When I listen to Chris Layton, I hear the voice of Austin,Texas. Chris plays a shuffle in what I think is a similar place culturally speaking as Johnny Vidocavich, but instead of the NOLA music language, when Chris plays it's Austin drum-speak. Chris became the heartbeat of Austin music in the late 80s with a good variety of deep shuffles and solid funk beats. He wrote the book on it. If I were to try and pick out a drum style that most closely defines the Austin style of drumming during, this time, it would be his work. As the drummer for Stevie Ray Vaughn, Chris reached a national audience and joined the pantheon of Austin music gods in the late 80s.
There is a plethora of ways to hit a drum, especially the snare drum, in most popular music styles. Elvin Jones called the snare "The Frying Pan," referencing the snare’s central role in cooking up, in his case, some very progressive jazz.
Nic Marcy is a world class player and educator. He started a new publication in 2016 called Austin Drummer which is about and for the drummers and drumming and music scene in Austin and beyond. There are some really hip articles to enjoy so we decided to make Nic's Austin Drummer magazine a column here at NSMD.