Hometown: Atlanta GA
Roxie Watson is a five piece string band from Decatur and Atlanta, GA that plays what they like to call “alterna-grass,” a mix of traditional sounding songs that contain three and four part harmonies, elements of old country, Appalachian music, hymns & bluegrass, without adhering to the traditions of any one genre.
Roxie Watson is comprised of Beth Wheeler (Belloluna, Wendy Bucklew, The Brambles) on mandolin, Lenny Lasater (Lenny Lasater Electrical) on bass guitar, Linda Bolley (Michelle Malone Band, Herman Put Down the Gun, Susi French Connection) on acoustic and electric guitar, Sonia Tetlow (Herman Put Down the Gun, The Paul Sanchez Rolling Road Show, Cowboy Mouth, STB) on banjo, and Becky Shaw (Susi French Connection, STB, Reversing Hour) on lap steel, button accordion, harmonica and guitar.
They celebrated the release of Roxie Watson’s debut CD, “True Stories,” in January 2010, with two sold out shows at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, GA. Word of mouth began to spread about the band, and they spent the following year playing festivals (from the Stokin’ The Fire music fest in Birmingham, AL to the Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass festival), clubs (from Eddie’s Attic to the Mablehouse Barnes Amphitheater), parades (from the Blue Ridge Fourth of July parade to the Little Five Points Halloween parade), parties and even the occasional front porch, continuing all the while to enjoy an enthusiastic response from their ever-growing audience.
Roxie Watson began as a mandolin and bass duo when longtime friends, Beth Wheeler and Lenny Lasater, discovered they shared a common passion for bluegrass music. They would get together at one another’s houses and sing the songs they had loved since childhood, deciding to call themselves, “Roxie Watson” after their grandmothers, Roxie Johnson and Mary Watson. Through the twists and turns that become our lives, one by one, the other members of Roxie Watson found themselves drawn to join the band. Longtime drummer, Linda Bolley, picked up her father’s guitar and started laying down the licks she’d heard since birth. Soon after, longtime rocker, Sonia Tetlow, picked up a banjo and fell in love with the quirkiness of the instrument and the melodies of the songs. Multi-instrumentalist, Becky Shaw, was the last to join, completing the band with the breadth and depth of her musicianship.
Somehow the humble duo had become a quintet that began mixing in original songs with their beloved traditional songs. The band began performing wherever they could find a willing alterna-grass audience, be it at someone’s backyard party or on the back of Beth’s Ford F150. Much to their delight, the number of alterna-grass converts and their audience continued to grow as the band continued to hone its unique yet familiar sound. Before too long, Roxie Watson found itself in the studio at Atlanta’s own Earthshaking Music, embarking on the recording that would become, “True Stories,” and the journey that has brought them thus far.
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