A major influence in the new rhythms of today’s music is the unique drum style of Spider Webb. His inventive playing is being heard on hit records, concerts and TV shows by name Singers, Jazz and R&B around the world.
Spider Webb whose real name is Kenneth Rice, began playing drums at a early age in his home town of Detroit, MI which is the birth place of many great musicians, and the home of Motown Records. Spider recorded with United Artist and Holland-Dozier-Holland in his early teens. He then moved to New York in 1967 where he quickly gained prominence as a studio drummer and was hired on the spot by the late great recording artist King Curtis and the Kingpins.
The next high point in his career was when he became the drummer for Harry Belafonte, from 1969 through 1971 which included playing three extensive engagements in the main room of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, NV. Two albums were recorded while with Belafonte, Calypso Carnival and Live in Toronto both on RCA records. Spider moved to Los Angeles later in 1971 to work with Famed Jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo.
Work followed with guitarist David T. Walker along with studio session work with all the major record companies. Another important achievement came in 1972 at the Seventh Annual International Song Festival while playing with David Clayton Thomas featuring the Sanctuary Band, which took place in Rio De Janiero. The band took 1st Place honors there. In 1974 Spider completed a tour with dance stylist Tony Basil and the company called The Lockers featuring Fred Barry. This was opening act for the Frank Sinatra Show. In 1974 performed at the first Kool Jazz Festival with Sonny Stitt [alto sax] Sonny Burke [piano] Kenny Burrell [guitar] Chuck Rainey[bass]. First In Concert series in California with Jazz Artist Gabor Szabo [guitar] in 1971. In 1973 played at the first Midnight Special David Clayton Thomas [formally of Blood Sweat and Tears]. In 1979 Spider moved to Boulder, Co. where he began to write, produce and arrange music more & more.
He then became involved with Hammer & Nails Recording Co. and Good Friends Productions in the Denver area, and produced and album to his credit. This gave Spider the chance to expand his knowledge and his expertise in record production. One of the projects recorded at that time was the album “Weekends & Holidays, the artist was Eugene Hayward. The album contain a wide variety of songs from reggae to Rhythm & Blues.
After completing several projects in the Denver area, Spider decided to return to doing live performances. In June of 1980 he did a tour with friend and business associate Harry Belafonte. Three television specials were done at that time, one in Cuba, filmed by the Canadian Broadcasting Co. and one in Jamaica. The German Television network filmed the next one which was done in Munich, Germany. Performed with Esther Phillips at most Jazz Clubs in NY and DC area, The Berne Jazz Festival in Berne, Switzerland – 1981
Spider then returned to New York and began working with various groups and artists. Letta Mbulu invited him to do some concerts and TV appearances in the Montreal area. Spider and his close friend Jimmy A. Smith a song writer and arranger in New York, together they worked on record productions as well as live shows.
Spider has since returned to Detroit working on different projects with many artist including his own album that’s in production at this. time. Since moving back to his hometown of Detroit, Spider has worked with most of Detroit’s finest musicians & singers, ranging from pop, jazz, and R&B.
Some of the projects include:
- Martha Reeves – her new CD en titled: Home To You
- Michael Gabriel – his new CD entitled: Tenderly
- Paul Vornhagen – Live Performances
- Luis Smith – Live Performances
- Naima Sbamborguer – her new CD entitled: A Blossom Sings
- Marcus Belgrave – Live Performances with the Louis Armstrong Project
- Rodney Whitaker – Director of Jazz Studies at MSU, Live
- Performances, The Ed Love Show on WDET FM Detroit
- Sheila Jordan – (From NYC) – Live Performances at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit, Michigan
- Red Holloway – (From LA) Live Performances at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit, Michigan
- Larry Nozero – Live Performances
- Sheila Slaughter – New CD (release date to be announced)
- Shahida Nurullah – New CD (release date to be announced)