May 8, 2017 by 1888media
Rooted firmly in the modern heartland, veteran singer-songwriter Steve McCormick is gearing up for the May 19 release of his new EP, The Tripping Years.
Kicking off the latest expedition, his sixth release overall, is the oscillating horn-driven shuffle of “Say A Prayer for New York City,” which segues into the honeyed melancholy of “Hello Hello” before sauntering into the reverberating expanse of “Say the Word.”
Rounding out the 5-track excursion is the swampy New Orleans stroll of “Lying on the Bottom,” and the blossoming joy of “My Oh My,” which showcases subtle elegance by vocalist Heather Donavon (Keb’ Mo’).
Carrying the influence of iconic American artists like Townes van Zandt, Ry Cooder, John Hiatt, and Little Feat, McCormick’s soulful guitar playing and raspy voice on The Tripping Years is pure grade Americana.
Throughout the journey, McCormick’s deft slide guitar is in the driver seat, though he expertly augments it with acoustic finger-picking, blistering Santana-style leads, and a spacious layering of Hammond B3, Rhodes piano, mandolins and banjo.
With two decades as an audio engineering guru, Steve lent his vast array of production skills to the recording, and utilized his own custom McCormick Audio recording gear which includes tube microphones, tube pre-amplifiers, tube compressors and passive summing arrays to combine old-school analog sound with a pristine clean signal path. The meticulous results are bound to appeal to the casual listener and the audiophile.
Raised in the Midwest, McCormick’s interest in roots music led to a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he wrote his senior thesis on American Music. In the years that followed, Steve honed his recording skills by working with tube microphone expert Steve McKinstry at Salmagundi Studios. Relocating to Los Angeles in 1992, he’s a studio owner, producer, performer, session player, composer/songwriter and microphone builder.
As a session player, McCormick’s playing has been heard in dozens of national TV commercials including McDonalds, Nike, Nissan, Chevron, Coors, SBC, Long John Silver and Cialis, for which he composed the infamous “bass line” that’s lodged itself in the collective consciousness of this great nation. He also played guitar on the theme song for the Warner Brothers hit Felicity, and has contributed to TV shows such as Walker, Texas Ranger, and NBC’s Homicide. A card-carrying member of the Hollywood Local 47 Musician’s Union, his on-screen debut occurred in the Michael Keaton movie Jack Frost, playing guitar in the Shiverfest scene.
Though his playing skills are highly sought after, his songwriting and recordings have given him the opportunity to collaborate with some of the best in the business, Stan Behrens (Canned Heat, War, Willie Dixon), Eric Lynn, Richie Hayward (Little Feat), Stevie Di Stanislao (CSN, Joe Walsh, Loggins and Messina, David Gilmour), Daryl Johnson (Neville Brothers, Daniel Lanois, Emmylou Harris), Eric Heywood (Jayhawks, Calexico, Ray LaMontagne), Phil Cody, and Pete Wasner (Vince Gill, Lowell George). As a producer, he’s worked with Michael Sherwood, Tom Freund, Phil Cody, and, most recently, Amilia K. Spicer on her Wow and Flutter opus.
To celebrate the release of The Tripping Years, McCormick is playing a trio of shows: Corazón Performing Arts Center on May 13, Santa Monica Playhouse, A Guest Production at The Other Space, on May 20, and Molly Malone’s on June 10, a bill which also includes actor Rob Morrow (Northern Exposure, Billions, Designated Survivor).