Self-described as “bloody folk,” Bitter Pill plays a dark and anachronistic combination of Country, Psychobilly, Bluegrass, and Vaudeville. They just released their first album,“Prepare Your Throats,” a collection of traditional and original songs from the soundtrack of their staging of William Shakespeare’s violent, bloody, grotesquely ridiculous abomination of a play, “Titus Andronicus.” Bitter Pill is a family affair featuring Emily Butler on vocals and her dad, Billy Butler, on cello; along with Mike McKay on banjo/mandolin, Michael Wingate Seavey and/or Jon McCormack on acoustic guitar, and a rotating roster of singers, circusers, actors, and awkwards.
“Exhilarated. Stimulated." NHPR
"Prepare Your Throats is intriguing, creative, humorous, raw and not all that wholesome. Two mighty severed thumbs up.” Modspoke.com
“There’s a lot to love about this record.” Chris Hislop
We did a live session masks and all for a tv thing back in June and we’re excited to share the videos with you! We even played a brand spankin new tune, “When I Am Gone.” Mixed and mastered by Chris Chase at The Noise Floor in Dover, NH. Video shot by Eric Ott from HIFI Spin Solutions.
Been a while since we posted something here. There are many many socials now and it is hard to keep up. Especially, as an diy indie band and especially especially, in a world were the bugs are now in charge. But here we are.
We lost all our gigs and had to cancel planning a tour to support our new record,”Desperate Times on the New Hampshire State Line,” (aptly named last summer) and were in the process of mixing it down when the virus exploded and the world stood still. We rely on live shows to pay for studio time, touring support, gear, etc. We had just finished laying down the tracks in February and were scheduled to mix and master in March. Good thing about mixing is it can be done by one or two people in the room. We were able to get that done in early March. We ran out of money, however. But through the magic of the internet (and Bandcamp) we were able to do presales, which helped pay for everything else – mastering, duplication, distribution, etc.
We couldn’t have a show to celebrate (and sell CDs and merch!) so we had to get creative. In May, we did a series of livestream listening parties on our socials from our respective homes over three weekends. That turned into two months of episodes where we will played a few tracks, talk about the songs, mused, got weird, and interviewed other bands we admire.
Other than a short live session we recorded for WMUR Channel 9 in June (which will be broadcast on Friday July 31 at 7pm!), we haven’t rehearsed or played together since going into the studio first weekend of February and it has been tough emotionally and artistically. We are a tight-knit group. My daughter (Emily Butler) and I lead the band and I hadn’t been able to be in the same room with her since the quarantine started. Plus, she is a healthcare worker and that adds another layer of anxiety. There are other members of the band who have partners with compromised immune systems so getting together to play as a band wasn’t an option. That is changing. We are now booking small outdoor shows for August and September and approaching these live performances with a tremendous amount of caution. We have lots of “musts” before we will show up but we are optimistic. For now anyway.
I imagine that it will take more than just “opening up” the world again. There will be global PTSD – literally billions of people who will be suffering the emotional and mental effects of this pandemic. Even if the big bad bug dies forever, it is going to take a long time for people to feel comfortable coming out to mass gatherings again. Meanwhile, we will continue to stay connected to our fans by what ever means we can.