Nandi Bushell Honors Neil Peart with Masterful Drum Cover of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer”: Watch

"I really hope I have done the song justice. Professor Peart's playing is incredible."

Nandi Bushell Rush cover

Nandi Bushell continues to amaze us. After conquering Tool’s complex “Forty Six & 2” in December, the 11-year-old prodigy is back with a commanding drum cover of the Rush classic “Tom Sawyer.”

Not too many seasoned drummers would dare attempt to match the virtuoso drumming of the late Neil Peart, but the young Nandi once again proves why she is a musical force of nature. With a smile on her face, Nandi doesn’t miss a beat as she plays along to the iconic prog-rock song.

“This one is for you Professor Peart,” wrote Nandi in the YouTube description. “I wanted to try a Rush song that would really challenge me. I watched an interview where 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 Peart’s playing is incredible. I hope I got the strength and smoothness balance right. I have a new found love for RUSH now too!”

Update: RUSH’s Alex Lifeson acknowledged Nandi’s cover on the band’s Twitter account. “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, both Geddy and I do!”

Nandi was recently named Consequence’s Rookie of the Year for 2021. In an exclusive video Zoom interview, she spoke with us about her experiences jamming with Foo Fighters and Tom Morello, among others, as well as her musical aspirations.

As for joining Foo Fighters onstage to perform “Everlong” in Los Angeles, Nandi told us, “It was so much fun. It was kind of crazy at the same time because [Dave Grohl is] my role model and I’ve looked up to him basically my whole life. He’s really nice, and… the Foo Fighters are really, really nice.”

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When it comes to her future as a musician, Nandi said she envisioned herself writing more original songs and creating “albums that are multi-Grammy winning.”

Watch Nandi’s drum cover of “Tom Sawyer” below, followed by a video player containing both Consequence’s Rookie of the Year interview with Nandi and a video round table in which Mike Portnoy, Charlie Benante and other drummers discussed Rush’s Moving Pictures album and the musical genius of Neil Peart.

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