The Right Grooves
The last thing you think when you meet Steve Bowman is rock star. But the unassuming Walnut Creek dad is just that: He’s kept the beat for such headliners as Counting Crows, Third Eye Blind, and Luce.
“Counting Crows allowed me to get into the Bay Area real estate market, which has probably made me more money than they have at this point,” Bowman, 39, says with a chuckle. He’s recalling the lucrative days when he was in the drum chair for the band’s smash debut album, August and Everything After. That CD sold more than 7 million copies. Bowman left before the Crows recorded their second album, but August was by far the band’s biggest success.
These days, Bowman splits his time between recording sessions in Nashville, Bay Area club gigs, and family life in Walnut Creek. His newest band, alt-country group the Bittersweets, has been getting airtime on KFOG and winning rave reviews for
“It’s a beautiful band,” he says. “I really love this kind of music. I love sad songs. Even if the songs aren’t lyrically sad, they just have a melancholy and despair about them that I gravitate towards.”
When he’s not jamming with the Bittersweets, Bowman loves riding his bike on the Iron Horse Trail and taking his son, Ben, eight, and daughter, Olivia, five, to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. Between gigs, Bowman teaches drums to up-and-comers and recently published a book, Groove Control, to help drummers find the zone.
“Grooving happens when your notes are so consistent that the musicians you play with can lock into your playing; they can hear when the next note is going to hit,” says Bowman. “When people can predict when your notes are going to hit, the audience can get involved, they can dance, and they are unconsciously compelled to be involved. The drummer starts it all.”