Not too long ago at an art opening in Millwood, more than one person asked me about the Bitter Liberals. “What has become of you guys?” seems to be a common sentiment—completely understandable given our year long show hiatus!
We’ve been busy retooling the band with the addition of bass and drums played by two new Bitter Liberals: Michael Rohrer and Nick Schrenk. We’re pretty sure you’re gonna love it.
Without any further ado, introducing Michael and Nick!
Michael Rohrer – bass
Michael Rohrer’s first instrument was a ukelele at age 6. He soon graduated to a Roy Rogers guitar, and finally a real guitar when his hands were big enough. In high school, he played trumpet in the concert band, even soloing with the famous Carnival of Venice trumpet showpiece in his senior year. Meanwhile, he was learning finger style guitar and bass guitar, inspired by the playing of Peter, Paul and Mary, Paul McCartney and the other great musicians from the ’60s. He played guitar through college, and even so, got his degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, got married, bought a house in Blacksburg, started raising two kids and didn’t have a lot of time for playing music. After he moved to Loudoun, he started playing again. Returning from a gig at a wine festival in Page County on a beautiful fall afternoon, he had an epiphany and realized that playing music was what he was meant to do in life. For several years, he studied classical bass with Bob Oppelt, NSO principal bassist, and has played in numerous orchestras since then, in venues including the Kennedy Center and Constitution Hall. He is currently principal bass with the Loudoun Symphony and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. He also plays in the Washington Sinfonietta and the Symphony of the Potomac as well as numerous freelance and chamber music venues. Through the years, he has enjoyed sitting in with bands like the Bastards of Twang and the Curve Crew whenever he gets the chance. He also plays an Eb Sousaphone, and was a founding member of the Lincoln Dixieland Jazz Band. He is a Bitter Liberal.
Nick Schrenk – drums
Nick Schrenk began playing drums at the age of 9 after receiving a snare drum from his parents for Christmas in 1970. He joined Nova, his first rock ‘n’ roll band, a few years later, playing covers as well as original material. Since then, Nick has played in a variety of musical projects in Northern Virginia. Oil Can Harry & the Dirty Squirts and Smokin’ In Bed were bands that specialized in electric Blues. Jumptown, an 8 piece ensemble with horns, enjoyed an enthusiastic following in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, playing old school R&B music by such greats as Bobby Bland, B.B. King and Little Milton Campbell. Nick made his first foray into Jazz when he joined The Dominion Jazz Quartet while still a member of Jumptown. The DJQ featured two guitars, upright bass and drums. Nick is excited to be reunited with his childhood friend and band mate Allen Kitselman. He is a Bitter Liberal.
We’ll debut the ALL NEW Bitter Liberals Friday January 12th at the Bright Box Theater in Winchester. More about that show soon. (You can buy tickets now if you wanna.)
You couldn’t have found a nicer guy or a better drummer. I’m sure you already know this. Should be a great new chapter for your band.
Thanks Jay. We agree. And we’re having a blast.
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