Photo: (from left) Amber Nicole, C.B. Mauldin , Nick Beach, Matt Thomasson, Derrick Manley
If you haven’t heard about Bottom Sop, or seen them live, you’ve likely never been to GonzoFest, or gone out at all for the last six years. Since forming in 2010, the band released two full-length albums and have performed relentlessly in the only local dives and venues crazy enough to take them (that included Gonzo Fest, twice, in the past). This Saturday, the band returns to the festival grounds for another round.
“We try to take it to a new level every time,” says lead singer and guitarist Derrick Manley. “And through time we all lose our minds a little bit more, you know. Being in a band makes you crazy. The more we do, the more we wanna do.”
“We’ve had a few people leave the band; we’ve had a few new members, and it keeps it interesting. Kind of changes our style. That’s what Bottom Sop is about, really. All that stuff mixing at the bottom of the plate…”
Manley, of course, is referring to the basis of their name, bottom sop, the red-eye gravy mixture made from country ham drippings and coffee, and usually eaten with biscuits and greens. When you mix the flavors of country, blues and rock n roll, you can’t lose.
“The cool thing about living in 2016 is you can look back on other people’s careers over, like, 50 year periods. I can sit down in the afternoon and listen to Bob Dylan’s entire catalog that took him 50 years to make, right? So I can take all his influence. I can do anybody’s…Tom Waits, or anybody like that, and move forward.”
Bottom Sop moved forward as lineup changes occurred. Their last album, Armed and Dangerous, loosened up into acid country and psychedelic blues, a departure from the straight-shooter, country-western of those previous albums. Singer Lindsey Anderson is no longer in the group, although her duets with Manley will be missed; new singer Amber Nicole completes the 2016 version of Bottom Sop. “We’re kind of going through this thing where we’re all going AWOL and trying to get more experimental,” he said. Manley also promised a new album sometime this year.
“The songs are written … For every hundred I write, eight make it, really.”
Please welcome back Bottom Sop this Saturday, April 16th, at the GonzoToday tent stage at 4:50 p.m. And don’t forget to scope out the remaining artists with our ongoing previews leading up to the festival!