Even as we are winding down 2018, it is not too early to start calendaring big, cool 2019 Atlanta music shows that are being booked right now.
Mark your calendar now to join The Bitteroots at two very special performances in the spring in Decatur, the band’s home base since its inception.
Saturday April 13, 2019 they will be at the Amplify Decatur Music Festival in downtown Decatur square. The show is headlined with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Mavis Staples and two-time Grammy award winner Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Along with The Bitteroots, Kevn Kinney of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ will be representing Atlanta-grown talent. The festival is a production of Decatur-based Amplify My Community, founded in 2010 to “leverage the universal love of music to fight poverty at the local level.” To date, Amplify has produced more than 65 concerts and raised and donated more than $300,000 in unrestricted gifts to locally oriented anti-homelessness and poverty-focused organizations — including more than $190,000 in Decatur. The Bitteroots have been leaders among musicians in lending support to the organization and in their support for Decatur, so much so that it is not unfair to label the band Decatur’s honorary musical mayors.
The Bitteroots are also announcing their first Atlanta-area headlining show for 2019 on Saturday May 18th. May just happens to be the band’s eleventh anniversary, and each year in May, the band puts on a special birthday show. Next year’s will be their biggest yet.
The Bitteroots first played Eddie’s Attic in 2010. The venue, known for its keen focus on music appreciation and a spawning ground for many of Atlanta’s most well-known music acts, has been a frequent stop for the band since their debut.
Given their deep, supportive connection with the venue, The Bitteroots have convinced it to let them throw an anniversary party like no other previously. While we may often think of Eddie’s as a place of respectful restraint, with patrons at tables quietly deferential as they give attention to the music, Eddie’s and The Bitteroots are throwing out that legacy for the night. Billed as “The Bitteroots & Friends” the band is playing host to two entirely different shows that Saturday showcasing fellow performers with whom the band has had a musical kinship and even sometimes a mentoring relationship. The first show starts at 7:00PM and features Kristen Englenz, Flock Of Eagles, Traye Horne Band, followed by The Bitteroots. Immediately afterwards the room will turnover in preparation for a second show at 9:30. This show features The Bantam Breaks, Moody Hollow (in its first performance since November), The Core (celebrating the deep catalog of Eric Clapton), then a Bitteroots closing set uniquely different from the earlier one. Putting on two full shows like this is not only ambitious, but also a bit magnanimous. Bassist Bill Taylor says “This is something we’ve been thinking about for a couple of years. We have been fortunate to meet all kinds of killer bands in the local Atlanta music scene, and we wanted to share this night that is special for us with as many of our friends as possible while also supporting a cause we are deeply connected with.” The band will donate a portion of the proceeds from these shows to Amplify My Community. Bill Taylor elaborates “We’ve supported Amplify over the course of at least a dozen shows over the past decade. Of course, we are doing their 2019 spring show prior to this one. We absolutely believe in all the good work these guys do on a local level. Decatur has always been so good to us, so we decided additionally to give back at one of our own shows, and donate a portion of ticket sales.”
Special to this show is that Eddie’s will remove almost all the floor’s tables and chairs, opening up a large standing room only space (also suitable for mild dancing). Bleachers in the rear of the room are still open as are barstools around the bar. A limited number of tables will remain to be sold as VIP tables. For this day the band has also devised value pricing for its fans. Individual tickets to each show are $15 each, but a package ticket for both shows is just $22.50. A VIP table for one show is $80 and a table at both shows is $120 – each table seats 4 people so purchasing a table is only a slight increase from a general ticket. Considering there are seven bands playing the two shows, this is incredible music bang for your buck! VIP tables are limited and will sell quickly so get them now if interested. Bill believes this will be the first time Eddie’s Attic has opened up its floor. “Around our ninth anniversary show, we started talking with Andy Hingley, the principal talent buyer at Eddie’s Attic, about doing something really big for our tenth anniversary, and we had started on the details of doing this last year, but we were hit with an unfortunate personnel change when our guitarist, Greg Sims, made a move to North Carolina with his family. We spent the early spring auditioning guitarists, and are so glad we found PJ Poellnitz. And we just weren’t ready to pull out the stops last year.”
However, The Bitteroots are not just preparing for these big shows. In anticipation of these shows, the band is preparing to release their first proper album since 2014. The band is now finishing up production, narrowing album titles from a current list of thirty, and they plan to have the album out by February 1st. Concurrently, given how band membership has transitioned some over its 11 years, and its songs have morphed as they have been played at hundreds of shows, the band is revisiting some of its favorite songs from across its catalog and rerecording them in arrangements that best suit the band now. The band will track eight to ten songs in early January to have this album released by March 15th. Expect songs from both records to be played during the May shows, and both albums will be available for purchase, along with a totally revamped line of 2019 Bitteroots apparel and other merchandise.
While these shows in Decatur are certainly special, they are part of what will be a very active year for the band, and just one facet of their supportive relationship with the city and their home base venue. Bill summarizes “As I mentioned, this show is really a year late! However, we’ve been doing an annual May celebration show at Eddie’s Attic for eight years, and we hope to continue building on this concept and our relationship for many years to come.”
The Bitteroots website:
Atlanta Music Grapevine story on The Bitteroots (July 19, 2018):
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