-- Randy Chortkoff (CEO Delta Groove Music)
"I've had the pleasure of knowing Jimi Bott for over 25 years. He is not only my favorite drummer of choice but one of the hardest working and warmest human beings I know."
Blues Music Awards nominee for Blues Drummer of the Year 20 times
Winner of the Blues Music Award in 2015
Twelve-time winner of the CBA Muddy Award for Blues Drummer of the Year.
Inducted into the CBA Blues Hall of Fame in 2009
CBA Blues Drummer Award named after him
One of the most recorded and respected blues drummers in the world
While still in high school Jimi started his professional career at the tender age of 17 with well-known Bay Area blues men, Paul Durkett and Byrd Hale. At 19 he joined Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors, starting what would be the beginning of a perpetual life on the road. On his 21st birthday he auditioned for, and won, the gig of his dreams with Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, the very same band that had inspired him to become a professional drummer. Next, he played with The Fabulous Thunderbirds for a total of 8 years. He joined The Mannish Boys and toured with them for an additional 8 years. Jimi took a break from touring to work in his Portland based studio, Roseleaf Studios. His discography boasts impressive credits to over 100 CD's and countless live performances with other blues greats.
Past. Present. Future.
Although Jimi's first love is blues, as a drummer he excels in many other genres. Check out his now-defunct band, Mad Hattie (Soul Fishin'), and hear him play different styles that bridge jazz, country, punk and electric bluegrass. Jimi is also one hell of a rock drummer and he has played with several mainstream players including rock guitar hero, Marc Ford (The Black Crowes & Ben Harper). While on hiatus from The Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1998 to 2000, Marc and Jimi, along with Luther Russell and Fred Trujillo, formed the crushing rock band Federale. A blend of The Band meets Neil Young, Federale never made a commercially released CD, but they became a cult Internet sensation and toured the country with other underground greats Government Mule and The Mother Hips. Sadly, their record deal was scuttled when Interscope was bought out by Universal. Only a handful of demos and live recordings remain. Jimi is currently working on gathering these together as another possible archival project.
Even Earlier Days
Born in San Francisco on August 13, 1965, some would say that music is in his blood. His father, Ken Bott, was his earliest musical influence. He would sing and play guitar every night after work entertaining Jimi, his brother Jere, their mom and two dogs (the audience was nearly spellbound each evening). Ken bought Jimi his very first drum and paid for his lessons. His mother Lee, though often rattled by his constant practicing, was always encouraging and supportive. Later, he and his brother Jere would record and produce their father's very late debut CD entitled The Blues From Bottsville (click here for more information and to buy a copy). At the age of 72, Ken was finally able to realize his life-long dream to write and record an album.
Jimi was privileged to be schooled by two of the best drum instructors in the country. From 1980 to 1983 he studied with the Bay Area great, Forrest Elledge. Later, while living in Los Angeles, he was one of the famous Murray Spivack's last (and according to Murray, one of his best) students ever, an incredible compliment considering Murray's list of students includes world-famous drummers such as Joe Morello (Dave Brubeck), David Garibaldi (Tower of Power), Louie Bellson and Chuck Silverman. Hand technician geniuses, both Forrest and Murray befriended Jimi and passed on their vast knowledge of stick control, musicality, and sense of rhythm. Forrest and Murray's influence flows through every performance of Jimi's.
A List of...
Some of the fine musicians Jimi has played with live or in studio:
The Mannish Boys
Delta Groove Harp Blast
Willie J Campbell
Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes
Smokin Joe Kubek
Little Charlie Baty
Franck "Paris Slim" Goldwasser
Rich Del Grosso
John Del Toro Richardson
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith