Dirty Cello is a blues, bluegrass, and rock band with creative fresh takes on standards and some vivacious originals. Their performance takes on an atmosphere of fun and humor, along with Rebecca’s virtuosic cello playing adding some flare to the performance. I met with Rebecca Roudman from Dirty Cello at their hosted mini music festival concerts series and we talked about their new releases, upcoming projects, some of her career highlights, and tour shenanigans.
Introduce us to Dirty Cello and what you do.
Dirty Cello has had 9 years running and 7 international tours! We play blues, bluegrass and rock. Last year we went to the middle east, and made a trip to israel. Which was far beyond and below our expectations.
Can you elaborate on some of your tours and highlights?
One of the funniest stories from touring was a show we played in a town in Italy. There were so many people that came to the show that the promoter told us that it would be easier to tally the people that didn’t make it rather than the people who were there. Most of the town was there and after we played we went out bar hopping and at every stop there was a group of people there that wanted to buy us drinks and party! The partying went all night long and at one point we lost track of our drummer as he went cartwheeling down the streets!
What have you been working on currently?
Dirty Cello has produced an exciting DVD called Rough Around the Edges filmed live and up close in a Northern CA dive bar with a live audience. Songs include a collection of fan favorites, a lot of 1960’s rock and some originals. It was a crazy process to perform for a live audience and also for the camera, there is just so much going on and a lot to think about. It was an interesting experience playing and emoting for the cameras while also making sure to take care of all the logistics.
We are also working on a new album of originals that will be about everything from the first female bootlegger to social media critiques. We have had more time to write since everything is shutdown so that is nice, but we also had to cancel many of our plans, and tours.
Please tell me more about the song you are writing about this female bootlegger.
Bernie the bootlegger was a bootlegger during the prohibition and legend has it the most notorious bootlegger of her time that brewed a giant batch of beer which exploded and led to her demise, it is going to be a rockabilly song about her escapades.
How has the recording process been with COVID?
We have been recording our parts remotely which is a new process for us. All of our previous albums have been tracked in person, but this time we are all playing to a click track and will sync everything after the recording process. It is a new process for us but luckily we have our own home recording studio so it has been going well.
How else has COVID affected Dirty Cello?
It feels like we have taken a few steps back as a band, we have had to cancel many of our plans for this year. We have had to adapt and be creative to continue to safely perform for our audiences Including buying new gear to organize a series of streaming concerts. We are continuing to be active in ways that we can though and are making new plans.
Have you done any collaborations with other artists?
I have done many collaborations including tracking and performing cello live with various, hip hop, rock, metal, pop and other musicians. A really fun gig I did recently happened when I got a phone call from Kirk Hammet the guitarist from Metallica asking me to dress as a zombie and come play cello for a halloween party.
Dirty Cello is accepting pre-orders of their live DVD “The Dirty Cello DVD” by email through their website https://www.dirtycello.com/ and while their upcoming CD is still in the works they have a discography of originals standards and fan favorites available on their Bandcamp page
Rebecca Roudman in addition to being the leader of Dirty Cello is also a member of the Oakland and Santa Rosa Symphony. Dirty Cello’s brand of high energy performance is high quality and if you are a fan of bluegrass and folk music they are a group you should pay attention to.