Bucky Motter is a gender queer performing songwriter and rocker. He is a veteran of the Atlanta music scene and has opened for such artists as BB King, Indigo Girls, Melissa Ferrick, Doria Roberts, Sonia Leigh, and the Manhattan Transfer. He has two critically acclaimed CD’s: Outta Control and Pleasure and Pain on his own Hey MISTER! Records label. Currently he is playing his own music with his beloved bassist Jerry Peek and playing bass and co-writing with the Atlanta power pop band Flat Cat.
“She’s too damn talented to get lost in the back CD racks…Close your eyes, open your mind and surrender to her soul.” — Hal Horowitz, Atlanta Press
Angela “Bucky” Motter
Music reviewer Elizabeth Nitz put it best: Angela Motter is “as comfortable in her own skin as she is in musical genres.” Motter, who was characterized as a “gender-bending soulster” by GAYBC radio network, forged a union with music early in life. The Atlanta native started writing songs at the age of 10. And after earning her degree in classical guitar performance from Georgia State University, she quickly launched her recording career. Motter’s first recording, a pop-jazz single “Secret Lover” from the compilation album “Best of the Jazz Flavours Cats IV” (Primedia), received heavy airplay in Atlanta and on the nationally syndicated radio show “Jazz Flavours.”
Her next recording, “Outta Control,” was an acoustic-driven set salted with slide guitar. The release of “Outta Control” spurred a local promoter to invite Motter’s band to open for B.B. King, an event Motter cites as a highlight of her career. Her band included guitar wonder Jimmy Herring, renowned drummer Jeff Sipe and former Steve Morse Band bass whiz Jerry Peek.
“Outta Control” drew praise from both East Coast and West Coast press. Creative Loafing Atlanta’s Jeff Clark hailed Motter’s release as “swampy, steamy, incredibly sexy.” A rave review in Deneuve magazine (now Curve) stated that the only downside to “Outta Control” was that the eight song recording was too short.
Motter’s next project, the critically acclaimed album “Pleasure and Pain,” which was released in 1999, introduced the musician’s very out, very sultry and very accomplished blend of rock, jazz, blues, soul and funk to the world beyond her Atlanta digs. Motter picked up a win that year in the Best Out Recording category for the track “My Mama Told Me” at the Gay and Lesbian American Music Awards (GLAMA) in New York, where she also was invited to perform her song “isitaboyisitagirl.”
Gregg Shapiro, Outlines, wrote:
“’Pleasure and Pain’ is one of the best albums of the year, independently released or otherwise. There’s not a misstep on this disc of original and intelligent pop songs. From the opening title track to the timely ‘isitaboyisitagirl’ to ‘Cake’ to ‘My Mama Told Me’ to ‘Imprint,’ Motter gets politically and emotionally active without ever sacrificing her singer/songwriter chops.”
Harriet Schwarz of Michigan’s Between the Lines, wrote:
“Motter’s sense of adventure isn’t confined to the music, but also emerges lyrically. While she pens some fairly straightforward relationship songs, Motter also goes for the jugular, getting political in such songs as ‘Itsaboyitsagirl’ and ‘My Mama Told Me.’ The latter snagged Motter the 1999 GLAMA Award (Gay Lesbian American Music Award) for Best Out Song. Just when you think you’ve figured out Angela Motter’s musical leanings, she heads in a different direction.
After delivering several R&B-influenced tracks, Motter takes another turn. She finds strength in simplicity with ‘Louisiana Air,’ in which she handles vocals and accompanies herself on slide guitar, with no other backing musicians. And she heads for more bluesy territory on [Etta James’] ‘Damn Your Eyes.’ In lesser hands, an album covering this much musical territory would get schizophrenic, but Motter’s convincing vocals and deft guitar give the 12 tracks an underlying consistency.”
Motter pulled together an enviable ensemble of top Atlanta musicians whose talents are recognized worldwide to record “Pleasure and Pain.” And, with the help of a multitalented Atlanta legend, the late Ricky Keller, coproduced a recording that over the years has held up as a classic.
Besides opening for B.B. King, Motter has opened for The Manhattan Transfer, Indigo Girls, Tuck & Patti, Kevin Eubanks, Louden Wainwright III, Mary Gauthier, Melissa Ferrick, Girlyman, Micah Barnes, Michelle Malone, Southern Culture on the Skids, Johnny Rabb and Doria Roberts, to name a few. She has shared the “Songwriters in the Round” stage with John Mayer, Angie Aparo, and a host of other Atlanta performing songwriters, including Claire Campbell, Bain Mattox, Emily Kate Boyd, Jen Lowe, Sonia Leigh and Dede Vogt.
The single “Makin’ Love,” recorded at Tree Sound, is Motter’s latest offering. The seductive song is a richly-produced R&B gem. The recording features background vocal arrangements by Doria Roberts and reprises Motter’s associations with studio drummer Scott Meeder and bassist Jerry Peek. “Makin’ Love” is available for purchase exclusively through SnoCap on Motter’s myspace page.
Most recently, Motter produced two songs she co-wrote with Amanda Martin Fowler — “The Tractor Song” and “Trophy Wife” — with the help of multi-instrumentalist Clay Cook, at the engineering helm, and vocal ringer Vanessa Oliverez. The project placed Motter yet again in new creative territory, with novelty songs that are at once lighthearted and cutting.
Motter has many acting credits under her belt, most notably her role as Yitzhak in local and regional theater productions of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” In fact, Actors Theatre of Louisville’s whiz kid director Sean Daniels told Motter, “Just face it, Angela. You are Yitzhak.” Interestingly, a critic recognized Motter’s bass playing for the role, although Motter learned the bass just for the production.
Working with Sean Daniels and at Actors Theatre of Louisville also stands out as a career highlight for Motter. Sean’s collaborative directing style allowed David Hanbury, who played Hedwig, and the rest of the cast to tweak the script and create a show that attracted return audience members.
Jon Spurney, who took over as music director for the Off Broadway “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” after John Cameron passed on his wig, led the Angry Inch for the Louisville production. Motter learned more about the music she’d come to love via talented composer and instrumentalist Spurney. She was able to sit in on the interns’ classes and learn more about the craft of acting.
In addition to being a talented musician, Motter is also a competitive bodybuilder. She brought home a silver medal from the Gay Games VI in Chicago 2006 in the over-40 physique category. The silver was just another landmark moment in the life of this creative and accomplished artist.