With a strong affinity for the roots of American music, San Diego native Kimmi Bitter (the Night Howls) is inspired by 1970s delicate singer-songwriters and 1960s vintage country, styling her songs around the classic sounds of Patsy Cline with the Jordanaire's, Loretta Lynn, and Linda Ronstadt,
Her debut EP West Side Twang, released in 2019, features a California take on traditional country and soul. A strong believer in minimalism and retro-technology, all songs were recorded with a band live to analog tape at local Lost Ark Studio with engineer Mike Butler. Her band at the time included Willis Farnsworth and Ben Neal of the Night Howls, as well as Jody Bagley (Mrs. Henry, Cathouse Thursday), Cheyne Dolly (Wish & the Well, Shane Hall), Bob Ryan (California Rangers, Three Chord Justice), and Goodrich Pedals co-owner Kevin Ryan (California Rangers, Billy Joe & the Roosters).
"The roots of California country music go deep, though they are much neglected, and hence the name West Side Twang is all about bringing the elements of this genre to fruition," says Bitter. "The CD artwork features a cricket and horseshoe, both omens of good luck while simultaneously representing a western vibe, and desert roses, which is a titled song on the EP."
Her sophomore EP Take Me Back was released later in 2019.