ve got time to get together and do this, and before we were all a little too busy, you know?

JAMBASE: Right.

TN: To do just a couple single shows here or there or wherever …

JAMBASE: What were some of your musical highlights from the latest run of Todd Nance & Friends shows?

TN: Oh, man. That first set of the second night in Asheville. It was acoustic. As a whole, that entire set was my very favorite.

JAMBASE: I loved that set. I like the funkiness that Jon Mills brings to the bass. And the “pickled” sound that you get from having the Rev. Jeff Mosier there. You know what I mean?

TN: Oh yeah. Yeah. I know what you mean. Man, I just loved that entire set as a whole.

[Todd Nance & Friends – August 11, 2018 | Taped by Gordon Wilson]

JAMBASE: So, what is the future going to hold?

TN: I’ll just keep working and I’ll keep playing music. We talked about trying to get on some festivals. You get a huge crowd, you get paid, you get exposure, you’re on a big ass stage, and they accommodate everything you need. I just wanna play my drums and take it easy. It’s really the only thing I know how to do. I’m not gonna start painting houses or start roofing.

JAMBASE: It’s like that Jason Isbell song, “Outfit,” when he says, “And don’t let me catch you in Kendale, with a bucket of wealthy man’s paint.”

TN: [laughs] Right on. I’ve done that before and I’m not doing it again.

JAMBASE: Indeed. Look, thanks so much for your time, Todd. This has been great.

TN: My pleasure. Thanks. See ya out there.

Todd Nance & Friends featuring guitarists Danny Hutchens of Bloodkin and Eric Martinez as well as multi-instrumentalist John Neff and bassist Jon Mills will perform at the Rabbit Hole in Charlotte, North Carolina tomorrow, Thursday, August 16 and at Southern Hops Brewing Company in Florence, South Carolina on Friday, August 17. The group then heads to Georgia for shows in Augusta on August 18 and in Atlanta on August 19.

Tour Dates for
Todd Nance

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