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A Musical Life: Drew J. Howard

Lurdes Gaskill Renteria

Drew J. Howard is a composer and bassist based in Wichita, Kansas. He had performed in church ensembles and rock groups such as Stratus, Captain Carl’s Tuesday Nite Blues Band, Empire Falls and Let Us Be Lions, which later became Black Box Warning. He records under the name Dru Lo Nadir.

“I played a little bit of drums and I found that I was just kicking that bass drum that was the most fun for me. I had a hard time getting back to the one. But when I got on the bass … the feeling in the chest and the low frequencies … I love the thunder, I guess.

“I went to nylon strings on my four-string. I write everything on a four-string and I play it on a five because it gives me a lot more tonality. If you think about it, a five-string is a pretty quick reach to three octaves.

“Stanley Clarke was the man. It’s ironic, I play the same kind of instrument, not the same model, obviously, but I play an Alembic. It’s another way that I can pay homage to him. He’s just a fascinating human being, made the bass talk.”

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.