Chad Cromwell

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Chad Cromwell
Cromwell performing live with Neil Young, in 2009.
Cromwell performing live with Neil Young, in 2009.
Background information
Born (1957-06-14) June 14, 1957 (age 63)
Paducah, Kentucky, U.S.
  • Drums
  • percussion
Years active1986–present
Associated acts

Chad Cromwell (born June 14, 1957) is an American rock drummer whose music career has spanned more than 30 years. He is the founding member of a band called Fortunate Sons, which released a self-titled album in 2004.

Cromwell has worked with multiple prominent artists from various genres, including Neil Young, Mark Knopfler, Joe Walsh, Joss Stone, Bonnie Raitt, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

Early life[edit]

Cromwell was born on June 14, 1957, in Paducah, Kentucky. When he was three years old he moved with his parents and siblings to Memphis, Tennessee in 1960. In 1970, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and remained there for the rest of his childhood.

He started playing drums at the age of eight, wearing headphones as he played along to records in an upstairs room of his parents' home. By the age of twelve he was playing in garage bands in the local neighborhood.[1]


Cromwell started recording and touring with Joe Walsh in 1986,[2] appearing on two albums, Got Any Gum? and Ordinary Average Guy.

In 1987, Cromwell began a collaboration with songwriter Neil Young. The initial sessions became Neil Young & The Bluenotes. Since then he has recorded and toured with Young on several occasions, and appears on albums such as Freedom (1989), Prairie Wind (2005) Living with War (2006) and Chrome Dreams II (2007). He has also appeared in Heart of Gold, a documentary capturing the debut of Neil Young's album, Prairie Wind (along with other Young classics).[3] This was filmed at the Ryman auditorium and directed by Jonathan Demme.

Cromwell is also known for his contributions to Mark Knopfler's solo albums Golden Heart (1996), Sailing to Philadelphia (2000), The Ragpicker's Dream (2002) and Shangri-La (2004). He was also part of Knopfler's band during the tours of his first solo albums.[4]

Cromwell toured with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the summer of 2006.[5]

He has also worked with many other artists including Dave Stewart, Vince Gill,[6] Amy Grant, Lady Antebellum, Diana Krall, Willie Nelson,[7] Jackson Browne,[8] Boz Scaggs, Wynonna, Trisha Yearwood, Miranda Lambert, Bonnie Raitt,[7] Peter Frampton,[9] Allison Moorer,[10] Chris Knight,[11] Joss Stone,[12] Rodney Crowell, Marty Stuart, and Stevie Nicks.

In the mid 2000s, Cromwell formed the band Fortunate Sons along with Michael Rhodes, Gary Nicholson, Kenny Greenberg, and Reese Wynans. They released a self-titled album in 2004.[13] He is also a member of the occasional touring band, Big Al Anderson and The Balls, led by former NRBQ guitarist Al Anderson.

In 2012, he appeared on The Beach Boys' studio album entitled That's Why God Made the Radio. In 2013, he was featured on Bonnie Tyler's album, Rocks and Honey.

In 2014, he provided drums on Drake Bell's third studio album, Ready Steady Go!


With Amy Grant

With Mark Knopfler

With Stevie Nicks

With Charles Kelley

With Alison Krauss

With Mary Chapin Carpenter

With Steven Curtis Chapman

With Bob Seger

With Neil Young

With Allison Moorer

With Blake Shelton

  • Pure BS (Warner Bros. Records, 2007)

With Danielle Bradbery

With Jo Dee Messina

With Willie Nelson

With Roch Voisine

With Joe Walsh

With John Michael Montgomery

With Joe Nichols

  • III (Universal South Records, 2005)

With Lionel Richie

With Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler

With Gretchen Wilson

With Jake Owen

With Dolly Parton

With Livingston Taylor

  • There You Are Again (Coconut Bay, 2005)
  • Last Alaska Moon (Coconut Bay, 2009)

With Terri Clark

With Trace Adkins

With Lee Ann Womack

With Lady Antebellum

With Beth Nielsen Chapman

  • Uncovered (BNC Records, 2014)

With LeAnn Rimes

With Matraca Berg

  • Sunday Morning to Sunday Night (Rising Tride Records, 1997)

With Chely Wright

With Kenny Chesney

With Rodney Crowell

With Bonnie Tyler

With Jessica Simpson

With Brian Wilson

With Joss Stone

  • LP1 (Surfdog Records, 2011)

With Michael Bolton

With Craig Morgan

With Paul Carrack

With Cyndi Lauper

With Miranda Lambert

With Toby Keith

With Jewel

With Peter Frampton

With Vince Gill

With Joan Baez

With Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell

With Joe Bonamassa

Personal life[edit]

He lives in both Nashville and Los Angeles with his wife, Windy.[14]


  1. ^ "Zildjian Artists-Chad Cromwell Artist Page". Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  2. ^ Gomez, Alex M. (November 27, 1987). "Joe Walsh keeping young", South Florida Sun-Sentinel, p. 22.
  3. ^ Varga, George (February 23, 2006). "The right chemistry: Demme, Young 'were on the same page' for 'Neil Young: Heart of Gold'", The San Diego Union-Tribune, p. ND.
  4. ^ Morse, Steve (March 22, 1996). "Mark Knopfler takes a Strait-country line on solo CD", The Boston Globe, p. 62.
  5. ^ "Neil Young Concert Review". Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  6. ^ (June 13, 2003). "Pop music: Gill's going strong", The Press-Enterprise, p. AA3.
  7. ^ a b Danton, Eric R. (December 31, 2006). "Rockin' once again: Big Al Anderson's new album goes back to his roots", The Hartford Courant, p. G1.
  8. ^ Caudle, Todd (August 17, 1989). "Browne lets music do the talking: More rock, less rally this time", Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph, p. D5.
  9. ^ Sandler, Adam (October 2003). "Peter Frampton; Joe Bonamassa", Variety Review Database.
  10. ^ Novak, Ralph (September 11, 2000). "The Hardest Part", People 54 (11): 52.
  11. ^ McGuinness, Jim (April 24, 1998). "Dark side of Knight: A little hard-luck music", The Record, p. 36.
  12. ^ thodoris. "Interview:Chad Cromwell (Neil Young,Mark Knopfler,Joss Stone,Joe Bonamassa)". Hit Channel. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  13. ^ Bumgardner, Ed (April 1, 2004). "Fortunate Sons", Winston-Salem Journal, p. 9.
  14. ^ Amendola, Billy. "Chad Cromwell", Modern Drummer. Retrieved on February 7, 2015.

External links[edit]