Triggers & Slips
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Triggers & Slips

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Country Rock

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"Triggers & Slips ride the rails between music's past and present"

Two contrasting eras meet in the music video for "Modern Age," a track from Triggers & Slips' new sophomore album. Symbols of postcards and trains appear, evoking nostalgia for days when communication ran deeper than texts or online comments—when ramblers could spend their lives riding the rails. But the video is set in present day, and the vehicles aren't rusty antiques—they're sleek, shiny Trax trains.

A similar duality is present in the local band's classic-country-influenced 2012 self-titled debut, and Triggers & Slips have always seemed to inhabit two worlds. Their twangy, rootsy sound is influenced by legendary country artists and folk singers. "We have a bit of the oldness in us," says co-lead vocalist/guitarist and co-songwriter Morgan Snow. Yet these fans of traditional music don't shun the modern world.

They drew on time-tested musical styles to create Buffalo vs. Train, yet the record is still largely about what it means to be present, exploring a crossroads where old meets new.

"We were not born in 1950, we're not the Charlie Daniels Band, we're not living in the '70s—we live in 2015. I think pulling from old and new is just something that's our generation," Snow says. "We're one of the last generations that will actually know both."

If you catch Triggers & Slips at a local show, you might see the full group perform, but it's more likely you'll watch core members Snow and co-lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter John Davis, who have also been playing stripped-down versions of the band's material as a duo for the past five years. Buffalo vs. Train features first-time recordings of some of those arrangements, as well as songs the pair has never played with the full lineup.

And while Buffalo vs. Train represents a wide range of songwriting periods for Snow and Davis—spacey instrumental piece "The Bridge" was one of the first songs Snow ever wrote, but "Modern Age" and "Stars" are newer—the album is loosely inspired by its title's inherent juxtaposition.

"It's the literal interpretation of a wild animal that's free and roams and doesn't have any real purpose other than surviving for itself, and a train, which is the exact opposite but in some ways the exact same thing," Snow says. "It runs, it's born to run and be wild, but at the same time, it's confined to tracks—it's a machine vs. nature-type aspect."

Although Buffalo vs. Train is meant to capture the feel of Snow and Davis' duo shows, it's a highly collaborative release featuring contributions from additional local songwriters and musicians. It also includes a few covers of material by Steve Earle and the late folk singer, activist and real-life train-hopping hobo Utah Phillips. Kate MacLeod, who co-produced Buffalo vs. Train, sings backup vocals and adds violin to the mix; Michelle Moonshine Gomez performs her original track "Make You Mine" and sings backup; and Utah Phillips' son Duncan Phillips does a spoken-word piece on a track his father penned, "Phoebe Snow."

Their musical collaborators "are definitely our elders," Snow says. "Those are the people that we look up to, and you can learn a lot from people that have handled themselves the way they've handled themselves. They have a lot of grace and a lot of integrity."

"It's good to tap into the big tree, the ultimate big tree of music, which is many thousands or billions of years old," Davis says.

Buffalo vs. Train was recorded live—songs were often captured in only one take—in a studio Morgan and Davis made to look and feel like a living room. It's easy to hear the chemistry and camaraderie between Triggers & Slips and their guests. Intimate and inviting, the acoustic-driven Buffalo vs. Train provides an overview of Utah's musical past and present. It's also a snapshot of the magic that transpires when a group of modern musicians pay homage to their roots.

That unedited immediacy of performing together in the studio is what Triggers & Slips "really wanted to capture" on Buffalo vs. Train, Snow says. "We've been able to have some really good friends and really good parties where we just get to jam and play in the living room, and it's one of my favorite times to play music. ... We want you to feel like you're in that living room with us." - Kolbie Stonehocker (City Weekly) 2015


"LOCAL REVIEW: TRIGGERS & SLIPS – BUFFALO VS. TRAIN"

Triggers & Slips
Buffalo vs. Train
Self-Released
Street: 04.18
Triggers & Slips = The Felice Brothers + Trampled By Turtles

Buffalo vs. Train is a collaborative effort between Kate MacLeod, Michelle Moonshine and Duncan Phillips, and Salt Lake locals Triggers & Slips’ Morgan Snow and John Davis. Contrary to Triggers & Slips’ 2012 EP, Buffalo vs. Train is both twangy and haunting. With a slower tempo and emphasis on the violin, it’s more country-folk than country-rock, like their previous self-titled EP. This album is a mostly gentle acoustic listen with a lyrically sentimental touch, though certainly not lacking in devout energy. On the track “The Modern Age,” the lyrics say, “Looking for something that will remain.” It’s true that art lives forever— Buffalo vs. Train is a piece of beautifully compiled art that will truly, always remain in the modern age. –Lizz Corrigan - Lizz Corrigan (SLUG Magazine)


"RICHARD THOMPSON @ STATE ROOM 08.13 WITH MORGAN SNOW"

I’ll never understand how Richard Thompson isn’t a household name. From his folk rock work in the 1960s with the Fairport Convention to his dozens of acoustic and electric solo records in the years since, Thompson has been a driving force in guitar-based rock for his entire career—and he’s managed to do it all without borrowing from American blues guitarists like many of his UK contemporaries did (*cough* Clapton *cough*). Being somewhat unknown to the general public didn’t seem to affect the crowd at the State Room at all, as Thompson and local opener Morgan Snow performed to a sold out audience.

Snow started the evening off with a half-hour acoustic set. When he’s not performing solo, he is part of local country-rock band Triggers and Slips. A few of his band’s songs worked their way into his set. He also did some solo songs, one about curse words and another that referenced his great grandfather and early Mormon apostle Erastus Snow. He also laid out a gorgeous cover of the Utah Phillips ballad “If I Could Be The Rain.” His slightly nasally voice was a little more country and Western than many in the crowd were expecting, but in all, Snow served well as a warm up act.

Thompson took the stage promptly at a quarter to 9 pm. The last time he toured through SLC he came with a full band and played an electric set focusing mostly on recent work. As good of a performance as it was, it didn’t reference much of Thompson’s musical legacy. I was expecting a similar set this evening and was stoked to see that it would be only him and an acoustic guitar. I had a good feeling that his performance tonight would cover more of his history, and this expectation was quickly met. The better part of the next two hours was a course in guitar mastery and folk-rock storytelling.

He took the stage to a standing ovation, and launched into an energetic version of “Stony Ground,” followed by the more mellow “The Ghost of You Walks.” He then elicited a huge crowd response with a raucous version of the song “Valerie.”

As the crowd caught their breath, Thompson tuned his guitar, powdered his hands and introduced “Josephine,” a song from his most recent record Still. Listening to new music is a chore for an audience, but the crowd’s willingness to follow Thompson anywhere at this point allowed for a rather sweet listening experience. As the applause died down, he introduced “Johnny’s Far Away,” a song that he described as a modern sea shanty involving a touring cruise-ship musician. He followed this with another new song, a pedestrian tour of Amsterdam titled “Beatnik Walking.” - JAMES BENNETT (SLUG Magazine)


"Local Releases Self Titling Gets Your Name Out"

Moving on to release shows, tonight we'll see the debut release from Triggers & Slips! Rather than wax eloquently on the group and their history, I'll point you to the interview I did with the group back in late March. They've been hard at work on their self-titled EP over at Salt Lake Recording Service, and the work shows ,as this is one of the finest local country/folk albums you'll probably see all year. A little something of everything: If you want a number you can dance to, it's “Old Friends” or one you can drink to is “Aftermath.” If you're a music lover, it's worth buying just for the musicianship and attention to detail. Written by Gavin Sheehan. - City Weekly


"Worthwhile Local Country Rockers Release New CD"

The new eponymous EP from Salt Lake City's Triggers N Slips fully shows why the quartet is well worth hearing and seeing.

The six-song cd, available for free via download starting later this month at the band's website is a top-flight country-rock cd on par with many better known acts in this populous genre.

Featuring well-worded, occasionally poignant material written by the band's frontman Morgan Snow, the bopping country-rock grooves are anchored by the top-shelf musicianship of bandmates John Davis, Zach Griffin and Wil Grimshaw.

On standout tracks like "Old Friends," "4 Letters" and "Aftermath," the band mixes solid lyrics with interesting melodies that are firmly rooted in the country tradition, but never sound clichéd or copied.

These guys play around town frequently. It's time for folks here to start catching on to them.
- Salt Lake Magazine


"SLUG Magazine Local CD Reviews Sept 2012 issue"

Triggers & Slips
Self-Titled
Self-Released
Street: 05.11
Triggers & Slips = Justin Townes Earle + Merle Haggard + John Doe
First off, I’d just like to say that I’ve never heard a bad record that had traditional tattoo artwork on the cover—this record being no exception. With their easygoing sound, Triggers & Slips grab a handful of honky tonk, a bit of alt country and just enough of Southern rock to not be annoying about it. Nothing is forced, but, at the same time, there are so many great elements to this record. The playful country-style of piano, harmonica that springs up just when I need it, and the gentle vocal approach bring me into a room where the band’s jamming over some beers. If songs like “Old Friends” were getting played on country radio stations, you couldn’t stop me from tuning in, but alas, delightful tunes that reach out and grab me like this one rarely get that recognition. I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with the level of songwriting and execution these boys have pulled off on this record, like how “Too Good to Be True” is soulful and poignant while, at the same time, well crafted instrumentally from top to bottom. If you’re even a little bit interested in hearing some very satisfying country and Americana music, please check out Triggers & Slips. You won’t regret it. –James Orme
- SLUG Magazine


"Twangville Music Blog (2019)"

TWANGVILLE MUSIC BLOG (2019)

Like a 5-year-old watching the parade as the circus comes to town, I just sat there mesmerized as the latest from Triggers And Slips, The Stranger, passed by. Equal parts classic rock and country, front man and leader Morgan Snow has captured a musical style that transports you back in time if you lived through the 70’s. And makes you wish you did if you’re younger than that.

The opening song and title track are a pretty even blend of honky-tonk country shuffle and roots rock, with a spacey, prog rock intro. At the other end of the CD, the band covers Alice In Chain’s Rooster in all its ponderous glory. This version is no less depressing, but whereas the original was more of a narrative, Snow manages to capture the anguish of a dying man’s friend with his soulful voice and a bit of twang from acoustic guitar and banjo. I’m Not Your Baby adds some Baptist church organ to a Tennessee Whisky style number where Morgan spits out “ain’t no goddamned reason for you to leave” in disgust.

Other songs lay straighter in line with their inspiration. Blue Smoke is my favorite, with its tale of going to see the girlfriend in an old beater. Its simplicity is belied by the driving drums, keyboards, and guitar interplay, building to a climax that left me craving a cigarette. Drummer Eric Stoye punctuates the end with a Ringo-worthy “I’VE GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!” Old Friends lays a Waylon Jennings walking beat up side your head before it turns up the twang on vocals and a sweet fiddle part.

When it comes to solidly melding two, at the time, distinct styles into something new and better, The Stranger is in the league of No Depression or Sweetheart Of the Rodeo. It’s obviously not as ground-breaking, but I was gobsmacked when I first heard it, and I haven’t been able to get the CD out of my player since. - Shawn Underwood


"THE ALTERNATE ROOT Review of The Stranger (2020)"

THE ALTERNATE ROOT (2020)

Album Review for The Stranger from Triggers & Slips:
A marriage of heart-on-your-sleeve Country and swaggering Rock’n’Roll, Triggers & Slips introduce The Stranger, the latest release from the Salt Lake City, Utah band. The songs of Triggers & Slips play dual duty, telling their story before heading for the open range with electric jams. Starting its life sparked by a rhythmic thump, “Blue Smoke” spreads out into a pounding Rock stomp as a thin beam of delicate strums begins a journey into “Natchez Trace”, rising up into a electric fist that opens in the dark tale, and rough banjo notes ground the ethereal textures laying a path for “Dig a Hole” to plant a powerful groove, part-Rock, part-Country.

Forming around frontman Morgan Snow, the band began life in 2008. Triggers & Slips put muscle into the songwriter’s words, providing the musical foundation for his Rock’n’Roll with a Country Soul vocals. The Stranger hears hinges creak as it opens its doors with the title track, the chaotic blend of sonics parting its curtain to show a pure-bred Classic Country melody. The Country touches of Triggers & Slips tint with the Blues in “I’m Not Your Baby” and wrap a sunshine gospel beat around the confessions of “Old Friends” while the album exits with a Countrified cover of Alice in Chains “The Rooster” - Danny McCloskey


"Live Music Picks: Nov. 21-27 2019"

Sometimes, you kind of wish that certain bands with inexplicable names would offer a little insight into how they came up with their handle. Ordinarily, we'd put Triggers & Slips into that category, but these local stalwarts—who continually demonstrate their dexterity through an astute blend of rowdy rock, outlaw country, honky tonk, Americana and close-knit high harmonies—are good enough that they don't really need to explain anything. If you've caught them in concert before, you know that they aren't afraid to bend a few boundaries; last May at The State Room found them offering homage to Alice in Chains, and indeed their music also offers no small hint of reverence for bands of '90s outfits like Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Sound Garden, Blind Melon and the like. Their upcoming appearance at the State Room serves as a release celebration for their newest offering, The Stranger, as well as a reminder that hometown talent is worth paying attention to. In fact, the new album is already considered a potential break-out that will bring them to a national audience, even while it reaffirms the fact that they give us locals plenty to be proud of. A riveting blend of gritty, assertive, down-home defiance and dusty, well-weathered balladry, it's a fine representation of the best this band has to offer. Flush with class and conviction, it's the sort of thing that makes Triggers & Slips a genuinely potent combination. (Lee Zimmerman) - Lee Zimmerman (City Weekly)


"Triggers & Slips’ Morgan Snow: Passion, purpose the key to overcoming addiction"

For Morgan Snow, labels are a nebulous concept.

His band, for instance — Triggers & Slips, which releases a new album, “The Stranger,” this week — doesn’t fit into any certain box. There are throwbacks to the band’s 2012 full-length debut that are most definitely honky-tonk in origin, songs built with lap steel and twang and Snow’s country drawl that belies his roots as a Utah native. But there are a great many flourishes drawn from other colors on his musical palates, often within the breadth of the same song.

The Ties That Bind UsTake the title track, for instance: barrelhouse piano and loping bass lines slowly transition into a fuzzy, driving freight-train boogie, and by the time the band reaches the end of the line, it’s almost a completely different song. It’s a creative gear-shift that continues throughout the course of the record — the final track, in fact, is a cover of the dark-and-dreary Alice in Chains track, “Rooster.” To classify Triggers & Slips as a band firmly entrenched in a single genre is misleading, too say the least.

The same goes, Snow believes, for addiction and alcoholism. Even the terms are fluid, Snow points out — and as a mental health counselor, he speaks from a position of both professional authority as well as personal experience.

“Use, abuse, dependence — that’s the cycle,” Snow told The Ties That Bind Us recently. “The terms ‘addict’ and ‘alcoholic’ mean so many different things, and they’re not clinical terms from the standpoint of a clinician. There’s not a diagnosis for ‘drug addict’ — it’s chemically dependent, ranging from mild to moderate to severe. It’s not either-or, and there’s no on-off switch.

“I think that’s a common theme with both mental health and substance abuse. There’s a lot of black and white thinking, a lot of all-or-nothing thinking about it. There’s the stigma that you must be weak or must be a (screw-up) or of low moral character, so if you’re a person struggling and you’re identifying with those messages, you’re not going to tell people that (stuff). You don’t have a place of safety to work through what’s going on. People like to say, ‘Just quit,’ but if being sober was the cure, people wouldn’t relapse.

“That’s not where it ends, and I also think that’s part of the problem with the abstinence-only model,” he added. “People think, ‘I can never do it again,’ but that’s destination thinking.”

A different kind of recovery approach
Morgan SnowTo be absolutely clear: Snow does not advocate against abstinence or 12 Step recovery. He does not, in fact, work against any possible solution — he simply feels that harm reduction has a place at the table for people who struggle with drugs and alcohol, and his work and his personal experiences have led him to a place where that aforementioned destination thinking does more harm than good for some individuals, he said.

“I like to ask them, ‘Well, are you doing what you want? And if not, are (drugs and alcohol) getting in the way of what you want?’” he said. “A lot of times, it’s become this big, scary monster, and people don’t know how to talk about it. My goal is to get clients to attach to the idea of, ‘This isn’t so much about the identification that I’m an addict and can never do it again and have to do all these things.’ I like to tell them, ‘You’re getting ahead of yourself. What would it be like if you just didn’t do it for 30 days?’”

In a different approach to be sure, but Snow is adamant that when it comes to reversing substance abuse and overdose trends that killed more people in 2017 alone than the entirety of the Vietnam War, all possibilities must be brought to the table. Because in the end, the goal of any type of recovery is often the same:

“There is one thing that works every time, no matter who you are, and that’s finding passion and purpose,” he said. “No matter what model you use, if you find that, you’re going to have something else to hold onto that makes life worth living.”

For most of his early life, Snow’s passion and purpose was centered around baseball. A native of Salt Lake City, he’s a sixth generation descendant of some of the first pioneers to settle in Salt Lake Valley, but despite the perception that such stock must belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Snow didn’t grow up Mormon. Although he grew up around drinkers and smokers, however, he didn’t try it himself until he traveled across the country to play baseball for Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

“I was focused on sports,” he said. “I had seen people I grew up with struggle with it, and I didn’t really want to get to that point.”

Some metaphorical curveballs, however, threw him for a loop, and two weeks before his senior season started, he quit the team. Without baseball, he found himself adrift and struggling to fit into his role as a young husband with a new wife and a dog and bills to pay.

“My entire identity was wrapped around (baseball) — it was all I thought about, all I did and was what saved me from my early teen years of anxiety and depression and not knowing who I was,” he said. “I really had something to hold onto that was everything, and when you took that away, I had no idea who I was.”

Music becomes a passion
The guitar became a worry stone, the thing he held onto as the world around him seemed to unravel. He and his wife separated and eventually divorced, and he watched from afar as the young men who had been his teammates and brothers of the bat continued to play what would have been his final collegiate season.

“I was still in college, enrolled and going to classes and watching them, and I just felt like, ‘What am I?’” he said. “I just struggled to figure out anything that was tangible to what I was and what my purpose was; what I was going to do and what my life was even about. I spent the six hours a day I used to spend in sports just practicing the guitar.

“I met a dude at the bar who taught me how to do some things, and we would go out and hang out, smoke pot and drink and then play guitar. It was my only way to cope with it.”

As the darkness seemed to close in, there were even thoughts of suicide, he added. He was working at a Myrtle Beach piano bar and making good money, but the future seemed bleak, and his sense of direction was lacking. He went so far as to begin writing a suicide note, he said, but the more he wrote, the more he realized he was talking himself out of actually going through with it.

“Now that I’m in the clinical world and can see where I was at, I was really only a step, or maybe two, from really following through,” he said. “But I think being able to put it into a song helped me realize, ‘Hey — this isn’t what you want to do. This isn’t the way to deal with it. This is never going to get better if you do this.’”

The catharsis of writing sparked a creative fire within him, he added, and he began to put pen to paper, writing poems at first. As he got better at guitar playing, he began to put melodies behind them, and his career as a songwriter was born. He struggled at first, spending much of his time drinking and smoking weed, but the music became a lifeline. After finishing his senior year, he and his estranged wife decided to return to Utah in an attempt to work things out, and looking back at the bitterness and emotional angst that clouded his mind in Myrtle Beach, he recognizes that he was, at the time, attempting a geographical cure.

Back in Salt Lake City, he got his foot in the door with mental health treatment, going to work for a rehabilitation facility, and he and his wife had a child. His son, he said, changed everything.

“When I got to see him, that was the game changer,” he said. “That was the unconditional love I needed to tap back into, and it never really left me.”

Music becomes a purpose
Although he was still playing guitar, it wasn’t until his divorce, when he was in his late 20s, that music became a prominent passion. Friends took him to see a band in Salt Lake City, and he was left with a newfound excitement that had only been matched previously by baseball.

“It blew my mind, and I thought that if I could just do that and play on the weekends and play for people who were into my music, that’s all I would ever want,” he said. After I got divorced, that was when I what I really wanted to do, and I wasn’t going to sacrifice it. I had learned from my baseball experience that quitting was not the answer, and I felt like my marriage and my decisions had really got in the way of that being a possibility. So when I started playing music, I said, ‘You know, this is what I want, and I’m not going to let anything get in the way.’”

Around the same time, he began to take a serious look at his drinking. Although he and his wife at the time had attempted to make their marriage work, Snow was unhappy. His son was born in 2005, but by 2007, he came to a realization:

“I thought to myself, ‘If you’re going to be in this, you’re going to have to continue drinking a lot, and that’s not healthy — so why not do something healthy and walk away while you still can?’” he said. “These days, I’m more about moderation, but I really try to make sure I pay attention, and I also take long breaks (from drinking). I don’t ever want someone to think that I know what it’s like to be dependent on anything in that way, but I know what it’s like to use and to abuse and to struggle with anxiety and depression and suicidal thoughts. I know what it’s like to be healthy and unhealthy.

“For me, harm reduction is about being balanced and making sure I’m being honest about it with myself. I’ve gotten to the point in the past where it’s not OK, and as I’ve gotten older, I always want to be sure that I’m not putting those things before my life, my music, my son or my girlfriend. I’ve never felt like I have to cut it out completely, but I’ll go for months without it, especially if I just start to feel like it’s not really doing anything. For me, I don’t need to go drink at a bar just to have fun. I can do all sorts of things for fun.”

Around the same period, he reached a crossroads in his professional career as well. He was working at a substance abuse treatment center and had advanced as far as he could without furthering his education. He debated between going to film school or getting his master’s, ultimately deciding on the latter because he “decided being a therapist would give me a chance to have some freedom to help people,” he said. At the University of Utah, he pursued a mental health/therapy track and began to expand his base of clientele, from children to teens to prisoners to adults.

“Therapy is kind of an art form, and I’ve always been in the really high-intensity realms — prisons, working with people on parole or pretty significant probation, a lot of crisis family work,” he said. “I was on the front lines there for several years in the deepest pockets of the shadowy realm in my own community, and as I’ve gotten older and started paying attention, I’ve had to ask myself, ‘What are you doing? What’s happening here?’ Because I don’t think people are really designed to go through a bunch of trauma within this realm and not having something to help them stay balanced as well.”

For Snow, that’s meant taking breaks from being a therapist, and making the time to work on his music. Triggers & Slips was formed in 2008, and the name itself comes from his treatment background, he added.

“The guy I was playing with was also in the field, and he had a notebook that he used for work that he opened up to jot down some ideas for a name,” he said. “I saw that at the top of the page, and it clicked. I can’t imagine a better band name for what I do — country-influenced rock ‘n’ roll and grit and deep connection to what I am.”

An evolution of music and consciousness
Morgan SnowThe way Snow sees it, Triggers & Slips’ 2015 EP, “Buffalo vs. Train,” serves as an acoustic bridge between the band’s self-titled debut and “The Stranger,” but while the sound has evolved, some of the songs date back several years. He laughs when he’s asked about similarities to Sturgill Simpson, the hardcore troubadour whose synth-heavy guitar rock record, “Sound & Fury,” is about as far removed from his country roots as a giraffe is from a sea snake.

While “The Stranger” doesn’t go that far into left field, the influences are coming from the same place, Snow added.

“I love the old country, the old honky-tonk, but one of my greatest influences was Alice in Chains,” he said. “With this record, my vision was to really take the approach of making it like the old records were made. These songs were cut mostly live, four of them were cut on tape, and it’s just the band that I’ve put together in the last couple of years.

“We’ve been playing a lot, but we’re on another level of making these songs really stick out and making them feel different while still having a common thread. I think the other two albums I recorded are fine, but for this one, I was listening to a lot of records, going to a lot of shows, and I even lived in Nashville for a year. I was holding myself to a higher standard of what kind of product I wanted to put out, and that definitely influenced how much energy and time I put into recording these songs.”

Adding “Rooster” to the record, he added, was a natural fit. That band’s late singer, Layne Staley, fought a well-documented battle against addiction, and Triggers & Slips once learned and performed the entire Alice in Chains “Unplugged” record, the proceeds of which were donated to a Salt Lake City-area harm reduction program that gave out free naloxone kits to reverse opioid overdoses.

After all, harm reduction is as important to Snow as anything else. And while talk therapy can be a vital tool to anyone seeking to improve their mental health, his particular path is to avoid binary thinking when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

“I’ve kind of gotten away from using the term alcoholic or addict — it’s more about, ‘Are you dependent? Are you abusing it? Are you using it?’ And breaking it down to those three categories,” he said. “When you go about it that way, most of them instantly relax, because then it becomes a thing of choice. I’m very up front with every single client I meet with — I don’t care if you smoke pot, do heroin, drink alcohol or snort cocaine. That’s not my business to tell you what you should or should not do, but if you want to change that, and you think it’s a problem, or you’re coming in here because it’s in the way of you getting purpose, passion and direction in your life, then let’s talk about that.

“Because then the patient becomes the driver. I don’t want to be the driver. And while I usually work best with people who don’t fit the 12 Step program model, that’s not to say I can’t incorporate that in. If they think religion works, then I’m going to use that with them. Exercise … diet … community service … I’m going to use whatever they have in their box that’s meaningful. I just let them know, right out of the gate, that it’s all about choice — if they want to do this, then I’m not going to tell them not to, but if they’re coming in every week complaining about their lives and not changing anything, then I’m going to confront them on that.”

Changing the things they can ...
Morgan Snow
Triggers & Slips, the full band.
While his approach may make some abstinence-only proponents uncomfortable, that’s of little concern to Snow. He’s respectful, even encouraging, of other approaches, but he’s a strong believer that harm reduction has benefits to society as well as the addicts and alcoholics themselves. Case in point: By examining IV drug use as a general health problem and encouraging addicts to get tested for disease and make sure they have access to clean needles, it reduces the risk of those diseases affecting the general population, he said. But more than anything, he believes that strident belief in only one way to recover sometimes fails those in need of help. That’s where he believes another way — a Middle Path, so to speak, to borrow a tenet of Buddhism — can come into play.

And in the Salt Lake City therapeutic community, that approach has been welcomed, he added.

“Other therapists send people to me who are on the fringe, because they know I’m the guy that might get through to them because I’m going to be real and not bullshit them, but I’m not going to tell them what to do,” he said. “Now of course, someone who needs actual detox and actual help in an inpatient setting — that’s a different conversation. If there’s enough evidence in your life to support that this substance is causing way more problems and destroying things in your life, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing them. Maybe it’s not a wholesome, helpful activity anymore.

“But for people who are on the fence, I think it’s sometimes better to say, ‘Take off six months. Heck, take a year off, get your health back and make it to where you have other tools in your life that are healthy, so this thing doesn’t become the biggest thing in your life that destroys everything.’ Because my job is to point out those red flags, and sometimes these patients are telling me they can do these things, but they’re also showing evidence in their lives that they can’t.”

And when they can’t, then drugs and alcohol become self-constructed roadblocks to the passion and purpose that can bring peace to their lives. It’s a realization Snow came to through personal experience, and helping others who similarly struggle get to a place of serenity perhaps a little quicker than he did is on par with raising the roof on a dive bar Saturday night alongside his Triggers & Slips bandmates.

“I tell them, ‘Let’s work on what you know you want to change,’ and that’s going to open up that avenue,” he said. “We can talk about the substances, and that’s a part of it, but it’s not the meat and potatoes. It’s just what’s getting in the way. It’s what you haven’t resolve or made peace with, and until that happens, you really can’t start changing anything, because you don’t know what you’re looking for.” - By Steve Wildsmith | November 18, 2019


Discography

Triggers & Slips "The Stranger" Full Length Album released 11/22/2019

Triggers & Slips Present "Buffalo vs. Train with Kate MacCleoud and Michelle Moonshine" released 2015.

Triggers & Slips self titled EP released May 2012.

Photos

Bio

TRIGGER: TO INITIATE OR PRECIPITATE (A CHAIN OF EVENTS, SCIENTIFIC REACTION, PSYCHOLOGICAL PROCESS, ETC.)

SLIP: A MISTAKE IN JUDGMENT OR TO LOSE ONE'S FOOTING.

Triggers & Slips music is steeped in the psychology of relationships. Like so much great country music that came before, theirs originates in personal mistakes and stepped on hearts. While the band’s music is a blend that’s not quite country and not quite rock n’ roll, and not quite alt-country either, fans of both types of music have come to love their sound. 

Led by singer-songwriter Morgan Snow, whose voice has been described as “pure soul,” with hints of familiarity, haunting and powerful with no comparison to pinpoint. It is the one thing you won’t forget. His songs will “hit you in the gut.” Some will hurt, some will make you laugh at him or yourself, but what is shared from night to night after the show is a connection, a new relationship waiting to be revisited and rekindled time and time again.

Another fixture of their sound is fellow singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist John Davis who splits time between Triggers & Slips and the phenomenal Michelle Moonshine. Davis adds gritty harmonies, but also takes over as a lead singer on original songs; Blue Smoke, and Benny. Having two vocalists with strong songwriting and an ear to compliment one another adds a little something special to the live performances of Triggers & Slips and their recordings. It’s no wonder that bands like Uncle Tupelo, Alice in Chains, and Willie and Waylon are some of their major influences.

Their career in music has been anything but a straight line. Snow has evolved as a songwriter, a singer, a performer, and as a recording artist. Left to their own devices they have created songs that don't rely on commercial success to drive their body of work. Instead Snow has relied on finding his own voice,  and has found likeminded musicians to follow him in his pursuit of writing from the heart, and taking chances. Triggers & Slips blend elements of Country, Honky Tonk, Americana, Folk, Blues, and Rock and Roll and they aren’t afraid to veer from genres. They have traveled to locations throughout the Intermountain West, and beyond. They recently released a new album called The Stranger on 11/22/2019. 


Band Members