Musician Profile: Chicago Steve Carter
Chicago Steve Carter
Chicago Steve Carter , born and raised in Chicago is a drummer’s drummer. He’s not betrothed to genres and brings an incredible work ethic to his craft. Born in the pocket and aptly nicknamed by blues guitarist Dave Barger for his home town, Chicago Steve is widely known for his professionalism and skill as a freelance drummer and as a bandmate.
Rooted in Boston now, Steve got his start in Chicago in a trio called “Backstage” with fellow musicians Kip Rhodes & Marty Craven. He’s been in several bands and has had an extensive career since then. Although he plays in bands Steve is also a sought after studio musician who has featured on many studio productions. Recently he featured on Jon butcher’s production “Band of Wolves” and a Massachusetts up and coming artist Meghan Wolf on her first CD release.
Work Ethic, Experience & Skill.
Steve has been on some big stages but he also keeps his connections tight, right down to the local level. He understands the importance of networking and knows that important opportunities are everywhere. A wise person I know once said: “It’s important to be out and be seen”. Steve gets that and he’s constantly going to jams and connecting with new people, building his list of connections, consequently staying extremely busy.
Steve has a solid philosophy he brings to his drumming, in his own words:
“I was always taught as a drummer to keep it simple. Too many new drummers think that to be effective you need to play a ton of fills. It’s not what you play; it’s what you don’t play. This philosophy has helped me get a lot of work. People that hire me know they are going to get a very professional hard working musician that takes his job very serious.”
So I asked Steve about some of his favorite gigs. For a guy like Chicago Steve with a 32 year career, that’s a fairly loaded question but here is some of his more recent favorites:
- Performing with American Idol contestant Ayla Brown.
- Recently played at Gillette Stadium before the Patriots game on Christmas Eve 2016.
- Foxwood Casinos New Year’s Eve Ball. To over 5000 people. 4 consecutive years.
In Steve’s 32 years experience he has toured and performed with members of James Brown, Jackie Wilson. Jon Butcher, David Cassidy, Johnny Ray, Sheena Easton, Charo, Muddy Waters, J.Geils Band, Maynard Ferguson, Boston, Steve Miller, Gin Blossoms, Tower of Power, The Coasters, The Monkees, Johhny A, The B-52’s, Ayla Brown, James Darren, Van Morrison, Dave Mathews, and many more.
Steve’s philosophy runs deep and although he’s experienced he remembers where he came from. Steve credits his great friend and mentor, legendary Bassist Bill Robinson for his start. Robinson played with Jackie Wilson and James Brown. Bill took Steve under his wing at 18 years old and taught him everything, especially how to play in the pocket. Bill taught Steve that there was space in between notes where the tempo lived and that a drummer’s job was to play at the back end of the pocket. This was a water shed moment for Steve. Bill also taught that simple was better. Just play in the pocket and drive the band when needed.
So what is he up to currently?
Steve is constantly busy as a freelance musician in the studio and doing fill in gigs but makes time to be part of two very popular bands in the New England Area. Wanted Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi Tribute) and Thirty 6 Red (Country/Classic Rock). Recently Steve & Ayla Brown opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd on their current tour.
Steve is a dead serious musician. When it comes to goals only “bigger and better” will do. He’s involved with projects all the time and always playing across the country. You can contact Steve or keep up to date on where you’ll see him through his website. Check it out!
Take a listen to Steve with Wanted DOA: