Cincinnati all-star group Root Cellar Xtract
— CityBeat
 

ABOUT ROOT CELLAR XTRACT


 

For anyone who misses that distinct emotional feeling those songs that came out of the ’70s Laurel Canyon scene gave them, Rear View Mirror Eyes is a must-have. There aren’t many people making music like that anymore, and even if there were, it’s doubtful anyone could do it with the precision and artistry Root Cellar Xtract does.” –Cincinnati CityBeat

The consummate musicians of Root Cellar Xtract (RCx) play a kind of throw-back country rock which embodies the rootsy soulfulness of that early California country-rock sound. But there's a stripped-down purity--a maturity, if you will--that makes this a thoroughly modern outfit. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio Root Cellar Xtract draws as well from its own "edge of Dixie" geography. Formed in 2016 by Clyde Bailey, who writes the band's original compositions, Root Cellar Xtract (RCx) represents the culmination of rich musical careers coming together in perfect harmony.

Root Cellar Xtract’s (RCx) music and sound is deeply rooted in the earliest origins of true “California Country-Rock”. Root Cellar Xtract harkens back to the era of the mid 60’s to early 70’s and hills of Laurel Canyon, California which was the birthplace of California Country Rock. With names like Neil Young, David Crosby, Stephen Stills Graham Nash, J.D. Sourther, Rich Furay, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Jackson Brown, Joni Mitchel, and Gram Parsons that bounced across multiple bands like The Band, Buffalo Springfield, Little Feat, Poco, Flying Burrito Brothers, The Eagles, Pure Prairie League, and The Byrds. Not unlike the founding members and bands of Country Rock, the members of Root Cellar Xtract have played in multiple bands from this musical space not only in Cincinnati but also across the country and Europe.

The band has recently released 12 songs on Root Cellar Xtract's full length album entitled "Rear View Mirror Eyes". Bailey teamed up and co-produced the album with Brian Lovely of The Flying Underground and formerly Brian Lovely and the Secret.  Ironically both Lovely and Bailey won the 97x/WOXY Best Cincinnati Band contest in separate years in the mid-90s.  Jim Peltz also co-produced the album. These consummate musicians play a pure kind of Country Rock while avoiding sub-genre excursions into "southern rock" or "folk rock" for example. 

Root Cellar Xtract can be found playing live throughout the Cincinnati area at venues like Arnolds, Japs, Washington Platform, Fretboard Brewing, Braxton Brewing, Urban Artifact, Plain Folk Café, Little River Café and Bobby Mackey’s and Southgate House.

On pedal steel, Steve Mueller creates an unmistakably unique atmosphere.  The solos are passed backed and forth in “jam” between pedal steel and the piano of Phil Burkhead, surrounded by the 4 part harmonies. 

Which brings us to a kind of hush. The band members' level of experience with music--that careful appreciation each person brings--has resulted in a sound that is as much about what is not played as much as what is.

"We talk alot about respecting the space and letting the songs breathe"says Clyde.

Garnering a growing fan base, Root Cellar Xtract is expanding its roots and continues to grow.

Artist/Bands that Root Cellar Xtract members have shared the stage with: 

Willie Nelson, Marshall Tucker Band, Kris Kristofferson, The Mavericks, Marty Stuart, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, Lionel Richie, Blue Oyster Cult, B-52s, Richard Thompson, Blues Traveler, Molly Hatchet, Smokey Robinson, Average White Band, Chicago, Doc Severinsen, James Brown, Joey Bishop, Little River Band, George Jones, Freddy Fender, Chuck Leavell, Juice Newton, Dickie Betts, Commander Cody. 


ROOT CELLAR xtract


Clyde Bailey

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Bailey is an established singer/songwriter whose earlier band, Clyde and the Loonies, was a favorite of the (late and legendary) radio station WOXY/97X and they won the Best Band in Cincinnati contest in the 90s. Bailey then left for Europe and fronted a band for a decade called The Clyde Bailey Band. Bailey was also previously part of an acoustic trio called Wooden Obscurity.  Clyde hand-picked the other members of Root Cellar Xtract to achieve a sound that he feels is still missing in this type of music: "a twanged up folk-abilly sound with a real tip of the hat to the roots of the original Country Rock,. It's not country, it's not rock, it's not folk, it's not southern rock, it's country rock". "We are definitely focused on maintaining the integrity of that "Laurel Canyon" sound". 

15 years since Clyde's last band, he's been doing the singer/songwriter writer thing. But ultimately he missed the dynamics of collaborators interpreting and expanding upon his compositions. Forming Root Cellar Xtract in 2016, he hand-picked experienced musicians who quickly built a warm, layered sound that Clyde casts as "twanged-up folkabilly." "The most amazing thing is to turn a song over to band and listen to what they do to it," says Clyde, who adds that he hopes he won't remain the sole songwriter in Root Cellar Xtract.
"Influences in music go a long way in defining who you are musically " says Clyde, "And who you are, what you see and what happens to you combined with how you process and observe is what you write."


Steve Mueller

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Started playing steel early 70's after watching JD Call playing with Craig Fuller and Pure Prarie League at New Dilly's in Mt Adams. Found Lloyd Hazelbaker and studied steel and guitar with him. Member of Calico Rose and Dark Star. Early influences were Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Sinatra with Nelson Riddle Orchestra as well as country influence from Midwestern Hayride. Got hooked on country rock from PPL and jazz and swing from Lloyd Hazelbaker. Love the Bakersfield sound and the country rock sound that followed.


John Castetter

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John has played Bass, Mandolin, and Acoustic Guitar with numerous acts throughout his career. The Rattlesnakin' Daddies, Just Another Band, Trilogy, Medicine Hat, and The Menus, just to name a few. He has toured with groups and shows across much of the United States and Canada. He has been fortunate enough to share stages with a variety of numerous artists; everyone from Blue Oyster Cult to Willie Nelson. He also enjoys teaching music to students individually, as well as in a group or classroom setting. He has a Bachelors of Music Education from Northern Kentucky University, and has taught for both Cincinnati Public and Boone County School Districts. "I just flat-out enjoy teaching music and playing it, whether it's recording tracks in a studio, or playing a live show in front of anybody who's kind enough to give it a listen."


Phillip Burkhead

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Louisville, KY native Phillip Lee Burkhead began teaching himself to play piano at the age of eight by emulating pop and jazz artist. In 1979 he began his formal training at Bellarmine College as a piano and voice major. Studying under John Craig, Kay Lawrence and Steve Crews he was awarded the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award for academic and performance excellence. r. Burkhead was the holder of a four year Honors Scholarship in the Jazz and Studio Music program at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. In 1989 he was chosen to receive the Dino Santangelo Annual Award, and the Presser Scholar Award for both academic and performance achievement. Mr. Burkhead was also awarded Best Keyboard Artist by Cincinnati Magazine, the University of Boulder Jazz Festival Soloist Award while a member of the CCM group “Jazz Hates Johnny” which was voted Outstanding Combo in the USA and Canada by Downbeat Magazine. Mr. Burkhead earned a Vocational Teaching License and a Masters of Education from Wright State University in 2003. r. Burkhead has been studying and performing Jazz since 1981. He has performed with Jon Von Ohlen, Tim Froncek, Cal Collins, Kenny Poole, Jimmy Rainey, Jimmy McGary, Al Kiger, Kate Lauer, Randy Sanke, David Liebman, John Fedchock, John Clayton, Jamey Abersold, Ron McCurdy, Jon Faddis, Ingrid Jensen, Pete Escovedo, Greg Abate, Jeff Coffin, Don Braden, and Lynn Roberts. Groups include The Blue Wisp Big Band, The New York Voices, The Dayton Jazz Orchestra, The Newport Dream Band, The Louisville Stage Band, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Coasters, and The Shirelles. r. Burkhead has taught at Miami University, Central State University, the CCM College Preparatory Program, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He taught music in Cincinnati’s Catholic school system and from 1993 to 2005 Phillip was an instructor at the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati. During his time at SCPA he taught Piano, Theory/Composition, Improvisation, Arranging, Music Technology, Jazz Ensemble, and was the Musical Director of The Book of Five Rings, which toured Gifu, Japan in 1999. He has been included in the Who’s Who of American Teacher’s three times. In 2005 he was given an award from the Cincinnati based organization JAZZ ALIVE in grateful recognition of his continuing support in providing and preserving jazz in the greater Cincinnati area. Mr. Burkhead is the Adjunct Professor of Jazz Piano at The University of Dayton.


Paul Ellis

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Cincinnati native Paul Ellis began playing drums at age 7, and spent 11 years studying with local drumming great Dan Hessler.  While attending Indian Hill high school and being a part of its highly regarded band program, he developed an interest jazz, largely fueled by watching legendary drummer John von Ohlen play with the Blue Wisp Big band.  Paul went on to study privately with Mr. von Ohlen while attending the jazz program at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, graduating in 1995.  During this time Paul began playing professionally in the Cincinnati area, gaining experience working in jazz, blues, pop/rock, country, and Latin American styles of music.  He continues to work with many of the wonderful musicians on the Cincinnati scene, and for the past five years has been the regular drummer with blues and boogie woogie piano master Ricky Nye.   The association with Mr. Nye also resulted in Paul meeting his wife, the incredible vocalist Bekah Williams.            


Joshua metzger

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Joshua plays the guitar and banjo for Root Cellar Xtract.  He is also a vocalist singing both lead and harmony. Joshua has traveled all over the world playing with various bands and projects. 



                   MORIAH HAVEN

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Moriah Haven plays mandolin and is a vocalist for Root Cellar Xtract.  She is a Singer-Songwriter, who often emphasizes on conceptualized art and ideas for creative expression, by means of whatever medium necessary. Her main approach to the arts is to harness their healing powers.  It is about the articulation of emotional intention through melody. The arts, and music in particular, can connect us with each other on a spiritual level like nothing else quite can. With strong roots in Appalachian Music, Country, Blues, and Bluegrass, and growing up singing in her Grandmother's church, her performances pay homage to the tradition of these genres, often evoking an era and style more reminiscent of times past. However, in juxtaposition, many songs feel somehow simultaneously modern, despite their high and lonesome undertones. She has played in Wonky Tonk, Chick Pimp Coke Dealer at a Bar, Lawson Reunion, Billy Wallace and the Virginia Blues, Kentucky Timbre, David Rhoades Brown and the Hillbilly Harem.

 


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