Racket Club

You think nature’s beautiful and all, but you view its attendant peace and quiet as a bit overrated. You see hiking as fun, but you always thought it was missing something — like drums, perhaps. Damn, if it isn’t your lucky day, because Leslee Jo Klinsky’s Drum Arizona Hiking Group is striking up the band, and it wants you along for the ride.

All you need is a modicum of stamina, a whiff of self-expression, a vague sense of rhythm, and something to beat on as the group treks up the relatively easy 1.7-mile Javelina Trail at South Mountain Park and Preserve for what ostensibly amounts to a mobile drum circle. “It’s a great way to commune in nature and play music together,” says Klinsky, a former professional drummer. “You can visit the outer reaches of reality through drumming. For me, drumming is heavier than acid.”

Whoa. But what about all those hikers seeking a peaceful, percussion-free Saturday-morning stroll? “We go and scope out-of-the-way places where we don’t bother other hikers,” Klinsky assures us. “And when people do hear us, they usually ask about joining us next time.”

Of course, hikers needn’t worry about possessing musical talent — or an actual drum. “We’ve had people with woodblocks, a five-gallon plastic bucket, a couple of pan tops, and instruments made out of boxes. And there are a few decent drummers,” Klinsky says. “But even the people who aren’t, are usually right on the beat. I mean, I could get pretty annoyed, but I don’t. Sometimes, we even manage to end all at the same time.”

Sat., Feb. 16, 10 a.m., 2008
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Jay Bennett
Contact: Jay Bennett