Two time Grammy winning bassist Oteil Burbridge has been in the music business touring and recording for over three decades. His first step into the national spotlight came in 1991 when he became a founding member of the Aquarium Rescue Unit featuring Col. Bruce Hampton, a cult classic that has stood the test of time. That led to his membership in the classic rock group The Allman Brothers Band. Since 1997, his work with the band has earned him two Grammy nominations for best rock instrumental, in 2003 and in 2004. Over the years, Oteil has shared the stage with rock and blues legends such as Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Levon Helm, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Billy Gibbons, Chuck Leavell, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Johnny Winter, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow and Trey Anastasio. In 2012, Oteil received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his 15 year contribution to the Allman Brothers Band as the longest running bassist in the band’s history.
I like music to reflect life and life has a lot of tension. Some people like music to counteract that tension.
While touring and recording with the Allman Brothers over the years, Oteil still found time to collaborate with many other musicians. He formed his solo group, Oteil and the Peacemakers in 1998. From 1998 until 2007, the group toured extensively and released three albums. In 2001, Oteil joined Phish’s keyboardist Page McConnell and The Funky Meters’ drummer Russell Batiste to form Vida Blue. He also founded an improv based trio with Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and Max Creek guitarist Scott Murawski in 2008.
Oteil’s latest venture has been another dream come true for him: being reunited on the stage with his brother Kofi, after ten years of touring separately. Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band in late 2010, featuring the Burbridge brothers in the rhythm section, and the band released their first record, Revelator, in 2011. This 11-piece super group has been wowing crowds at festivals, theaters and concert halls across the globe. The Tedeschi Trucks Band played Eric Clapton’s iconic Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2011. Oteil’s original composition “Love Has Something Else to Say” was including in the DVD release and on TTB’s Grammy-winning debut album. The Tedeschi Trucks Band released their second album (and first live album) in 2012, titled “Everybody’s Talkin”.
Over the years, Oteil has also recorded and shared the stage with jazz and jazz-rock fusion legends Herbie Hancock, Roy Haynes, Randy Brecker, John Scofield, Jerry Goodman, Bob Moses, Lenny White, Steve Smith, Bela Fleck, Jimmy Herring (solo), Howard Levi, Victor Wooten and Branford Marsalis.
Most recently, Oteil has collaborated with visual artist LeVar Carter to create a comic series called The Adventures of The Green Thumb and Purple Haze. The comic is a fantasy about twin cannabis superheroes and explores themes of nature, spirituality, the role of corporations, governments in cannabis prohibition and other social issues. The duo plans to release the first episode, with an accompanying soundtrack, by the end of 2012. Oteil is also currently working on his fourth solo record, “Water In The Desert” in his home studio, Hidden Spirit Studios. Stay tuned for updates and sneak peeks!