Ernest "Boom" Carter: Drums
Ernest Carter was born and raised in Asbury Park, New Jersey. As a teenager he excelled in track and field as well as learning to become an accomplished drummer. During the riots that occurred in 1968, the police were summoned to Carter's basement after receiving a report of gunshots being fired. What they found was young Carter practicing his drumming. Two of his track buddies dubbed him "Boom" after that episode and the moniker would stick with Carter throughout his musical career. A world-renowned drummer, Carter is also a fantastic guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist.
Performing with the Asbury Park based R & B band Little Royal and The Swingmasters, Carter was a regular on the chitlin circuit touring throughout the south with such legendary artists as Rufus Thomas and Carla Thomas during the late 1960's. "We played in some places where the bartender would pull a gun on you," Carter recalled.
It was in Richmond, Virginia in 1971 where Carter met up with keyboardist David Sancious and the two rehearsed together in a studio there. Like Carter, Sancious was a multi instrumentalist who would soon hook up with another Asbury Park musician, Bruce Springsteen in a band called Dr. Zoom and The Sonic Boom while Carter would continue to tour. After Columbia Records signed Springsteen, Sancious joined him as one of the original members of what was to become The E Street Band. When Springsteen needed a drummer, Sancious suggested Carter.
In February 1974, Ernest joined Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band just as Springsteen began touring to promote "The Wild, The Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle" release. In May of that year during a performance opening for Bonnie Raitt at The Harvard Square Theater in Cambridge, MA, Springsteen's performance was reviewed by then rock critic Jon Landau who proclaimed in his glowing appraisal that "Tonight I saw rock 'n' roll's future. Its name is Bruce Springsteen". Surprisingly, Springsteen's future was to become entangled in management lawsuits, which threatened to scuttle live performances of the band, so before year-end, both Carter and E-Street keyboardist David Sancious left to form the jazz-fusion band Tone. Ernest "Boom" Carter's drumming can be heard on the Bruce Springsteen tune, "Born To Run" from the landmark album of the same name.
1974 was the year of jazz-fusion, and Tone was quickly signed to Columbia Records and their debut album, "Forest of Feelings" was produced by legendary drummer Billy Cobham. Cobham hailed Ernest Carter as "One of the 3 best drummers I've ever heard." Primarily an instrumental band, Tone would go on to include future Santana vocalist Alex Ligertwood, and the future Mrs Springsteen, Patty Scialfa on vocals.
Carter also found time to record and tour during the late 1970's with fellow Asbury Park legend, Southside Johnny, as well as Billy Squier, Steve Forbert, and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. One of Carter's fondest memories was playing with Butterfield on the German television show Rockpalast. Throughout the Eighties, Carter performed and recorded with The Fairlaines a very popular Jersey shore band. Led by hotshot guitarist Billy Hector, The Fairlaines quickly became the house band at Mrs. Jay's, an Asbury Park biker bar located spitting distance from the legendary Stone Poney. Shortly after recording "Hit The Road" in 1986, Carter relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area.
I saw Boom Carter in the summer of 1974 when he played with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at the Wollman Rink in New York's Central Park. At the time Springsteen was just starting to shake up his live shows by playing longer and with much more unpredictable energy that would later become his trademark. The "Rosalita" that he performed that evening will stay with me forever. Fast forward to 1986 when I discovered that Ernest was married to the sister of one of my dearest friends. "Sure I know who Boom Carter is.."
When Ernest moved to the Bay Area he was overwhelmed with work. Some of his best musical associations included: Harvey Mandel and the Snake Band, Nick Gravenites, Pete Sears, John Lee Hooker, and Clarence Clemons and The Red Bank Rockers. Ernest Carter became the drummer in the core band at each year's BAM Magazine music award show, the "BAMMIES." In 2001, Ernest released his first solo CD entitled, "Temple of Boom". The recording showcased his considerable musical and songwriting skills that ranged from soulful ballads, to P-Funk type party anthems, to Jimi Hendrix styled psychedelia- with Ernest singing and playing all of the instruments. Most recently, Ernest has been providing the beats for Howard Tate, Bonnie Raitt, Shamika Copeland, Shana Morrison, BluesCasters, and the Lorin Rowan Band.
All of Ernest's drum parts for "Movin' On" were recorded at his San Leandro based studio, The Temple of Boom. I was just his second client to record there and I was thrilled with both his mastery of the drums and his unwavering professionalism which is evident on each of the CD's 16 tracks.
Thank you Boom!!!