Copyright 2011 A New Englander by birth, a New Yorker by good fortune and currently a Texan by choice, Chris Carroll has recently relocated to Austin hoping to find far less snow and many more musical adventures.   Chris began drumming at a very early age, and as is the case with so many others, his mother’s pots and pans would never be the same.  By the age of eight he had graduated to his first “real” drums.  Highly influenced by his father’s music collection which included anything from Blood Sweat and Tears to surf music to 50’s Rock n’ Roll to Benny Goodman and Count Basie, as well as Motown, Miles Davis and The Beatles, Chris spent countless hours playing along with lots of records and developed what he describes as “respectable skills for a mostly self taught ten year old”.  Enough skills to earn an invitation from his town’s middle school band director to play drums in the pit for a production of the musical Grease“Thirteen year old girls thought I was cool...and so a life in music begins.”   In high school, Chris was a member of the marching band, jazz band, concert band and orchestra.  He was selected for All State Band, jazz band and orchestra on multiple occasions and was named the timpanist of the MENC National High School Honors Orchestra during his senior year.  After a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC (conducted by the Austin Symphony’s own Maestro Peter Bay), the orchestra was invited to perform at the International Society for Music Education Conference in Helsinki, Finland. Awarded a full tuition scholarship to attend the University of New Hampshire to study music, again he was a member of numerous ensembles including a four year member of the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Wildcat Marching Band and Jazz Band.  As a member of the Jazz Band, he had the good fortune to repeatedly perform with visiting professor and jazz legend Clark Terry along with a list of jazz luminaries including Phil Woods, Marcus Roberts, James Williams, Kenny Werner, Frank Wess, Snooky Young, Carl Fontana and Milt Hinton.  Chris recalls bassist Hinton very fondly: “So the rehearsal ends, and my friend Dave and I are getting ready to pack up when Milt asks if we would like to hang and just play for a while.  Well, for the next two hours, “The Judge” kicked our nineteen year old butts around that stage. Dave and I traded off playing time in various styles with one of the greatest bass players...and definitely one of the kindest human beings...of all time. I think I learned more about time playing and groove in those two hours than I did in all the years leading up to that. I will never forget some of the things Milt said that day and the way he carried himself. He just defined professionalism and soulfulness.  It was truly an honor to have known him and to have had the chance to play with him.”  After graduating UNH with a B.A. in Music Performance, Chris accepted a teaching position at a private music school and spent a few years working the Boston area freelance orchestral scene. He performed as a percussionist or timpanist with the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Portland Ballet Orchestra, New Hampshire Symphony and regularly with the Portland Symphony Orchestra where he was often called upon to fill the drum set chair in Pops performances.  In addition to the orchestral work, Chris taught Percussion Ensembles at two high schools, a studio of thirty or more private students and found himself getting more and more calls to do musical theater jobs and a great deal of recording session work.  It was on one of those sessions that Chris met a guitar player and songwriter who lived in New York and was assembling a band to begin performing in the city more regularly. Having visited and played in the city a great deal over the years, Chris always enjoyed the energy of New York and took the plunge by relocating there full time. “Being a drummer/percussionist beyond perhaps all other instruments affords you opportunities to get involved in so many different styles of music and playing situations, and where else but New York can you find jazz, rock, orchestral, chamber music, world music styles...everything …and on a such a high level?!  I had opportunities to play with so many great musicians...and to do some national and international tours.  I was able to play singer songwriter hits at the Bitter End, rock gigs at CBGB’s and Wetlands, sub a few Broadway shows, play with the percussion ensemble at NYU and play contemporary music at Symphony Space and BAM. In one particularly hectic week I performed at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra, recorded a commercial jingle for AOL-Time Warner AND played the forever infamous CBGB’s on the night Joey Ramone died no less! was the perfect place for me at that time in my life.” In 2004, Chris spent much of his summer on tour in Europe,  but spent the last few weeks of warm weather driving around the US visiting some friends.  He recalls: “While passing through Utah I visited a buddy of mine from high school.  He was running a private music school and seemed to be really making a difference in the lives of a lot of young musicians.  He wondered out loud if I had any interest in being a part of it.  My “day gig” in New York was running large scale corporate and entertainment events.  I had been a technical advisor for events like The Tony Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards and also managed a successful production company.  He thought my combination of music and business skills would be a good compliment to his. It sounded like a really a nice opportunity, and soon after I had relocated to Utah.”  In Utah, Chris managed to stay busy teaching high school drumlines and private lessons as well as performing with a wide range of artists including a Rockabilly and Jump Blues quartet, a Soul/Motown cover/function band, a Classic Rock house band, a Modern Blues/R&B project and a Scofield-flavored jazz guitar trio. But two projects, which probably could not be more divergent, have accounted for the bulk of Chris’ performances and recording for the past few years. Slaymaker Hill, a Celtic inspired Americana/Jam/Fiddle/Fusion project was signed to L.A. label RCEG records in 2006 and released its debut album in October 2007. The other project is playing in Nashville Star finalist Charley Jenkins backing band Haywire, and has been a real departure from so much of his previous experience. He says: “Playing in Charley’s band has been a great education in the history and development of country styles. We do a little bit of everything...Western Swing, train beats, George Jones, Marty Robbins, country waltzes, Southern Rock and Pop Country stuff. Charley’s a great performer and his original stuff is really diverse stylistically as well.  Plus...we get to play all over the West...from arena gigs with Montgomery Gentry and Taylor Swift to state fairs with Neal McCoy and Lady Antebellum...some real country dance halls...and rodeos! I now know more about rodeo than any kid who grew up in New Hampshire probably has a right to. And as a bonus, I found out that I sleep very soundly in the middle berth of a Prevost Coach .”  So why the move to Austin? “Well,it just feels right.  Metropolitan, but a short drive out to the middle of nowhere; big enough to have an arts scene, but small enough that you know your neighbors...a nice mix of the old and the new...and perhaps most importantly...a little bit country and a little bit rock n’ roll...with lots of really creative musicians around. So I have to ask: Anybody looking for a drummer?