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Hans Molenaar

Music Road Pilots

Since 1970, Hans has been active for more than five decades as a musician/producer within the various music styles. Besides percussion, he also plays guitar, keyboards and percussion instruments such as the bodhran, darbuka and cajon. After taking private lessons in the early eighties with drum teacher Fred van Vloten, he enrolled into the Rotterdam Conservatory in 1990, where he specialized himself as an all round music (drum)teacher and producer.

His specialties are the country and blues shuffles, which make him a International wanted working and recording artist in those fields.

His style and playing concept were mainly influenced by some original Nashville session drummers, like Larry Londin, Kenny Buttrey and Kenny Malone. But also drummers such as Jon Hiseman, Ansley Dunbar and Jim Keltner. And not to forget Buddy Rich and Joe Morello. Back in the days, they were his most important source of inspiration. Hans is known as a musical and solid session player.

History

From the 70s and 80s he mainly played in various popular Dutch Rock and Pop bands.

But he also played a lot in the entertainment circuit in where mainly Disco, Soul and popular music played the leading role.

In the period 1986 to 1990 he partly moved to Scandinavia and did a lot of session work for Denmark's leading artists at that time. He also worked with numerous international artists including Albert Lee, Sarah Jory, Tamra Rosanes and Johnny Logan. He was also part of the backing band of the former Elvis backing vocal group: The Jordanaires. He received the AMPEX Golden Reel Award in Scandinavia, for his contribution to a number of hit successes.

At the famous European Country festivals, he regularly shared the stage with country greats such as Freddie Fender, Flaco Jimenez, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Emmylou Harris.

In the same time frame he was a member of the first Dutch Americana band 'Personnel' with Ad van der Veen and Philip Kronenberg. They became one of Europe's foremost International Americana and Roots bands. Another highlight was his playing for Guitarray & The Rhythm Dukes.  In the Benelux, he worked with the famous blues harmonica player Werner Blaas in the band Passage to the Blues.

Since 1988 until now, he has been playing with the American session-legend and Nashville Country Hall of Fame member, Charlie McCoy.

In 1991 Charlie introduced him to Nashville and Hans was in the unique situation of being the first Dutch drummer to do studio sessions for US artists in Nashville.

In a long list of musicians, Larry Coryell, Marcel Dadi, Sarah Jory, Albert Lee and Brent Mason are the most famous guitarists with whom he has worked. He also performed regularly with Gordon (Sax) Beadle, the saxophonist / singer from Boston and Memphis Rock & Roll Queen, Linda Gail Lewis.

Endorsements

The electronics within the percussion were the first reason for years of collaboration with manufacturer Sonor. Already in 1986 he demonstrated The Mammut Digital Drum System prototype, of this company from Germany during a Dutch music fair. As a result of this collaboration and his activities in the international Country & Western circuit, he was offered a International/factory contract in 1986.

He has now been Sonor drums for more then 35 years, with full satisfaction. He also has an endorsement with Paiste cymbals over 30 years. Hans takes all his endorsements seriously and regularly provides feedback from practice to the contact persons.

Currently

Since 2010 he has been playing with The Music Road Pilots (MRP)

http://www.musicroadpilots.com

This formation has quickly grown into one of the leading Americana / New Country acts in Europe. They are a popular band at festivals and events. They also regularly provide performances, whether or not in collaboration with or as accompaniment of other artists. In 2010 the first MRP studio album was recorded and presented. The second studio album with original material and written especially for them by Nashville writers was relaesed in 2015. In 2020 they released a live studio album “ A Little bit of Live”.

Hans is uniquely in possession of his own recording studios. One for pre-productions, editing and mastering, and one for live recordings.

In 2015 he became an official Nashville Artists member for the Country Music Association (CMA) 2015. As the result for his longtime work and building bridges between Europe and Nashville. He is an established International musician into the Nashville studio scene. Therefore he is also permitted to do sessions in Nashville on a regular base with US Country Artists.

Recently in 2021 he also teamed up again, as musician/co-producer with the popular Dutch/German duo Mark & Laura. They were the finalists in Deutschland sucht ein Superstar and received millions of views on their own YouTube Channel since then.

In 2016, he brought to them their first Country hit 'How Could I ', and for 2021 they will record a new single and an album for Universal.

Setup and Gear

Hans plays currently a Maple SQ2 drumkit.

20”x15”  Kick, 10”x 8” , 12”x 8” Toms, 15”x 14” Floor tom and a 14”x 5 snare.

This is his 'To Go' regular Studio and Touring kit.

Discography

United Steels of Europe ' Divine Lines' 1987

Birge Lonquist 'Tusind Rote Rosen' 1988

Various artists 'Country Festival' 1988

Birge Lonquist 'Nashville Country' 1989

Charlie McCoy & The United 'International Incident' 1990

The Jordanaires 'Memories of Elvis' 1991

Charlie McCoy 'Out on a Limb' 1991

Charlie McCoy & The United 'Live At Paris' 1992

Personnel 'Come with me' 1992

Personnel 'Leidse Kade Live' 1993

Ad VanderVeen 'Sooner Or Later' 1994

Charlie McCoy 'Choo Choo Ch' Boogie' 1994

Charlie McCoy 'American Roots' 1994

Sammy Rose 'Fools gold' (Producer)1995

Turtle moon 'Turtle Moon' (Producer) 1996

Eric Dikeb 'Ray of Light' 1996

Eric Dikeb 'Er is niets aan' 1996

Waylon 'Hard To Be' 1997

Ariënne 'Real Love' 1997

Turtle Moon 'Raindance' 1998

Sammy Rose 'Sammy Rose' 1998

Te Loo & Comotives 'Crawlin 'feels better' 1998

Te Loo & Comotives 'Country Line dance' 1999

Eric Dikeb 'There is nothing to' 1999

Eric Dikeb 'You have to go' 1999

Charlie McCoy 'La Lègende' 1999

Passage to Blues 'Passage to Blues' 2001

Charlie McCoy & The United 'Bouchon' 2003

Guitarray & The Rhythm Dukes 'Guitarray!' 2005

The Music Road Pilots 'When She Get's Close To Me' 2010

Charlie McCoy 'Smooth Sailing' 2014

Leo Kosterband 'Train of Life' 2015

The Music Road Pilots 'Nashvegas' 2015

Charlie McCoy 'Ear Candy' 2017

Charlie McCoy 'Country Gold' 2018

Charlie McCoy 'Les Bon Temps' 2020

The Music Road Pilots 'Little Bit of  Live' 2020