VIC FIRTH ARTIST
Kirk Covington has become recognized as one of the most versatile and dynamic drummers in the world. He is the "Wild Man From Texas" that jazz fusion audiences all over the world are talking about. His energy is infinite and his crowd pleasing personality and vocal ability have been a driving force in the success of the world renowned jazz fusion group Tribal Tech featuring guitarist Scott Henderson, bassist Gary Willis and keyboardist Scott Kinsey.
Coming from a musical family in Midland, Texas, and being the youngest of five children, Kirk was encouraged to begin playing drums at age seven by his brother Kyle (who is now in demand as a guitarist in the Nashville scene). By age twelve, Covington was a full time "garage band junkie". "Kyle made me play 'Wipeout' for the older guys all the time, which probably explains my penchant for playing single strokes, or what I call blender fills".
At age fifteen, Kirk was borrowing the family truck, and hauling his drum kit to rock'n'roll and country gigs around the Midland, Texas region. "By virtue of my age, I was heavily influenced by sixties and seventies rock and was also introduced to jazz through my parents love of swing and big band. In those days you also had to sing if you wanted to land the really good gigs".
DRUM SOLO, PERFORMED AT VIC'S WEST COAST OFFICES!
"LIES" by SCOTT KINSEY
Featured on the upcoming Scott Kinsey Group CD entitled "NEAR LIFE EXPERIENCE"
"Lies" by Scott Kinsey - wth backing track
"Lies" by Scott Kinsey - wth backing track
WHAT'S KIRK PLAYING?
With little formal training, Covington entered the internationally renowned North Texas State University jazz program. He eventually landed the drum chair in the famous Two O'clock Lab Band, a position that would also create many relationships with now famous players, including a young bassist named Gary Willis. After college, Covington and Willis continued to work together in Condor, one of the most popular jazz fusion bands in the region. Condor released an album in 1981 on Inner City Records that spent 4 weeks at #2 on the European Melody Maker Jazz charts. Several notable drummers followed in Covington's footsteps in Condor, including Greg Bissonette and Mike Baker.
By this time Kirk has developed a naturally powerful and very soulful vocal style that, combined with his ever growing skills as a drummer and keyboardist, quickly made him one of the most sought after players in the Dallas area. Being a vocalist, keyboardist and drummer have also led to several national promotional spots, writing and performing corporate jingles and radio, TV spots. Encouraged by the success that bassist Gary Willis and other North Texas musical associates found in relocation to Los Angeles, Covington decided it was time to pack up his family and make the big move. It was Covington's strong keyboard and vocal abilities that secured steady work for him in the first critical months. "Singing was really an unintentional thing for me" says Covington. "I've always been able to use it for its work value, but more and more I'm able to enjoy it as another avenue of musical expression".
In the spring of 1991, the jazz fusion band Tribal Tech began a search for a new drummer. They needed a player whose technique was a flawless as their own: a visionary player who could help carry Tribal Tech into the next decade. The search ended with Willis' old Texas friend Covington. Covington's success in Tribal Tech has propelled him into the spotlight as the animated backbone of "Tribal" shows world wide. His inventive drumming has been captured on the last three "Tribal" releases on Mesa/Bluemoon Records, Illicit ('92), Face First ('93), and Reality ('95).
Covington's successful endeavors with Tribal Tech have led him to the calling of another of the 20th century's greatest guitar virtuosos, Allan Holdsworth. Holdsworth enlisted Covington, Gary Willis (bass) and pianist Gordon Beck for his most recent release titled None Too Soon . Modern Drummer Magazine Aug. '96 issue features "A Different View" with Holdsworth, in which Holdsworth speaks highly of Covington, commenting "I would really look forward to playing with him (Covington) in a context that is outside the one we just did" (which is straight ahead modern bebop). "I would love to have a chance to play with him on my own music".
Covington headlined the 1995 Montreal Drum Festival in which his inspiring performance with keyboardist Scott Kinsey and bassist Gary Willis brought the enthusiastic crowd to their feet. Modern Drummers May '96 issue exclaims, "The entire Drum Fest was brought to a dynamic conclusion with the performance of the Kirk Covington Trio". The Montreal Drum Fest was recorded and is available on CD. Covington's drum solo opens the CD followed by the Scott Kinsey composition "Foreign Affairs" which was first recorded on the Tribal Tech Reality Check album.