(one of) My Latest Obsession(s): Suitcase Drum Kits
I'm trying to remember when I first became aware of these things. It may have been on the bonus DVD that came with the Barenaked Ladies' "Everything to Everyone" CD. Drummer Tyler Stewart played a Suitcase drum kit on an all acoustic set, prompting someone (maybe Ed Robertson?) to say, "One day we'll have to buy you a real drum kit."
As far as I can tell, the suitcase drum kit is used primarily in bluegrass/old timey/ragtime music. Also it's used by buskers, due to it's compact size and ease of transport. Here are a few pix:
Dave Harris, a busker from Canada.
The Woody Pines from Ohio. I befriended them on MySpace ages ago. Great sound.
I guess they're used by rockabilly groups, too. This is The Hightown Crows of the UK.
And finally, a great video of one of these things in action. They sound pretty damn good!
The centerpiece (and namesake) of the suitcase drumkit is the suitcase bass drum (or "kickdrum".) (
I'd like to know more about the history of this instrument ... I imagine it was invented by some hobo in 1910 who wanted to accompany his harmonica blowing and banjo plucking friends. I can just see 'em, sitting around a fire, waiting for the mulligan stew to warm up, stirring up a ruckus under a full moon.