Eric Darken

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Eric Darken
GenresRock, country
InstrumentsPercussion instruments
Years active1991–present
Associated actsJimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band, Nashville String Machine

Eric A. Darken is an American percussionist, composer, and programmer.


Drawing inspiration from his grandfather, a band leader. Darken began playing drums at age 12, and played timpani and mallets in high school. Darken attended Brevard College in Brevard, North Carolina, then transferred to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Darken was also a part of the ORTV Richard Roberts television show.[1]

Darken has participated in recording sessions for Bon Jovi, Jewel, Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Swift.[2]

Darken has toured in support of Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Faith Hill, Take 6, and Bob Seger.[3] Darken currently tours with Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band.[4]

Darken has written underscores for TV shows, including Dateline NBC, 20/20, Fox Sports, Discovery Channel, NFL Network, and National Geographic, and for the film, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Darken created percussion samples and loops for various digital collections, including the Organic Percussion library of samples, loops, and presets, and the Eric Darken collection for Discrete Drums.[5]


In 2008, Darken won an Academy of Country Music award for Musician Of The Year in the "Specialty Instrument" category.[6]

Darken won the Gospel Music Association Dove Award for Instrumental Album Of The Year in 1996.

Critical reception[edit]

Darken's first solo album, A Drummer Boy's Christmas, was a jazz Christmas album released in 1993. It was reviewed positively by the Chicago Tribune, whose Nancy Stetson said that it "shows the genre at its best" and "there is nothing cute or gimmicky".[7] Cashbox magazine also reviewed the album with favor, stating that it "is sure to be a favorite in living rooms and store stereos alike with classic- yet-pop-inflected interpretations of your favorites. There's even a few new tunes to make this album worth a second look."[8]


Solo albums[edit]

  • 1993: A Drummer Boy's Christmas (Warner Alliance)
  • 1995: Cappuccino Afternoon (Unison)
  • 1995: Rhythm of the Night (Unison) compilation
  • 1999: Through the Highlands (Unison)

With The Players[edit]

  • 1996: The Players (Warner Alliance)

Also appears on[edit]










  1. ^ Mark Shelton (April 17, 2012). "Eric Darken Interview". Play Music For A Living. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  2. ^ Perone, James E. (2017). The Words and Music of Taylor Swift. ISBN 9781440852947. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  3. ^ Dan Forte (January 1, 2007). "Bob Seger: Face The Promise". Vintage Guitar. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  4. ^ Vaunda Bonnett (August 24, 2016). "Review: No matter the day, fans delight in Buffett show in Burgettstown". Tribune-Review. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  5. ^ staff (January 1, 2006). "2006 Editors Choice". Electronic Musician. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  6. ^ "CAM Awards: 2008". CMT. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  7. ^ Nancy Stetson (December 23, 1993). "Seasonal sellers". Chicago Tribune. pp. 11A. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  8. ^ "Contemporary Christian" (PDF). Cashbox: 28. December 11, 1993.

External links[edit]