Drew Schultz Detroit Benefit Project Continues w/ Eddie Willis of Motown's Funk Brothers - Sept. 1st
Coming September 1st, 2013, a new single benefiting the music programs of the Detroit Public Schools featuring Eddie Willis, guitarist from Motown Records' legendary backing band, The Funk Brothers. Part of Drew Schultz' "Back To Class" Series.
Drew Schultz entered the music industry at the age of 19 performing with legendary Motown group the Four Tops, and appearing on stage with countless iconic soul artists including The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Martha Reeves, The Dramatics, The Miracles, The Contours, Harold Melvin's Blue Notes, and more. In 2012 he released his debut album, "Back To Class." The record consists of 16 songs written by Schultz, featuring performances by the Four Tops, Dennis Coffey, James Jamerson Jr, Melvin Davis, Spyder Turner, Pat Lewis, Lenny Pickett, and many more. 50% of the profits go towards the music programs of the Detroit Public School System. On September 1st, Schultz will continue the project with the release of "Take It Slow," a follow up single featuring Eddie Willis of Motown's studio band, The Funk Brothers.
The Funk Brothers, with Willis as one of multiple guitarists, played the instruments on almost every song of Motown's Detroit era, including iconic hits by Diana Ross & The Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and the Four Tops. "I met The Funk Brothers when I was still in high school," Schultz recalls. "Uriel Jones, one of their drummers, was a mentor to me. He really helped me through some times when I felt like giving up on playing, and the music that Uriel and Eddie made was always there. The Funk Brothers are literally responsible for the soundtrack of my life." Schultz' band, The Funk Machine, is the backing group on both the original "Back To Class" album and the upcoming single. Drew and The Funk Machine performed in Detroit in July to showcase the project at Don Was' All Star Review for the Concert of Colors, and last December saw the first donation to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation of $1,000. The project was featured in international press including Modern Drummer Magazine, SoulTracks.com, and Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine, and prompted Susan Whitall of the Detroit News to dub Schultz "Kid Motown."
Schultz is the proud product of a public school music program in Shaker Heights, Ohio, which groomed him for all of his following success in the industry. "Shaker's music program was incredible,"
After three years studying jazz performance in Manhattan at New York University, Drew was called to move to Detroit and join the Four Tops as their full time drummer. "It was a dream come true," he says. "I grew up idolizing all of these classic soul artists, and to perform with them was my dream job." However, Schultz still needed to complete his college degree, and in the fall of 2012 he left the road to finish his education. The "Back To Class" idea came about through his love for classic soul music, combined with the need to return to NYU. "I had such a positive experience with the Shaker Music Programs," he says, "I felt like this was a way to produce a passion project with some of my favorite artists while helping to ensure that other kids can have the same experiences I did. I couldn't be prouder to continue the project with Eddie Willis. It means the world to be able to collaborate with someone who has influenced me so deeply, and to do my best to capture the spirit of the music that Eddie, Uriel, and The Funk Brothers gave us."
Drew Schultz can be found at www.DSdrums.com and "Take It Slow" will be available digitally through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and more on September 1st, 2013.