Interview w/ Bucket Drummer Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown is a musician and family man living in Portland, Oregon. His music is a soundtrack to the city, with a distinct rhythm all is own. We sat down with him to learn more about the man behind the buckets.

Q. When did you discover your love for music?

I discovered my love for music at church. growing up as a PK (pastor's kid) with my siblings we sang many songs of worhsip and praise every week. Also, my father Thomas Ray Brown had an old school record player and would blast gospel records every Sunday morning as we would get ready for church.

Q. Do you have musical inspirations?

Some of my inspirations growing up have been Dennis Chambers, Dave Wakl, Michael Williams, Calvin Rodgers, Marvin McQuitty, Timothy and Benji Davis just to name a few. I didn't have lessons growing up so I did a lot of observing. They all have their own unique style and I was able to use parts of their techniques and develop as a drummer. 

I love gospel music. As my favorite genre I grew up listening to Walter and Edwin Hawkins, Commissioned, The Winans, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary and I can't leave out the Mississippi Mass Choir who just so happens to sing "I'm Not Tired Yet" in the beginning of The Scott Van Pelt show on ESPN. 

Q. Top three favorite places (in Portland) to play the buckets?

For me my top three places to play in Portland are 4th and Morrison in downtown, outside of the Moda Center after Blazer & Winterhawk games and concerts as well as Saturday Market. ( I love playing the street fairs as well)

Q. Tell us something we might not know about you?

Did you know that I am a union journeyman plumber & steamfitter? I went through a five year apprenticeship program with Local 290 (plumbers and steamfitters). My late mother Charlene Marie Brown encouraged me to be a part of this. A gentleman by the man of Roger came to my church and was recruiting anyone who wanted to sign up and I did. I've been in the trade for 15 years.

Q. Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever “thanked for the dolla”?

Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Russell Westbrook, Jamal Murray, Ricky Rubio many NBA players. Jack Black, Mike Epps and I think the the most exciting was Quest Love from the Roots!! 

Q. Have you been able to keep a positive outlook during the pandemic? If so, what can you share that might help others do the same.

Thankfully I've been able to stay positive during this pandemic. Mainly because of my faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know that God is in control of everything. I'd say try to stay focused on your goals as well as be creative in doing so. One day at a time is a simple thing to say but I've found that if you achieve small goals in a day it won't be so overwhelming. Of course get outdoors! Breathe in that fresh air and release the negativity!

Q. Favorite Trail Blazer of all time?

I grew up watching Clyde the Glide in the early 90's but I would have to say Damian Lillard has to be my favorite of all time. His loyalty has won me over and his phenomenon is rising every time I see him play. "GO RIP CITY!"

Q. Where can we find more of your music?

You can download Thomas A Brown Authentic Rhythms, I like to post on my IG page @bukketdrummer and of course you can catch me downtown playing on 4th and Morrison on any given Saturday

Thanks Rick Gilbert aka Grafletics (love the brand) for this opportunity and thank you all who continue to listen and support me on the buckets.

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