Earl Talbot – Drummers I Like Podcast #56


Well Hello, there Drummers! Welcome back to episode 55 of the podcast

Today we are joined by Earl Talbot. Earl is a Professional Drummer, Educator, Clinician, Mentor, Motivator and above all, a Father. Today is one of the most influential episodes to date so sit back, take notes, and enjoy the show!

About our guest

Earl Talbot comes from an extensive music background starting at just the early age of 9 years old when he found himself in his best friends basement, face to face with his future passion and profession. Growing up playing music and exploring his creative freedoms he found himself traveling to Cameroon for an extensive stay away with Professional percussionist Christian Bourdon, Author of African Rhythms for Drumset. Here is where he honed in on his ability to play the intense rhythms and phrases he is well known for. Earl is really a big deal for the Drummers I Like Podcast for multiple reasons and the most important is that he is a genuine Role Model to me. His personality, approach to life, ability to communicate, lead, and guide is severely important characteristics to me. Without these values what are we as men? Sheep? This episode unveils the deep and personal side to Earl Talbot and I personally was inspired by his extensive story and his undeniable drive to succeed.

Now, if you go back to episode 23 of the Drummers I Like Podcast featuring Jessica Burdeaux you will hear Earl being brought up as her personal teacher and mentor. We got deep into his teachings and his ability to communicate these extremely complicated patterns and phrases. Needless to say, it was an epic show and really just the beginning of an obsession that ultimately led to me getting to hang out with Earl out at Evan Ryans La drum school studio and take an in-person lesson. That was really key for me because it opened the doors for me to meet Earl in person, befriend him, get to know him on a personal level, and create ultimately was is sure to become a lifetime friendship. This episode goes long and because of its lengthy chat, we decided we needed to come back and do a part 2! Stay tuned for that… For now here is part 1 of our interview with the GANGSTER!!!!!! Earl Talbot.

In this Episode


After a run in with what most would call fate( A.K.A. Earl landing in a room full of his best buds drums at only age 9, he would spark an interest that was ultimately solidified on a trip in the car with his Father where he found himself working his tail off to beat out a Dave Brubeck rhythm on dashboard. This impossible neverending agony would ultimately turn into the driving force behind his laser focused pursuit for drumming greatness.


As he grew up Earl would instill the fundamentals of drumming as his parents offered as much support as humanly possible to push Earl in the direction he wanted to go. He consistently found influence in his sisters Rush, the Who and other rock albums but it was Michael Jacksons records that stood out the most giving him a heavy feel for pocket and technique.


After basically pounding down any door that stood in the way of his drumming success all throughout his life Earl found himself smack dab in the middle of Lawrence University in Wisconsin walking the Music Conservatory in amazement. It was then that he found himself sitting in the Dane Richardson’s office getting ready to do an audition. Earl will note that it was his ignorance that ultimately led to his almost fail but once he got on the drum kit it was then he was offered a chance to shadow the current students for an opportunity that got his foot in the door of Lawrence University. From there it was hard knocks, hard times, ass kickings, and ultimately, the best experience of his life.


During his time at Lawrence Earl developed a handful of good relationships that would last his entire life and lead him into one of the biggest journeys in his life. It was that relationship that would lead to his first trip to Cameroon that would ultimately lead to his meeting of Christian Bourdon and a relationship that would last a lifetime. Early spends a short time out there and comes home ultimately to beg Dane to let him take a leave of absence to go back to Cameroon and study with Christian. He, of course, got the ok and took his journey to Africa. It was here he was given his infamous nickname @eswabidi


On a short walk home, one evening in Cameroon Earl was approached by a group that wanted him to join their group as a rapper. After having such great success on drums and currently on the lookout for a new gig, he decided to accept it. One group and two contracts later Earl found himself on the cover of a platinum selling record, selling out stadiums and cd shelves all across Europe. After 18 months of fun, Earl found himself chasing his true passion and heading back to America to play drums again.


After making it happen in Africa it was his connections and continued journey that would ultimately land him a gig producing background music for Oprah, this led to his introduction to Producer Shawn O’ Keefe who went on to become one of his best friends and associates through the next few years.

Rapid Singles

1. What was one of the biggest hurdles you had to overcome as a drummer?

The Left Foot

2. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

“Don’t accept any wooden nickels”

3. What's a personal habit that contributes to your success?

Staying focused on Nutrition

4. Share a resource or tool that helps you survive as a drummer.

The metronome.

5. Recommend just one book. What would it be and why?

Christian Bourdon’s African Rhythm for Drumset and Jim Chapin’s Advanced for the modern drummer.

6. Imagine you woke up tomorrow in a world exactly like ours, you still had all the same knowledge and talent that you have as a drummer but you know no one. All you have is $500, a smartphone, and small portable drum set. What would you do first?

He would by taking advantage of social media.


This podcast was truly an experience for the record books and I had just as much fun writing the show notes as I did doing the actual show. Listening back to Earl’s story and hearing his interpretation of the world of drums, social media, life, and guidance. I advise you all to go give Earl a follow, book a lesson, and start allowing him to guide you in your life. He has been one of the most influential people I have met in the last year.

Until next time

– Richard

Links for Earl

Links for Drummers I Like

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