Roxie Watson is a five-piece string band from Decatur and Atlanta, GA, who play what they like to call “alterna-grass,” a mix of original and traditional songs that contain three- and four-part harmonies, elements of old country, Appalachian music, hymns, and bluegrass, without adhering to the traditions of any one genre.
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. Individually, the band members have had many years of experience performing, writing, recording, touring, and producing. They grew up all over the country and have truly incredible personal stories (which you can bet they’d be happy to tell you over a glass of sweet tea after they play you a tune out of the back of a pickup truck). Once they were all in Atlanta, though, they took a winding road, intertwining their personal stories (and band lineups) before finally forming Roxie Watson, a band that they say makes them feel at home, like they are expressing their true selves.
The band celebrated the release of its debut CD, True Stories, in January 2010, with two sold-out shows at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, GA. Since then they have played festivals all over the Southeast, clubs (Eddie’s Attic, Mablehouse Barnes Amphitheater, Crimson Moon and more), parades (from the Blue Ridge 4th of July parade to the Little Five Points Halloween parade), parties, and even opened up for the Indigo Girls on the first leg of their latest tour. In the fall of 2011, after waging a successful pledge campaign on kickstarter.com, Roxie Watson went back into the studio to begin work on its second album, which will be released in February 2012.
Roxie Watson has received hearty endorsements from everyone they’ve encountered so far: Lisa Love of Georgia Music Magazine and Georgia Music Foundation said, “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.”
Eddie Owen from legendary Decatur establishment Eddie’s Attic said they “play and sing like wily, crafty veterans and harmonize like the angels.” Sarah Auman from Blue Ridge said of the band that they “turned Blue Ridge on its ear at our annual 4th of July parade. Talk about fun, family, and down-home goodness!”
Perhaps the most all-encompassing description of Roxie Watson came from the Huffington Post: “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.”