Photos by Mark J. Smith
Trigger Hippy, Super Group? I think, yes. Their drummer and co-founder, Steve Gorman, refers to them as “a rock band that can jam.” I would have to agree. Gorman co-founded the Black Crowes and is without a doubt one of the best rock drummers around. When building this band, he recruited Joan Osborne for vocals. We know her as a voice and presence with soul, strength and lots of flourish. Jackie Greene on guitar, keyboards, and vocals is a musical phenom. Gorman added Tom Bukovac, one of the top Nashville guitarist, as well as Nick Govrik on bass. Live, these guys are not only fantastic, they are also together—very together.
A lot of my enjoyment of Trigger Hippy’s live show is the play between the players. Osborne and Greene have a Delaney & Bonnie thing going on with their vocals—sometimes singing together, sometimes playing off each other, always sounding just great. Bukovac not only plays incredible guitar but interacts with the other musicians with what I would have to call a grin on his face. He enjoys himself while delivering guitar greatness, seeming to flirt with Osborne, challenging Greene and provoking Nick Gorvik to laugh all night. All of this interplay supports some of the best playing and singing I have heard in a long while. It also cracks up Steve Gorman sitting in the back on his drum kit.
The song writing seems to lend itself to the vocals of Greene and Osborne and forms the basic sound of Trigger Hippy. Gorvik’s contribution to the song writing is very strong, especially with “Adelaide” while they all play a big part in the writing.
The show opened with three rockers, “Turpentine,” “Dry Country” and “Cave Hill Cemetery,” just to get all the hips in the audience swaying. They then played a Clarence Carter cover, “Snatching It Back.” “Heartache on the Line” and “Rise Up Singing” display that Delaney & Bonnie vibe I felt, which was further emphasized when they played an actual Delaney & Bonnie cover, “When the Battle Is Over,” for an encore.
Great show. Great band. Catch them if you can.
– Mark J. Smith