With a brand new lineup of guitars and a fresh new collection of original songs, The Bitteroots are continuing to make their presence felt on the Atlanta music scene with their unique vocal power and carefully crafted blues- and jam-influenced rock songs.
The band features the ripping vocals of Laura Dees, the thumping, funky bass grooves of Bill Taylor, Mike Davis’ in-the-pocket drumming and a new combination of guitars by Ted Baumann and Kyle Bryant that is at the same time classic and adventurous.
As The Bitteroots continue to support the release of “After the Rain,” the band will be performing at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur on Saturday, September 21st. We caught up with the group before the show to ask them about their most memorable gig, their dream gig and more! Check it out.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
Mike: Lollapalooza 1995. Cypress Hill, The Jesus Lizard, Beck and Hole were on the bill. Great show.
Bill: my first real concert was going to see The Monkees at The Omni, must have been 1984 or so.
Ted: Some drunken local country band performing at a fish fry in the early 70s on Maryland’s Eastern Shore … or Rush in 1978 if by “gig” you mean the big boys.
Kyle: Warped tour in the late 90’s at HiFi Buys in Atlanta when I was about 13 or 14.
Laura: Red Hot Chili Peppers during the sock years.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
Mike: It would have to be the Sweetwater Brewery’s 420Fest in 2011. What a great event. And being on the main stage was a real treat.
Bill: It’s a tie for me. I would agree with Mike with playing on the main stage at the Sweetwater 420 Fest main stage, and 2 years ago, we played with The Freddy Jones Band at Eddies Attic. I have been a fan of theirs for many years. The Bitteroots opened the show and then the guys in The Freddy Jones Band invited me onstage to play bass on 5 songs. What a rush! This has turned into an annual show for us, and we will now play our third show with the Freddy Jones Band at Eddie’s Attic in January!
Ted: 1996 Grahamstown Arts Festival, South Africa, with the Lonesharks, seven nights in a row to a packed house of 1,500+ in a former Baptist Church with wooden floors that amplified the bottom end all the way to Heaven.
Kyle: Probably one of the many nights I was with the house band at a place called Mac’s in Columbia, SC. I was lucky enough to play with and meet some amazing musicians. Or a gig with another group from SC, the Traye Horne Band, that I probably cannot remember from either PBR or Jim Beam.
Laura: Bluebird Café in Nashville – I have never been so nervous in all my life! It was amazing!
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
Mike: That’s a tough one, but seeing Buddy Miles at the old Cotton Club years ago was really cool. If I remember, he played guitar left handed but strung upside down, and played drums right handed. I also had a really good time at some Jimmy Buffett shows back when he did a two-day stint at the Lakewood Amphitheater. And I got to see Radiohead when they played out at Stone Mountain, which was really a well done show.
Bill: I’ve made the pilgrimage a few times to New York for The Allman Brothers annual string of shows at The Beacon Theater and those shows are simply magical. The show that absolutely blew me away was seeing Trombone Shorty at a small club in Montreal last year during the Montreal Jazz Fest.
Ted: The Police, Capital Centre, 1980
Kyle: Against Me! at the Hangnail in Augusta, GA in 2003 or 2004. It was a tiny, tiny, venue the size of a closet that is no longer in existence, but was filled over capacity and was probably 110 degrees inside that night for an epic show.
Laura: There are so many and I hate to admit it, but Bruce puts on one hellava show! I never once left my seat and I didn’t even like Bruce Springsteen at the time.
Gig you would most like to play?
Mike: This is insanely ambitious, but I would love to one day have the honor and privilege of playing Austin City Limits. That is such an institution and really I think is far and away the best live music show on TV in years.
Bill: We’ve submitted to next years SXSW and would love to not only play that festival, but be able to see so many great bands in one place. I’ve also been a fan of Atlanta’s Music Midtown since the very beginning, and I’m excited to see it alive again, and would love to play on that stage also.
Ted: North Sea Jazz Festival, Saturday Night, Main Stage.
Kyle: National spots like the Bowery, Stubb’s in Austin, and many, many more. Locally, The Fox and Tabernacle.
Laura: I agree with Mike…Austin City Limits.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Mike: My dream gig would be a show with somebody like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Rolling Stones. Their catalogs of songs are chock full of classics, and they still keep it fresh with some new stuff — Petty with new tunes of his own and the Stones with covers of some deep cuts from the masters.
Bill: My dream gig would be an all day event. The Bitteroots would open the show, followed by The Freddy Jones Band, then Drivin’ n’ Cryin’, Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and then a 3 hour finale by The Allman Brothers – WOW! That would be a killer show!
Ted: Drums: Zigaboo Modeliste, or Richard Bailey
Bass: Tony Levin, or the guy from Crowded House
Keys: John Medeski
Vocals: Bonnie Raitt and Bob Tench
Guitars: Me, obviously
Kyle: Stevie Wonder on keys and vocals, Maceo Parker on Sax, Steve Jordan on drums, Victor Wooten on bass, and Jeff Beck on guitar, and me anywhere close enough to witness this…
Laura: Brandi Carlile, Susan Tedeschi, Adele…sorry guys…
Catch the Bitteroots with special guest, Sydney Rhame, at Eddie’s Attic Saturday, September 21st!