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Counting down your favorite St. Louis Tiny Desk picks: Augusta Bottoms Consort

Band members stand holding various stringed instruments from left to right are Gloria Attoun, Michael Bauermeister, Paul Ovaitt, Rebecca Mayer.
Provided by Augusta Bottoms Consort
Band members from left to right are Gloria Attoun, Michael Bauermeister, Paul Ovaitt, Rebecca Mayer.

This week, we're counting down favorite local Tiny Desk Contest submissions ahead of a Tiny Desk STL Happy Hour concert on Thursday, March 16, at Anew, the local rooftop venue above the Big Brothers and Big Sisters building in Grand Center.

More than 50 local acts submitted to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest this year. There were over 6,000 entires nationally.

After an intense voting round, we've narrowed down the top five local submissions to the contest, which we'll be highlighting on our website and on St. Louis on the Air this week. Earlier this week, we brought you interviews with Monkh and the People and Roland Johnson

Today, we heard from Augusta Bottoms Consort.

The origin story:

More than 20 years ago Gloria Attune and Michael Bauermiester moved to Augusta, Missouri, about 40 miles west of the City of St. Louis.  They’d found an old general store for sale and were looking to turn the ground floor space into a wood shop for Bauermiester.  They didn’t expect to find two other musicians with whom they’d build a multi-decade relationship: Paul Ovaitt and Rebecca Mayer.  

All four musicians share songwriting and vocal duties. Although the band often gets characterized as bluegrass, the musicians say the broader term “folk” makes more sense as they draw on a variety of acoustic instrumentation that includes traditional Americana instruments like mandolin, dobro, accordion, guitar, and bass and international instruments like bodhran, doumbeck, bazouki.  The group’s released a handful of albums throughout their tenure.

The full interview:

Augusta Bottoms Consort shares the history of their formation, how the group writes songs, and how to maintain a group over two decades.

Tiny Desk Contest submission:

Augusta Bottoms Consort’s “Pendulum Swing” may sound like an upbeat jaunt through '20s-style hot jazz but the lyrics belie a strong attention to the current political climate.  The song is a metaphor for the American political system’s ability to shift gears wildly over a short period of time.  The group played up the relationship between music style (swing) and the behavior they catalogued lyrically to ensure the topic was approachable and well-balanced between the music listeners hear and the song’s content.  

Where you can follow the artist:

Website: http://www.augustabottomsconsort.com/Home.html

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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