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Biography

There are multiple artists that have recorded under the name The Bittersweets.

1. a Nashville-based alt. folk-pop trio
2. A 1960s girl group (a.k.a. The Bitter Sweets) from Dayton/Cleveland, Ohio
3. A punk/garage "supergroup" from Norway

1. The Bittersweets is a Nashville-based alt. folk-pop trio, consisting of Chris Meyers (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Hannah Prater (vocals, guitar). They fuse yellows and blues, sunniness and melancholy, with evocative lyrics and lush arrangements, transcendent melodies and Prater’s voice. Both of Prater’s parents are music teachers; she sang in jazz groups and musical theatre productions; and she pursued a degree in vocal performance, before discovering a different style of vocal expression in Joni Mitchell and Over the Rhine.

Before the Massachusetts-born Meyers ever picked up a guitar in his late teens, he was a jazz pianist. As he dug into the history of American roots music and wrote at length about how country music made its way from front porches to radio airwaves, his musical palette was forever changed. Of his college studies, Meyers says, “They turned me on to a bunch of artists that I never really listened to before—everything from bluegrass to Johnny Cash or Gram Parsons, the whole spectrum.”

Meyers, the Bittersweets' primary songwriter, and Prater discovered their musical kinship in the Bay area after college. The manager of a teenaged musician Meyers was tutoring got the Bittersweets’ demo into the hands of taste-making San Francisco station KFOG. When the band arrived in Nashville two years later, Compass Records was ready to sign them..

That new album, Goodnight, San Francisco, brought in a team of players: steel guitarist Russ Pahl (Don Williams), bassist Dave Jacques (John Prine), drummer Steve Bowman (Counting Crows), guitarist Doug Lancio (Patty Griffin), cellist David Henry (Ben Folds), organ player John Deaderick (Emmylou Harris) and others. GRAMMY nominee Jason Lehning (Guster) also lent his mixing and playing abilities to the project.

Goodnight marks the end of the Bittersweets’ season in San Francisco and the beginning of a new one in Nashville with a leaner lineup (the Bittersweets recorded The Life You Always Wanted as a quintet). “Basically we were all going through various personal struggles the last year we were there, even as a band,” says Meyers. “One of the band members went to law school and another one had a baby.” But that meant shifting from their five-person lineup—which included bassist Daniel Schacht and multi-instrumentalist Jerry Becker—into a duo.

2. The Bittersweets (1966-1969) was an all girl band formed by Judy Rogers in Dayton, Ohio. The group decided to take their show on the road and found their way to Cleveland where they recorded a 45 for Tema. They cut a charming version of the Talula Babies "Hurtin' Kind" at Audio (a song choice that must have been made by Jimmy Testa) and performed it on Upbeat. Somewhere along the line their name became plural. The original line-up was Judy, Louie, Rosie and Chris. Later, Penny replaced Chris but left in 1967 and returned briefly in 1969. The reformed group included Judy, Penny, Marcia and Marilyn. They would later get exposure on a few reissue compilation albums such as "Girls In The Garage Vol. 1".

3. A / "supergroup" from Norway featuring members from The Cosmic Dropouts, Turbonegro, The Yum Yums, The Lust-O-Rama, The Kwyet Kings, The Basement Brats and The Fuck Ups.

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