A local acoustic ensemble has entered National Public Radio’s 2017 “Tiny Desk” contest.
The Augusta-based band, Augusta Bottoms Consort, performed its song “Pendulum Swing” in a video entry for the contest. If the band wins, its members will perform at NPR’s office in Washington, D.C., and at a recording of “Ask Me Another,” as well as tour the country with NPR.
Tiny Desk is a program hosted by NPR featuring popular musicians performing “intimate” sets in NPR’s Washington, D.C., office. Once a year, the program searches for up-and-coming artists to perform at the Tiny Desk.
Ensemble member Gloria Attoun (Bauermeister) said the song the band entered into the contest is a commentary on the current political atmosphere, and the “swinging” politicians often do with their platforms.
“We feel that it’s important for us to have conversations and get along with our neighbors, friends and co-workers, even though they may have different opinions than we do,” she said. “Our nation is polarized right now and we hope that through understanding each other’s points of view, we can find common goals and values to unite us and to work toward. If we can do that on a local level, then there’s hope for the world.”
Michael Bauermeister, Gloria’s husband, said the song felt timely.
“We’re all NPR listeners. We’d heard about this Tiny Desk thing for years, but just kind of blew it off. But this year we thought we had the perfect song,” he said.
Augusta Bottoms Consort is comprised of Attoun, Bauermeister, Rebecca Mayer and Paul Ovaitt. Each member writes, sings and plays acoustic instruments.
The four have been performing since 1994. They named their band after the road the four lived on when the band got its start.
The band writes originals, plays covers and experiments with acoustic sound.
Bauermeister said he doesn’t think the band will win the national contest, but he and his wife hope the band is heard and possibly win St. Louis Public Radio’s local Tiny Desk concert. The national contest has thousands of entries, while the local contest received around 40 entries this year.
St. Louis Public Radio will name a local favorite and feature that band at a local show. Entries are voted on at stlpublicradio.org. The national contest, however, has closed.
Winners of Tiny Desk’s national contest will be announced in the first week of March, it was not clear when the local winner would be announced.
“I don’t think we’ve got a chance (nationally),” Bauermeister said. “If people see the video and hear the music, that will be good.”
Augusta Bottoms Consort’s next public show will be Sunday, March 26, at KDHX FM’s stage in downtown St. Louis as part of the radio station’s Honeysuckle Cabaret celebration. The band will perform at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.