The Rocks Off 100: Alphonso "Fonz" Lovelace, Righteous Drummer

Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link.

Photo by Altamese Osborne
Who? All of the greats start out in church -- Aretha, Patti, Whitney. Drummers are no exception. Alphonso Lovelace, Jr., 27, is a church drummer turned local talent, turned promising national drum star.

Lovelace, or "Fonz," as he is affectionately called, started drumming at age four after being gifted his own drum set. He took up the art of the cadence after his father, Alphonso Lovelace Sr., who also played in church.

The younger Fonz moved to Houston in 2008 from Hampton, Va to study production and studio engineering with G Management. Today Lovelace plays at Dominion Chapel in Stafford. He has also begun making a name for himself in the local music scene, drumming for various R&B and rock bands.

He is also currently the drummer for alternative rockers Deep Ella, who can be found playing at Clayton's every Sunday.

Home Base: As already noted, Fonz hails from Hampton, Va., but now thrives in the Bayou City.

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Picture courtesy of Guitar Center
Good War Story: Fonz didn't mention this, but we felt it was too good of a story to pass up. Fonz is not only a dedicated drummer for his church and burgeoning Houston talent, he is also nationally recognized.

After initially losing at the local level last year, Fonz casually signed up for a local Guitar Center's drum-off competition -- and won first place. The next night, he won again at the Sugar Land store's competition, thereby advancing to the divisional, then regional finals.

As you can guess by now, he won both, and recently finished behind Juan Carlos Mendoza at the Guitar Center National Drum-Off Finals in L.A. on January 19.

Music Scene Pet Peeve: Fonz prefers substance over superficiality. "I hate that the industry is all about looks and image before talent," he says.

Five Desert Island Discs Artists:

  • Snarky Puppy
  • Robert Glasper
  • Lambs to Lions
  • Tye Tribett
  • India.Arie

Best Show Ever: Ever the humble artist, Fonz recounts not his own, but another musician's show as his best. "The best show ever was Snarky Puppy live at Namm."

See who else has joined The Rocks Off 100 this year on the next page.

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