Alabama Music Office.com goes to OZ MUsic in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to attend a performance by Blackwater Thieves for Record Store Day.
The Tuscaloosa, Alabama jam band, The Blackwater Thieves earned their chops late at night, shaking down sweat drenched parties any chance they had, building fans one hip-twisting groove at a time. The 'Thieves are made up of Chris Pritchett on guitar and vocals, Harrison Wallace on bass and vocals, Jonathan Harms on lead guitar, Michael Ray on drums, and Brooks Mitchell on key/vocals.
Blackwater Thieves' Chris Pritchett talks songwriting process, band's future (Q&A)
By Coti Howell | firstname.lastname@example.org
on January 10, 2013 at 5:05 PM
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- School is back at UA and Green Bar wants to help you kick it off right with Tuscaloosa jam band, The Blackwater Thieves tonight at 10 p.m.
The Blackwater Thieves are Jake "Peteman" Peters on bass, Jonathan Harms on lead guitar, Chris Pritchett on guitar and vocals and Brooks Mitchell on keyboards and vocals.
We got to know The Blackwater Thieves a little before their show tonight and this is what they had to say.
Coti Howell: How did The Blackwater Thieves come to be?
Chris Pritchett: The Blackwater Thieves started in the fall of 2010 as a four-piece house party band. The founders of the band are Chris Pritchett and Jake Peters along with former original members, Colin Jones (saxophone) and Clay Hunter (drums). We were a new band at the time and only had the capability of playing shows in our living room for parties we hosted. We were not good enough to get hired to play nor did we have a singer to even sing the songs. Success to us is when we got offered to play at someone else's house for a change. The parties got bigger, and more people started coming out to our shows, thanks to the kegs. As the band progressed, the direction of the band changed as well as the lineup. We added an extra guitar player (Rob Keating), a keyboard (Jermey Moulder) and a new drummer (John Laing). When the spring of 2011 rolled around, we felt we had enough experience to play at an actual venue. We played our first gig May 21, 2011 at Rounder on the Strip. We have been gigging ever since with additional changes to the band.
CH: How has your music evolved through those changes?
CP: With each addition of a new member comes a new sound. Our approach is to let our personal styles/tastes blend cohesively as one sound. Currently we have a mixture of jazz, blues, funk, and psychedelic rock baked into one.
CH: Describe that mixture of sounds in one adjective.
CP: Two words: Supercalifragilous Expialidocious.
CH: Where do you find inspiration for your music?
CP: Our main inspiration for our music comes from our love of improvisational music. Music that is made solely in the moment with immense communication aiming to achieve individual stylistic expression while maintaining a coherent sense of direction. We like to jam.
CH: Describe your music-making process.
CP: As far as composition, generally one person will come forth with an idea and present it to the group. We take that idea and start developing individual parts while building structure to the song. Depending on what kind of song we're writing, we will determine if lyrics are appropriate and if so we will toss around subject matter/ideas to write verses on. As far as improv, we like to be unpredictable. Sometimes we may not even know what's coming next because we will reach parts in songs that you don't rehearse. It comes strictly from being in the moment and communicating with other band members non-verbally. We strive for a collective groove between the members.
CH: What do you guys have in store for 2013?
CP: We have enough originals to do a full-length album and are looking for a studio or someone who would like to work with us. We're going to continue playing local shows as well as book more shows in the surrounding states such as Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi.