In a recent recording session I met Alabama's own Mark Beckett, a percussionist with mad skills and razor sharp wit fueled by five hour energy products.
Mark has been a first-call session player and touring musician for years. He's been the backbeat for artists like Kenny Chesney, JoDee Messina, Earl Scruggs and Olivia Newton-John just to name a few.
Out of the blue, Mark asked my friend Gloria and I to be his backstage guests at the...(drumroll please)... Grand Ole Opry where he happens to play in the house band backing up all the famous folks that perform there. It was like Christmas came in May because a) going to the Opry is cool anytime and b) going backstage at the Opry is well, super ridiculously awesome!
Mark backed Little Jimmy Dickens, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, The Whites and Eden's Edge during the show. He also found great joy in playing an Irish hand percussion instrument for the grand finale number with Keith and Kristyn Getty, the artists above and Josh Turner. (He nicknamed it the "Devil's Drum" and is probably still trying to regain feeling in his left arm from the special experience).
I'll share more about who I met backstage soon, but for now here are a couple photos of Mark...
Mark with his "Devil Drum"
The man behind the kit!