Episode 148: Don Heffington
Air date: 11.18.2015
Drummer and musician Don Heffington’s credit list is so long as to be nearly unprintable. He started out in the early 1970s, and he has had a steady career since, backing up artists of all stripes - from lesser known bands to numerous acts who have become household names. A fractional sampling from his resume includes Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Joe Walsh, Lucinda Williams, The Jayhawks, Buddy Miller, k.d. lang, The Wallflowers, Sheryl Crow, Dwight Yoakam, Joe Cocker and countless others, so it’s no wonder his phone continues to ring. It isn’t so much flash that he brings to a recording session or live gig, but more of an affable, no-BS approach to making music that makes it easy to have him around. On top of steady session work, one of his current regular gigs is playing drums for the reigning kings and queens of the scene at Los Angeles’ Largo, The Watkins Family Hour, where Heffington shares the communal and creative vibe with former Nickel Creek members Sara and Sean Watkins, along with Fiona Apple, Benmont Tench, Greg Leisz and Sebastian Steinberg. But it’s Heffington’s new album, Gloryland, that allows space to get him out from behind the drumkit and in front of the mic singing almost-spoken word vocals on ten of his quirky but incisive original compositions. Imagine Tom Waits as a tall, lank, well-traveled and friendly train conductor with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.