Artistic Values: Meet Steve Brewster

Steve Brewster and me

If you’ve turned on the radio in the last 25 years, you’ve heard the backbeats of Steve Brewster. He’s recorded with everyone from Little Big Town to Jewel, from Dierks Bentley to Chicago. But, when you meet Steve, it’s not the gold records or killer studio or sweet sounding maple drum kit that are the most striking- it’s the heart he has for music.
 
A Tullahoma native, Steve caught the music bug early, hitting his first kit and experiencing ‘pure joy’ at the age of five. By the time he was in high school, he knew he had found his passion.
 
Steve worked his way through the University of Tennessee, where he was studying Jazz, by playing top 40 hits in local clubs. It was playing these regular gigs that helped him land his first gig.
 
“Janie Frickie was really big in the country market at the time, and her band lived in East Tennessee,” he said. “I met some of them playing the club gigs when they were off the road. When I was close to graduation, they offered me a gig playing for Janie. I had never traveled much, and it was really, really cool to go from college to playing on TV and touring Europe.”
 
Steve toured with Janie for two years before moving to Nashville to pursue session work.
 
“I pulled into town with a Ford truck that had a camper on it, some clothes and my kit,” he said. “It sounds cliché but that’s the truth.”
 
The 1960’s Ludwig Kit at Brewbeat Studios

The 1960s Ludwig Kit at Brewbeat Studios




Although Steve was resistant to talk about his success (he’s very humble and down-to-earth), he did share a few of the values that drive him as an artist.
 
“I believe it’s a privilege to be in the studio and that I have a responsibility to bring my artistry to any song,” he said. “I don’t judge the songs, I just try to climb inside and make it as artistic as possible.”
Steve thinks of drum parts in the studio as a box that he gets to paint inside of.
 
“Part of the art is learning how to give something depth, artistic value and make it meaningful- even though you may need to do that with a limited pallet of colors,” said Steve. “I don’t see playing more straightforward parts as a limitation, I see it as an artistic exercise.”
 
Steve with his custom Sam Bacco drum kit

Steve with his custom Sam Bacco drum kit


Some of Steve’s favorite long-time collaborators have been Sara Groves, Charlie Peacock and Richard Marx.
 
One of his ‘pinch me’ career moments included working with Bob Seger.
 
“I played drums on his first studio album in 10 years,” he said. “In the session, it was so surreal to hear his iconic voice in my headphones singing the songs. It was unbelievable to play with someone I grew up listening to.”
 
Steve also had the opportunity to play with Bob and the Silver Bullet Band on the Tonight Show; it was Bob’s first TV show ever.
 
So what’s next for Steve?
 
“In addition to continuing to pursue my session work, I’d like to begin carving out some time to write and produce,” he said. “No matter what, I’m in music for life.”
 
To learn more about Steve and check out his studio, visit his website.

1 comment

  • Michael Stuhr

    Michael Stuhr Illinois

    I recorded at your home studio this summer with Cherie Norquay and Phil Naish please contact me about another project mtstuhr @yahoo.com

    I recorded at your home studio this summer with Cherie Norquay and Phil Naish please contact me about another project mtstuhr @yahoo.com

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