Trigger Hippy, fronted by Joan Osborne, a must-see as southern tour continues

Just before the end of their powerful set last night at Live Wire Music Hall here in Savannah, the five members of Trigger Hippy — fronted by the great Joan Osborne — paused for a moment. Just a moment, as if they needed to get their bearings. So deep into such a seamless, rollicking performance, those few seconds seemed a little out of place.

And then they launched into a moving and beautiful version of The Band classic “The Weight”, with the crowd singing along passionately. It was a stirring end to a stirring show — and just about perfect so soon after Levon Helm’s death.

Weeks ago, when I first saw that Trigger Hippy would be starting a quick southern tour here in Savannah, I checked out the sound — and loved it. But were they serious about Joan Osborne? That Joan Osborne? Osborne’s second album, 1995’s Relish, was a smash hit largely because of the single “One of Us”, but it was solid beginning to end. I just about wore that thing out.

I haven’t followed Osborne’s career since then, but it was simply stunning to hear that voice and see that energy up close as part of this bluesy, soulful, funky, hard-charging rock and roll band.

Here’s a free download of Trigger Hippy’s “Cave Hill Cemetery”. It burns with sensuality, just like Trigger Hippy live. (Btw, there’s a Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky — a beautiful place not too far from the tony suburb of Anchorage, Kentucky where Osborne was raised.) “I’ll be in Cave Hill Cemetery before I stop loving you” — beautiful.

Trigger Hippy’s short current tour includes gigs in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. If you get the chance, be sure to check them out.

Trigger Hippy’s other members are Steve Gorman, Audley Freed, Jackie Greene, and Nick Govrik — all of whom have great resumes of their own. And they aren’t overshadowed by Osborne, despite her intense stage presence — breezy and sexy and commanding all at once.

I took a ton of photos that I haven’t really edited yet, but I wanted to get some posted before Trigger Hippy gets too far into their tour.

As always, Live Wire’s low stage, intimate environment, and multi-colored lights present both challenges and opportunities to those of us with cameras . . .

And my apology to the drummer — in small clubs in Savannah it’s almost always impossible for me to get decent shots of you guys.

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