Another year passes and Nandi Bushell continues to reign supreme. The 11-year-old drum sensation has released yet another polished drum cover, this time of Rush‘s “Tom Sawyer”. Bushell dedicated this cover to the late Neil Peart, who unfortunately passed away on January 7th, 2020 after battling brain cancer for several years.
After besting Dave Grohl in a drum battle in 2020, then joining him on stage during a Foo Fighters concert at The Forum in Los Angeles, CA on August 27th, 2021, Bushell cemented herself as a drum prodigy and a true rockstar in the making. She continued her worldwide domination when she defeated Queen drummer Roger Taylor in a rhythm battle back in November and even found mention in Live For Live Music‘s “Strangest Sagas of 2021“. Nandi later joined Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith on his show where she received a masterclass from him and Greg Bissonette and further refined her skills.
With the lessons of 2021 fresh in her brain, Bushell’s latest cover arrived as her best yet. Choosing one of Peart’s more complex and involved tracks, Nandi delivered a measured and flawless attempt. She channeled his approach and energy from behind her kit, which was plastered with a Rush decal in honor of the legendary rock band. As the song ended, Bushell added some double bass fills before exclaiming, “This one’s for you, Professor Peart. Peace and respect.”
“I wanted to try a @rush song that would really challenge me,” wrote Bushell in the video’s description. “I watched an interview were the Professor said Tom Sawyer ‘remains so difficult to play’. So I thought I would give it a try. It’s actually really fun to play. I really hope I have done the song justice, Professor Pearts’ playing is incredible. I hope I got the strength and smoothness balance right. I have a new found love for RUSH now too!”
Upon seeing the cover, Rush’s Alex Lifeson took to Twitter and responded to Nandi thanking her for the tribute.
Oh @Nandi_Bushell , you brought a tear to my eye with this tribute! Tom Sawyer is a difficult song to play drums to and you made it so much fun. Neil would have loved your performance and wonderful smile, as both Geddy and I do! – Alex https://t.co/vcmUNgSlIi
— Rush (@rushtheband) February 7, 2022
Watch Nandi Bushell dedicate a drum cover of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” to Neil Peart via the player below and head here for her latest videos as they become available.
Nandi Bushell – “Tom Sawyer” (Rush)