Bland, Robb -& The Members Only Band-
Live On Beale Street; Tribute To Bobby Blue Bland
Rodd Bland was born in Memphis, where he still resides today. Growing up in a musically rich home, Bland gravitated toward drums beginning at 3 years old. By age 5, he was already performing with his father's 10-piece band as what he considers a "little sideshow novice." In the 1980s era of double drummers (two drummers playing two separate kits), Bland learned how to play with the discipline and regimen of a show drummer, doing the lion's share of work by the time he was in his teens. At 19, he began to perform with his father as the sole drummer. Bland's first time playing drums on Beale with his father's band was at the New Daisy Theatre for the 1996 recording of the album 'Live on Beale Street'. Soon after, he started getting requests to sub for house-band drummers on the street, and when he wasn't touring with his father, he'd accept. It helped him keep his chops up, and it began to snowball into regular gigs. In 2003, Bland got his first chance to play with his godfather and longtime family friend B.B. King at King's namesake club on Beale Street. In 2005 when King's regular drummer, Calep Emphrey, requested Bland's help to sit in for him, he had the opportunity to be on stage with his father and godfather at the same time in Biloxi, Mississippi as part of B.B.'s 80th birthday tour. When King passed away in May 2015, Bland was honored by the Blues Foundation's request that he carry B.B.'s Gibson guitar, Lucille, at the funeral procession. Today, after playing on Beale more than 20 years, Bland appreciates the love and respect he receives not just as a sideman drummer but as a revered second generation guardian of an influential musical legacy.