Steve Jordan (drummer)

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Steve Jordan
Jordan with the John Mayer Trio, 2006
Jordan with the John Mayer Trio, 2006
Background information
Born (1957-01-14) January 14, 1957 (age 64)
New York City, New York, U.S.
GenresPop, rock, R&B
Occupation(s)Musician, producer, songwriter
InstrumentsDrums, percussion, keyboards, bass guitar
Years active1978–present
LabelsVirgin, JVC Victor
Associated actsSaturday Night Live Band, The Blues Brothers, Keith Richards and the X-pensive Winos, John Mayer Trio, The Verbs

Steve Jordan (born January 14, 1957) is an American drummer, songwriter, and record producer who has spent much of his career as a studio musician. During the 1970s and 1980s, he was a member of the bands for the television shows Saturday Night Live and Late Night With David Letterman. In the early 1980s Steve Jordan was a member of the Steve Khan band, along with Anthony Jackson on bass, and Manolo Badrena on percussion. Since the middle 1980s, Jordan has been a member of the X-Pensive Winos, the side project of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. Jordan and Richards have been production and songwriting partners on many of Richards's solo works. In 2005, he became a member of the John Mayer Trio.[1][2]

Early years[edit]

Jordan attended New York City's High School of Music and Art, graduating in 1974.

Jordan was a teenager when he first played in Stevie Wonder's band. Later, he played drums for the Saturday Night Live band in the 1970s. Jordan also played in the New York "24th Street Band" which had great success in Japan. When John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd toured as The Blues Brothers in the late 1970s, Jordan was their drummer, and recorded on their resulting album, credited as Steve "Getdwa" Jordan. He did not, however, appear in the movie of the same name. He also played drums for Paul Shaffer's World's Most Dangerous Band on Late Night with David Letterman from 1982-1986.

X-Pensive Winos and Chuck Berry[edit]

Jordan appearing with Richards' X-Pensive Winos. L to R: Sergey Voronov, Keith Richards, Steve Jordan, Stas Namin

Jordan, along with fellow Shaffer alumnus Anton Fig, appeared on the Rolling Stones' 1986 release Dirty Work when Charlie Watts' participation was stifled due to his substance abuse problems in the mid-1980s. Keith Richards then hired Jordan to play on Aretha Franklin's cover of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" for a film of the same name.

According to Richards, Jordan pressed Richards on the plane ride home from Aretha's recording session in Detroit to be included in the upcoming documentary by Taylor Hackford Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll, a tribute to Chuck Berry. Richards had been hoping to include Charlie Watts in the project but when this proved unfeasible, Jordan was hired and he appeared in many scenes with Berry and Richards.[3]

The success of this project led to Jordan's membership in Keith Richards and the X-pensive Winos, a band that toured with Richards and recorded two albums, Talk is Cheap (1988) and Main Offender (1992). Jordan co-produced both albums and is credited with songwriting along with Richards. One of these collaborations made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 via the Rolling Stones Steel Wheels album version in 1989: "Almost Hear You Sigh" peaked at number 50 (U.S.) and 31 (U.K.) in December of that year.

John Mayer Trio[edit]

Left to Right: Steve Jordan, John Mayer, and Pino Palladino

Jordan is a member of the John Mayer Trio, a blues rock power trio that consists of Jordan, on drums and backing vocals, bassist Pino Palladino and guitarist-singer John Mayer. The group was formed in 2005 by Mayer as a deviation from his pop-acoustic career. The trio released the record Try! on November 22, 2005. The 11-track live album includes cover songs, such as Jimi Hendrix's "Wait Until Tomorrow", and "I Got a Woman" by Ray Charles, two songs from Mayer's release Heavier Things, as well as new songs written by Mayer, in addition to three songs written by Jordan, Mayer, and Palladino. They are: "Good Love Is On the Way", "Vultures" and "Try". Jordan and Mayer also produced the album together on the Columbia Records label.

The trio also performed on December 8, 2007, in Los Angeles, California at the L.A. Live Nokia Theatre for the 1st Annual Holiday Charity Revue, which raised funds for various Los Angeles related charities. The DVD/CD release, entitled Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles features Palladino on bass and Jordan on drums.

Jordan would later collaborate with Mayer and Charlie Hunter by writing "In Repair", the 11th track from Mayer's 2006 album Continuum. Jordan also contributed to Mayer's fourth album, "Battle Studies"; videos of the conceptual/recording sessions can be viewed on YouTube.

Producing career[edit]

Jordan has recorded with such artists as Don Henley, John Mellencamp, Andres Calamaro, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, Sonny Rollins, BB King, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Neil Young, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Kelly Clarkson, and many more.[4] He is featured on James Taylor's 1998 DVD, Live at the Beacon Theatre.

Jordan has evolved into a Grammy Award-winning and nominated producer with Robert Cray's album Take Your Shoes Off and Buddy Guy's Bring 'Em In, respectively. While he has played on countless records, from Alicia Keys "If I Ain't Got You" to Bruce Springsteen's Devils and Dust, he continues to produce with such works as the Grammy Award-winning John Mayer album Continuum (2006),[5] John Scofield's That's What I Say, Possibilities by Herbie Hancock, and 23rd St. Lullaby and Play It As It Lays with Patti Scialfa.

In 2006, Jordan joined Eric Clapton's touring band for Clapton's "European Tour 2006", which included seven sold-out shows at the Royal Albert Hall. He continued in Clapton's band as they toured North America in 2007.

In 2008, Jordan produced and played percussion on one track for Los Lonely Boys' third album, Forgiven, at East Side Stages in Austin, Texas.

In 2009, Jordan received another Grammy Award nomination - the Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, for his work on the soundtrack scoring film for the movie Cadillac Records.

In 2013, Jordan produced the Boz Scaggs album Memphis.

The Verbs[edit]

Jordan formed a band with his wife, Meegan Voss, and they have toured and recorded under the band name The Verbs. The music has been described as "The perfect cocktail of girl group, Brit-pop, country, ska and rock and Roll."[6] They toured Japan in 2006 in support of their first release, And Now... The Verbs. They followed their debut album with Trip, the next release by Jordan and Voss. As in their previous release, this album features Tamio Okuda on lead guitars, Pino Palladino on bass and additional classic guitar work by Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar. The Verbs played their first gig outside of Earth Fare in Rockwood Plaza, Forest City, NC.


Steve Jordan, left, with drum kit, performing with Eric Clapton's set during
The Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2007

With the Blues Brothers[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Patti Austin

With Bunky Green

With Don Pullen

With Booker T. & the M.G.'s

With Cat Stevens

With B.B. King

With Ivan Neville

With Bruce Springsteen

With Andrés Calamaro

  • Alta Suciedad (Gasa, 1997)

With Keith Richards

With Feargal Sharkey

  • Wish (Virgin Records, 1988)

With Candi Staton

  • Chance (Warner Bros. Records, 1979)

With Josh Groban

With George Benson

With Neil Young

With LeAnn Rimes

With Don Henley

With Roberta Flack

With Bonnie Tyler

With Mark Ronson

With Ziggy Marley

With John Scofield

With Kelly Clarkson

With Steve Cropper

  • Dedicated – A Salute to the 5 Royales (429 Records, 2011)

With Steven Van Zandt

With Debbie Gibson

With Bruno Mars

With Aretha Franklin

With James Taylor

With Rod Stewart

With John Mayer

With John Mayer Trio

  • Try! (Columbia, 2005)

With Sam Phillips

With Vince Gill

With Mike Stern

With Cyndi Lauper

With Amanda Marshall

With Billy Joel

With Sheryl Crow

With Solomon Burke

  • Like a Fire (Shout! Factory, 2008)

With Boz Scaggs

With Garland Jeffreys

With Stevie Nicks

With J. J. Cale and Eric Clapton

With Cissy Houston

With John Mellencamp

With Herbie Hancock

  • Possibilities (Hear Music, 2005)

With Bob Dylan

With Donald Fagen

With Melanie

  • Phonogenic – Not Just Another Pretty Face (Midsong International, 1978)

With Michael Franks

With Eric Clapton

With Steve Khan Eyewitness

  • Eyewitness (Antilles, 1981)
  • Modern Times (also released as Blades) (Trio/Passport, 1982)
  • Casa Loco (Antilles, 1984)

With Robben Ford


Jordan plays Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals and Remo drumheads. He has signature drumsticks from Vic Firth.

Acoustic Drums:Yamaha Maple Custom

  • 14" x 6.5" snare drum or a 13" x 6.5" Steve Jordan Signature snare drum
  • 20" x 16" bass drum
  • 12" x 8" rack tom
  • 14" x 14" floor tom


  • 17" Signature Traditionals Thin Crash (as hi-hat top)
  • 17" Signature Dark Energy Crash (as hi-hat bottom)
  • 20" Masters Dark Crash Ride
  • 22" Traditionals Light Ride

Drumheads: Jordan endorses Remo drumheads and uses Coated Vintage A's and Coated Ambassadors on the toms and snares and either a Coated Powerstroke 3 or a Coated Ambassador on the bass drum.

Drumsticks: "Steve's Signature stick is light and long for great touch and sound around the drums and cymbals." In hickory. L = 16 ½"; Dia. = .525" Jordan discussed their use in a video interview for Vic Firth.[7]


  1. ^ "Drummerworld: Steve Jordan". Drumerworld. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  2. ^ "Steve Jordan Biography | Famous Drummers". Drum Lessons. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  3. ^ Keith Richards interview, Rolling Stone, October 6, 1988
  4. ^ "Steve Jordan Credits". All Music. 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  5. ^ "Steve Jordan Grammy Award Continuum". All Music. 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  6. ^ "The Verbs". Official website of The Verbs. 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
  7. ^ "Vic Firth Artist: Steve Jordan". Vic Firth: The World's Largest Manufacturer of Drumsticks and Mallets. Vic Firth Incorporated. 2009. Retrieved December 28, 2009.

External links[edit]