Catching Up With…
Trigger Hippy’s Steve Gorman
by Jim Riley
“You can make up a lot of ground when you don’t know what you’re up against,” Steve Gorman says to Modern Drummer over brunch in downtown Nashville. Given the fact that the drummer didn’t start playing until he was twenty-one years old, joined the grungy roots-rock band the Black Crowes after owning a kit for merely a month, and appeared on the group’s multimillion-selling 1990 album, Shake Your Money Maker, just two years later, it seems that he is, in fact, at his best when the pressure is on. You can be sure it’s a characteristic that comes in handy when Gorman is playing in front of thousands of fans—or manning a radio control-room microphone.
“When my daughter was in preschool,” Gorman explains, “the father of one of her best friends was Nashville sports radio personality Willy Daunic. He and I would talk sports every day while we waited to pick up our kids from school. We really hit it off, and he invited me to come to the studio to be a guest of the show. We did about an hour on air, and it just felt natural. When we got done, the producer came in and said, ‘That was great! How would you like to be a regular guest of the show?’ And I said, ‘What I would really like is my own show….’”
The request wasn’t exactly out of left field, as Gorman was a broadcasting major at Western Kentucky University. When he hit the road with the Crowes in 2010, he turned his show, Steve Gorman Sports!, into a podcast, gaining a fan in Bruce Gilbert, the head of Fox Sports Radio. Gilbert was keen on the unique “music and sports” angle, and today Steve and cohost Jeffrey Gorman (the drummer’s cousin and a former NFL executive) can be heard five days a week on more than a hundred stations.
On the playing front, while the Black Crowes remain on hiatus for the foreseeable future, Gorman has been keeping his drumming skills sharp with Trigger Hippy, whose stellar lineup features Nashville session guitarist Tom Bukovac, bassist Nick Govrik (Highwater, Mike Farris), keyboardist Jackie Greene (Black Crowes, Phil Lesh), and famed singer Joan Osborne (“One of Us”). The band’s self-titled debut album features a mix of solid songwriting and passionate grooves born from letting the creative process run its course in the studio, and the tracks are mixed just the way drummers like to hear them, revealing every funky nuance of what Steve is laying down.
Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff