Myron Howell, Jake Owen’s drummer, follows the beat of his own drum

WSMV's Marius Payton reports.
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 4:23 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Cultivating diversity in the country music genre doesn’t just happen with those standing front and center on the stage. It also includes the musicians who support the face of the music. WSMV4 spoke with one musician following the beat of his own drum, even if that beat brought him to a whole new world.

Myron Howell has rhythm. But he’s far from repetitive. So, when asked how a Black drummer from Memphis, who’s played with B.B. King, Justin Timberlake and Aretha Franklin, gets to play country music, his response was simple.

“I’ve always been a person that likes to try different things.” Howell said.

Different things, including playing for country music superstar Jake Owen.

“At the time, there wasn’t a whole lot of chocolate out there. I’ll just say it that way,” Howell added. “I wouldn’t say the majority of the whole experience of being on the road playing country music has been fun. Now don’t get me wrong. There have been times where it has been dark sides to it. I’ve been called some names that my mom didn’t name me. And Jake has always said every time something happens you, always take the high road. And that’s just my nature.”

As country music has seen a resurgence of people of color, Howell says it’s not only the industry that’s become more accepting, but the audiences as well.

“When I first started, it was maybe you will see maybe one or two (people of color),” Howell said. “So, I sometimes when I do see them, if they’re in arm’s reach, I go out there and hug them. Appreciate them for coming.”

He also says the key to playing in any genre is the same. You have to love it.

“You have to really sit with it and become part of it. For it to make sense and make it believable,” he said. “A believable story for the people to see it out front because the number one thing that people see when they buy a ticket is to see if someone is not enjoying what they’re doing.”

And Howell loves what he does.