Chad Cromwell’s career began to blossom in Memphis, Tennessee during the early 1980’s. In 1986, Chad moved out west to join Joe Walsh for a collaboration which produced Got Any Gum? and Ordinary Average Guy, which resulted in multiple US and worldwide tours. The following year, 1987, Chad got the call to record with one of the world’s most prolific songwriters, Neil Young. These sessions became Neil Young & The Bluenotes. After touring to promote this record, and producing MTV’s ‘Video of the Year’, This Note’s For You, Neil’s interest circled back to 3-piece Rock & Roll which led to the New York and San Francisco recording sessions that ultimately became the album Freedom.
In 1990, Chad moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Richard Bennett and Tony Brown were among the first producers in Nashville to request Chad for session work. These two producers would prove extremely helpful in creating a successful recording career for Chad, in Nashville. In 1996, Chad’s artistry behind the drums was formally recognized by his peers, when Chad was nominated for the Nashville Music Awards as “Drummer/Percussionist of the Year”. That same year, Chad could be heard on Leann Rimes breakthrough album, “Blue”.
During the mid-90’s, Mark Knopfler recruited Chad for the recording of Golden Heart, Mark Knopfler’s first solo album. Chad soon went on tour with Mark in 1996, to promote the album. Mark Knopfler and Chad Cromwell would go on to work together quite a bit; including the soundtracks to the films Metroland and the US blockbuster Wag The Dog. Knopfler would team up with Cromwell again in 2001 for his album Sailing To Philadelphia, 2003’s album The Ragpicker’s Dream, & 2004’s album Shangri-La.
Chad’s studio work would continue throughout 2004 and 2005, working with artists such as Sugarland, Gretchen Wilson, Trisha Yearwood, Marty Stewart, and Miranda Lambert.
Chad Cromwell’s career has seen him in the studio and on stage/TV/touring with an impressive list of major recording artists. In addition to those already mentioned, Chad’s versatility behind the drums has been showcased with multiple country and pop artists throughout the years. Chad Cromwell has executed a solid-feel behind many of today’s hit-making artists, including: Blake Shelton, John Michael Montgomery, Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Jessica Simpson , Boz Scaggs, Wynonna, Bonnie Raitt, Peter Frampton, Donnie Osmond, Gary Allen, Radney Foster, Comedians Jeff Foxworthy & Bill Engvall, Kenny Chesney, Lee Ann Womack, Amy Grant, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Brooks & Dunn, and Keb’ Mo’.
The spring of 2005 brought a new project with Neil Young, called “Prairie Wind”. The spring of 2006 brought another recording called “Living with War”. Chad performed on Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” Movie, filmed and directed by Johnathan Demme, during the summer of 2005.
During 2006, Chad was hard at work in the studio with artists Livingston Taylor, Toby Keith, as well as recording tracks featured on a new box set release “These Days” by acclaimed country music star Vince Gill. Chad would continue throughout 2006 recording and touring with Neil Young and performing on CSNY’s “Freedom of Speech Tour”.
In the mid-2000s, he formed the band Fortunate Sons along with Michael Rhodes, Gary Nicholson, Kenny Greenberg, and Reese Wynans. They released a self-titled album in 2004. He is also a member of the occasional touring band Big Al Anderson and The Balls, led by former NRBQ guitarist Al Anderson.
In 2012, Cromwell appeared on The Beach Boys’ studio album, That’s Why God Made the Radio.