Keith Carlock

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Keith Carlock
Birth name Keith Carlock
Born 1971
Origin Clinton, Mississippi, U.S.
Genres Modern Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Rock, Blues Rock, Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums, percussion
Years active 1990s-present
Associated acts Steely Dan, Sting, The Blues Brothers Band, John Mayer, Leni Stern, David Johansen, Donald Fagen, Diana Ross, Harry Belafonte, Chris Botti, James Taylor, Wayne Krantz, Toto, Walter Becker, Larry Carlton

Keith Carlock is an American jazz drummer originally from Clinton, Mississippi. He currently resides in New York City with his wife and daughters.[1][2] He has recorded and/or toured with Wayne Krantz, Oz Noy, Sting, John Mayer, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Diana Ross, Faith Hill, The Blues Brothers Band, Leni Stern, David Johansen and the Harry Smiths, Richard Bona, Chris Botti, Harry Belafonte, Oz Noy, Clay Aiken, Rascal Flatts, Paula Abdul, and Grover Washington, Jr.[3][4][5] Carlock was the exclusive drummer for every track on Steely Dan's Everything Must Go (Steely Dan has used multiple drummers on each of the last several albums they've released over the past three decades).[6] While in the Jazz Studies program at the University of North Texas, Carlock studied with many teachers, including Ed Soph.[7] In October 2009, he released an instructional DVD called The Big Picture: Phrasing, Improvisation, Style, and Technique.[8][9]

In January 2014, Carlock replaced long-time Toto drummer Simon Phillips. He played on every track on the band's new album Toto XIV and played with them on the Japanese tour in April-May 2014.[10]

Carlock uses Gretsch Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads and Vic Firth Sticks.

Keith was voted #1 Pop drummer, #1 Fusion drummer, and #1 Best All-Around drummer in Modern Drummer's 2009 Readers Poll.

Sting on Carlock: "Keith worked with me on the Sacred Love tour. It's a big chair to fill in my band; some of the greatest drummers in the world have sat there: Stewart Copeland, Omar Hakim, Manu Katché, Vinnie Colaiuta. Keith took his place as if born to the job. An impeccable creative musician, powerful as well as sensitive, patient and understanding in the face of my often inarticulate and conflicting demands. Anyone who has passed through my band remains family, brother Keith is no exception." - Sting

Donald Fagen on Carlock:

"Keith's attitude, his enthusiasm, and everything is just great. When you're cutting tracks like we do, the band will get to a certain point when things are working and everything coalesces, and everybody realizes they are now going to play a take. To get there you need not just the drummer, but everybody to have refined their parts. We had that with this band, thanks in large part to Keith. We would get to that point and converge on something, and he would give us a take we could really work with." - Donald Fagen (Steely Dan)

Walter Becker on Carlock:

"...we're trying to re-create a kind of rhythmic feel that predates the drum machine era, where it's really a feel generated by the players, something that has a swing and a lope to it and still has hypnotically steady time. With Keith, everything he tried to play worked in that way. He also began with a good idea of where a tune was supposed to go, and he got better as we played it. He actually made this whole thing possible... His groove is just as good at the end of the day as it is at the beginning."

- Walter Becker (Steely Dan)


  1. ^ Ken Micallef, August 2005. "Mississippi Man, Steely Dan Fan". Modern Drummer Magazine, article excerpt:
  2. ^ Ken Micallef, August 2005. "Mississippi Man, Steely Dan Fan". Modern Drummer Magazine (from Carlock's own website)
  3. ^ allmusic performance credits
  4. ^ article "More Than Time For Sting", Modern Drummer Magazine, August 2005
  5. ^ Interview of Keith Carlock RegalTip
  6. ^ interview of Keith Carlock, Mike Dolbear July 2005
  7. ^ "Drummerworld: Keith Carlock". 
  8. ^ Bergamini, Joe (July 2, 2009) "In The Studio With Keith Carlock". Drum Magazine DVD article
  9. ^ editorial DVD review
  10. ^ "Toto Ramps Up for Busy 2014 with Planned Studio Album, Upcoming DVD/CD Release, Japanese Tour". January 23, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 

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