ROXIE WATSON is a five-piece string band from Decatur and Atlanta, GA, who play what they like to call “alterna-grass” music that mixes three- and four-part harmonies with elements of old country, Appalachian music, hymns, and bluegrass, without adhering to the traditions of any one genre. Lisa Love of Georgia Music Magazine and the Georgia Music Foundation described the band by saying, “When you have a group of women who are natural story-tellers, who sooth their aggressive musical chops with beautiful harmonies, temper their rock-n-roll sensibilities with an understanding of Appalachian tradition, and come off as a little bit Keith Richards, a little bit Bill Monroe, you get Roxie Watson.”
Roxie Watson is comprised of Beth Wheeler on mandolin, Lenny Lasater on bass guitar, Linda Bolley on acoustic and electric guitar, Sonia Tetlow on banjo, and Becky Shaw on lap steel, button accordion, harmonica and guitar. Each individual band member brings years of experience performing, writing, recording, and touring to the group (Sonia played bass for Cowboy Mouth, Linda played drums for Michelle Malone, Beth played bass for Wendy Bucklew, and Becky sang and played flute with Reversing Hour, to name just a few examples.) They grew up all over the country, from Tennessee and Seattle to Detroit and New Orleans, absorbing the music of their native landscapes. Once all in Atlanta, though, they took a winding road, intertwining their personal stories (and band lineups) before finally forming Roxie Watson in 2007, a band that takes them all back to their roots and brings their roots all together in its sound.
Roxie Watson celebrated the release of its sophomore CD, Of Milestones and Moon Pie, on March 3, 2012, with two sold-out shows at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, GA. The new CD shows the marked evolution of the group’s music since the release of their first CD, True Stories, in January 2010 and has been garnering some attention from early reviewers. Richard Winham in the Chattanooga Pulse wrote that, “Their songs have strong melodies and buoyant harmonies that leaven even their darkest songs. Their music isn’t lightweight, but it is joyously lighthearted.” Rachel Cholst on NoDepression.com described the album as emphasizing, “hope and strength in the face of all odds,” and encouraged readers to, “Buy this album. Lie on the bed. Hit play. Close your eyes. Think of the good times you’ve had and the better times you’re about to have.”
The CD was funded entirely by Roxie Watson’s fans, who enthusiastically exceeded the initial goal set by the band for its kickstarter.com campaign. The band entered the studio in the fall of 2011 to begin recording and then shortly thereafter hit the road to open for the Indigo Girls on the first leg of their tour. In addition to touring regionally with the Indigo Girls, Roxie Watson has also performed with Amy Ray solo, Lindsay Fuller & Jeff Fielder and Michelle Malone among others. The band has consistently sold out shows at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, GA and the Blue Ridge Community Theater in Blue Ridge, GA while also building an audience in venues as diverse as the Mablehouse Barnes Amphitheater in Atlanta, GA, the Melting Point in Athens, GA, the Barking Legs Theater in Chattanooga, TN and Work Play in Birmingham, AL. Roxie Watson has performed at festivals such as the 30A Festival in Fort Walton, FL, the Inman Park Festival and Decatur Concerts on the Square, among others.
Perhaps the most all-encompassing description of Roxie Watson came from Georgianne Nienaber in the Huffington Post who wrote, “These women are more than proficient as musicians, have a warm way with a story, and a natural stage banter that comes from a long history of friendship and community. The stage morphs into a back porch, with the audience becoming honored guests in an intimate setting that is a heck of a lot of fun, heartwarming, and heart-rending when it needs to be.” Roxie Watson continues to focus on its music and fans and continually growing, one step at a time, one song at a time.