Although drummer Rich Redmond has called Nashville his home for 20 years, his time living and playing in North Texas had a major impact on him.
Redmond is best known for his work with country rocker Jason Aldean. He's been Aldean's drummer since the beginning of Aldean's career, touring with him and playing on his records.
Redmond was onstage during Aldean's set Oct. 1 at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas when Stephen Paddock began firing semi-automatic weapons into the crowd, killing 58 people. Redmond preferred not to speak about the topic.
Redmond was born in Connecticut and started playing drums in 1976 at age 8. His family moved to El Paso in the early ’80s, and he loved the change of scenery.
“That worked out great because Texas, to this day, has probably one of the greatest music education programs in the world,” Redmond says. “I mean, you have football and then you have that trickle-down, so there was always a great marching band and a pep band and a concert band. Just a lot of music.”
Redmond pursued a bachelor's degree in music education at Texas Tech and went to UNT for his master's degree in the mid-’90s.
“The plan was never to be a full-time teacher but to be a full-time player,” he says, but he wanted to have an education so he'd have something to fall back on.
“I went pro in ’88, so I’ve been making my living with a combination of playing and teaching since then,” he says. “I moved to Nashville in 1997 and immediately got on a tour bus. Basically, my suitcase has not been unpacked for 20 years.”
His connection to North Texas — where he says he played lots of gigs in clubs, bars and churches — is still meaningful to him, and he remains involved in the community.
Last year, Redmond emceed Breast Cancer Can Stick It, an annual Dallas fundraiser. The event, founded by breast cancer survivor April Samuels, brings drummers together to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research.
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“I loved doing it," says Redmond, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor. He was scheduled to emcee again this year but had to cancel because of a last-minute scheduling conflict with Aldean's tour.
“It’s a really important thing, and I love drummers,” Redmond says of Breast Cancer Can Stick It. “I love the community of drummers. We have a special brotherhood, and it’s for an amazing cause.”
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Redmond has settled in Nashville because that's where the work is.
“Everybody’s moving to Nashville,” he says. “It’s really the last city for a music career. It’s the last place to really do it, where we’re all recording in the same room at the same time. There’s a community spirit about the city.”
But Redmond's creative pursuits aren't limited to music. He's also a children’s book author, an actor and a motivational speaker.
“I’m focusing on my next 20 years,” he says. “Anything I can do with a microphone in my hand, I love.”