Check out versatile drum session and touring ace Kenny Aronoff’s solid groove in the premier of this video for “Bad Man” from the Heaven & Earth’s fourth studio album Hard To Kill, which was released in October.

Aronoff also contributes to the songwriting process for the driving rock and soulful ballads on Hard To Kill. “I really enjoyed being involved in the process with the band writing arranging and recording the songs on the album,” Aronoff tells Drum! magazine. The drums were tracked in his own studio, Uncommon Studios LA, using his Tama Starclassic Maple kit.

Rounding out Heaven & Earth is Joe Retta on vocals, guitar and harmonica; Stuart Smith on guitars; Lynn Sorensen on bass and vocals; and Ty Baillie on keyboards. The touring group includes Mike Mangan on keyboards and Steven Wilson on drums, percussion and vocals.

The band’s classic rock influence is no coincidence. When Smith was just 19, he met Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, whom he had been amazed by in concert a few years earlier in the early ‘70s. Blackmore became a mentor to the guitarist, who founded Heaven & Earth in Los Angeles some years later. After recording two albums, Smith met singer Retta while both were on tour with The Sweet (“Ballroom Blitz”) a decade ago, and formed a songwriting partnership that steered the band to their current sound.

—Nicolas Grizzle