Steve Gorman’s brand of funky rock helped make The Black Crowes a cover band favorite and continues to propel the band’s bluesy Southern rock songs. Their latest live release, Wiser For The Time, shows him stretching out in the context that really raised The Black Crowes to formidable heights.
These excerpts occur prior to the vocal entrance and show three distinct sections of the song and the grooves Gorman created for them. The first is a funky rock groove with a few faint bass drum notes that you might miss at the first listening. The next section moves to the ride bell and there’s a strong accent on count 2 of every other measure. At the beginning of the second and third line we see one of his signature moves – adding the bass drum under his fills. If you’ve ever played The Black Crowes’ version of “Hard To Handle” (and who hasn’t?) he does the same thing leading into that tune’s first verse. It’s a simple and effective way to add urgency to your fills.
Song intros and outros are often great spots for musicians to set up a tune and stretch a little before settling down to assume their responsibilities behind the singer. For the intro of this track, Gorman plays some slamming fills before launching into his funky groove that emphasizes the & of beats 4 and 1.
This one begins with a crescendoing eighth-note intro but then launches into the odd yet surprisingly perfect verse groove. One drummer in a thousand would have come up with this part, and its contrary motion is magical in the song.
Another funk groove starts this one off but at the chorus goes to a Motown feel with the snare played on all the quarter-notes and funky bass drum notes and open hi-hats accenting around them.