In 2014, after five years of touring with different band configurations, Trigger Hippy finally released its self-titled debut album. The band hit the road for over 40 energetic shows in 2014 and 2015 to support the album. So what do you do when everything finally seems to be falling into place? Put the band on hiatus of course.
That’s what founding members Steve Gorman (drummer The Black Crowes) and bassist Nick Govrik decided to do at the end of 2015. Not only was Gorman fully involved with Trigger Hippy at the time, he was also in the middle of dealing with the implosion and end of the Black Crowes. “I had a hangover from both bands, it really was that simple.” Gorman said.
Although the band was on hiatus and former Hippy members Jackie Green and Joan Osborne had returned to their main musical projects, there never was a doubt Trigger Hippy would be back.
“Steve and I have had this thing going for a long time in different configurations one way or the other,” said Govrik. “So people moving in and out of the group was completely normal.”
After a four-year hiatus, Gorman and Govrik have added guitarist/singer Ed Jurdi (Band of Heathens), and singer and saxophonist Amber Woodhouse and recorded their second album, Full Circle and Then Some. Once again, Trigger Hippy will hit the road in November and early 2020 to promote the album.
A few things stand out immediately in Full Circles and Then Some. First and foremost are the vocals contributed by Amber Woodhouse. When asked to describe Woodhouse, Govrik responds succinctly and without hesitation “She’s a powerhouse… no doubt.”
As Woodhouse, Govrik, and Jurdi trade lines in the album’s opener “Don’t Want To Bring You Down,” the ease and power of Woodhouse’s voice is on full display. Woodhouse and Jurdi’s vocals mesh perfectly on the slower “Strung Out on the Pain.” Both “The Door” and “Dandelion” are further examples of Woodhouse’s outstanding vocal contributions.
Another thing that jumps out of Full Circle and Then Some is the enthusiasm Ed Jurdi brings to the album. In the jovial yet almost humorous “The Butcher’s Daughter” you feel like Jurdi could erupt in laughter at any point. Add in a great hook, and you can hear how the band can turn something simple into a great song. The happiness exudes again for Jurdi as he and Woodhouse trade verses on the title track “Full Circle and Then Some.”
One thing the members of Trigger Hippy want to showcase is a diversity in the types of songs they record. This is evident with the New Orleans-eque trio of “Goddamn Hurricane” (about the destruction from Hurricane Katrina), “Long Lost Friend”, and “One of Them.”
Govrik said “We always wanted to make sure the listener realizes we are a roots band. We really want to make sure we cover all those areas.”
As Trigger Hippy gets set to head out on the road, Govrik says both albums are in play for their setlists. “We’ve already done a handful of shows and are mixing it up,” according to Govrik.
The bassist said this lineup of Trigger Hippy has made more of a commitment to moving forward together than the other incarnations would.
“It’s real optimistic. Everyone is having fun,” said Govrik. “We’ll stop and ask if we are wasting our time. But we go back and are like, this is cool.”