All About Oteil
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.
Music is part math, part technique, and part emotion. The question is why and how is that possible? How does math and physics become infused with intention and emotion?
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 reunited on stage with his brother Kofi after ten years of touring separately when Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band in late 2010, featuring the Burbridge brothers in the rhythm section. The 11-piece super group released their first record, Revelator, in 2011 which won a Grammy in February 2012. 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 their 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, Howard Levi, Victor Wooten and Branford Marsalis.
Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart joined forces with John Mayer in 2015 to form “Dead & Company” with Burbridge on bass and Jeff Chimenti on keys. Since its formation, the band has completed seven tours, playing to more than 2 million fans, and has become a record-breaking stadium act. Dead & Company has headlined iconic stadiums across the country including Folsom Field, Autzen Stadium, Citi Field, Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium. Additionally, the band broke Wrigley Field’s all-time concert attendance record. In between tours, Dead & Company hosts its annual “Playing in the Sand” all-inclusive Caribbean concert vacation in Mexico.
Oteil’s fourth solo record, “Water In The Desert” was released on October 27, 2017. He assembled an all-star group of musicians for this record, including late brother Kofi on keyboards and flute, Little John Roberts and Sean O’Rourke on drums, vocalists Alfreda Gerald and Mark Rivers, Dave Yoke on guitar, Miguel Atwood Ferguson on strings and producer David Ryan Harris. “Oteil & Friends”, which features a rotating cast of all-star musicians (including Melvin Seals, Eric Krasno, John Kadlecik, Tom Guarana, Jay Lane, Jeff Chimenti, John Morgan Kimock, Jennifer Hartswick, Jason Crosby, Natalie Cressman, Lamar Williams Jr., Weedie Braimah and Alfreda Gerald) toured the northeast in November 2017 to support the record and continued to tour through 2019. Oteil and Friends shows and festival appearances were canceled due to the 2020 pandemic but the band resume touring again in 2021.
During his time at home during the pandemic, Oteil created the Comes A Time podcast with friend and comedian Mike Finoia. To date, they have released 62 episodes, featuring guests such as Oteil’s bandmates Bob Weir, John Mayer, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart and Jeff Chimenti as well as other special guests like Paul Stamets, Duncan Trussell, Billy Strings, Bill Walton, Victor Wooten, Page McConnell and Bela Fleck.