Rice’s Signature Sound Enriched Live Performances and Recordings by Legends Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte, Martha Reeves, Etta James and Eddie Kendricks, Among Others
SPIDER WEBB UNTANGLED: The Life & Times of Legendary Drummer Kenneth Rice, a documentary recounting the musician’s storied life, will be available January 24, 2023 on multiple platforms from Megawave via MVD Entertainment Group distributors.
Spider Webb, the common denominator on hit records like “Cloud Nine” and “Runaway Child Running Wild” (The Temptations), “Keep On Truckin’” (Eddie Kendricks), “(You Can) Leave Your Hat One” (Etta James), “Band of Gold” (Freda Payne), “Home to You” (Martha Reeves) and “Mango, Coconut, Sugar Cane (Harry Belafonte), was an in-demand session and touring drummer who played with artists such as Aretha Franklin, The Commodores, Roberta Flack, Grover Washington, Jr. and Robert Palmer, among others, during his career spanning five decades.
SPIDER WEBB UNTANGLED is a story of survival. Based in part on his 2009 published autobiography, the film details the rags to riches and back again story of Spider’s life, rising from poverty and child abuse at the hands of his mother to sought after session and touring musician. Born in Detroit, where he once again lives, Kenneth Rice realized early in life that music was his ticket out. His only formal training was playing with the junior high school drill team and a high school drum and bugle corps. He joined with fellow classmates to form a band while still in his teens, begging his parents for a real set of drums.
In the right town during the birth of local groundbreaker Motown Records, Webb played on sessions for noted songwriters/producers Holland-Dozier-Holland and was recruited into the famed King Curtis and the King Pins band. From there, he joined the music ensemble assembled by international superstar Harry Belafonte and toured the world. An A-list session player in both New York and Los Angeles and several places in between, he was record producers’ go-to drummer for funk, jazz, R&B and pop tracks. Blues and Soul Magazine wrote: “Spider knows everyone who’s anybody and beyond, and he’s worked with the best.” Respected music educator and bassist Marion Hayden said, “Spider has been there on the ground floor of where jazz and popular music forms have come together,” while in his “Cruise Ship Drummer” blog, Todd Bishop lauded Webb’s playing on Grover Washington Jr.’s “Feels So Good” as “a textbook on how to play a funk arrangement.” Also a member of The Funk Brothers, the uncredited and largely unheralded studio musicians who were Motown’s house band, Webb has since rejoined them now that he is again living in his native Detroit.
The film includes interviews with musicians and producers with whom Spider has worked during his lengthy career. A notable clip features Spider playing drums in the house band that backed singer Kim Weston and many other artists at the iconic 1972 Wattstax Festival in Los Angeles, which spawned the award-winning 1973 documentary film. Weston, David Clayton-Thomas (who Spider toured and recorded with) and Martha Reeves are among those interviewed in SPIDER WEBB UNTANGLED.
SPIDER WEBB UNTANGLED was conceived, directed and filmed by Michigan native John S. Palmer, Jr., who read Rice’s autobiography and approached him about creating the documentary. Webb serves as executive producer. Palmer owns Lansing-based Megawave Corporation, an art gallery and record label, and through his Andro-Media video production company has made numerous music videos and long-form music documentaries showcasing his label’s artists. Palmer’s audio production contributions helped garner Grammy™ nominations in 2007 and 2010 for the late reggae legend Lee “Scratch” Perry, as well as a number of regional music awards and nominations for other artists.
SPIDER WEBB UNTANGLED will be available Vimeo and DVD on January 24, 2023. For more information, visit: www.spiderwebbuntangled.com