Bitter Tonic

Playing music for fellow music lovers!

Just as each member of Bitter Tonic has a unique musical background, their overall sound has been influenced by vastly differing artists such as Amos Lee, Adele, Florence + the Machine, Neil Young, Tom Petty, The Decemberists, Alice in Chains, Kings of Leon, and Blitzen Trapper. Above all, Bitter Tonic loves playing music that people can connect to. Whether it’s the latest song on the radio from The Black Keys, a nineties hit, or a revamped disco tune, Bitter Tonic puts their own spin on good songs. They affectionately refer to this process of making covers of other bands’ songs their own as "Bitter Tonic-izing." They favor the details and intricacies of music and play to their strengths with multi-layered harmonies by sisters Jocelyn Schatzer and Alexis Hickey, mandolin and guitar solos by Pat Gantz and Ted Hickey, and tight, driving rhythms by drummer Luke Banister and bassist Jeff Merrell. They love being together, hanging out each week and learning new music in Alexis’ childhood bedroom - a bit of a squeeze for six band mates, about a billion guitars, and one lucky band dog named Thatch.
Bitter Tonic members are all from the greater Seattle area. They first formed in 2008 when sisters Jocelyn and Alexis, their father Ted, and longtime family friend Pat decided to get together and jam on a regular basis as a much needed musical outlet. They were then joined by friends Luke and Jeff in 2009, and Bitter Tonic was finally complete! They began adding more and more covers to their repertoire and wrote a few songs of their own as well. In the summer 2009, they were pleased to have their first performance for a small group of friends and family. A recording of that first show exists somewhere out there in the ether but is, thankfully, not readily available to the general public. (It’s probably better that way.) Bitter Tonic has also enjoyed performing for the Des Moines Beach Park Concert Series, Renton River Days, various bars and venues in the South King County area and an Irish pub in Ocean Shores. They released their first EP of original songs in the fall of 2013 and were voted #13 in the 2014 King 5 Best of Western Washington Local Bands. The EP can be found on iTunes, Spotify, iHeart Radio and the Google Play Store.

moderny/mellow/singer-songwriter/folky/alt/lightbluegrassyish rock... sort of...

Bitter Tonic would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years. Thank you for coming out to see us at our live performances, and for listening to and sharing our music with the people you know. You've been a big part of why we did what we did, and now it's time for us to say farewell. For reasons and life changes, Bitter Tonic has decided to "disband". You can still find our music on Itunes, Spotify, and the usual places. Enjoy the tunes! Take care.

Here we go! Please join Bitter Tonic at Kelly's Mercantile in Enumclaw at 6:30 on Saturday, August 8. Come see us and enjoy some of the best food you'll ever eat! See you there!

Bitter Tonic playing at Renton River Days today!

For those of you experiencing Bitter Tonic withdrawals, you're in luck. We're playing at Renton River Days on Sunday, July 26th. Music starts at 11:30 am. Come see us!

Thanks to all for your happy thoughts! Jocelyn's surgery was a complete success! The doctor was pleased with the results, including his work stitching her tattoo back together. She's on the road to recovery and we're all looking forward to our next gig at the end of July.

Hey, Bitter Tonic fans. We're asking for positive thoughts and prayers for our vocalist, Jocelyn. She's having much needed and long awaited back surgery tomorrow. This is just what she needs to get her back singing those beautiful melodies and harmonies. We'll keep you posted on her progress.

They Look Innocent And Sweet, But When The Lead Singer Steps On This? Oh My God

These girls are too much!!!
That one on the drums!!! What a beast! This male-dominated genre doesn't scare these talented teen sisters.

Thank you, Kelly's Mercantile!
We had a blast!

Videos (See all)

Band Interests

Playing music for fellow music lovers.

Band Members

Pat Gantz, Jocelyn Schatzer, Alexis Hickey, Jeff Merrell, Ted Hickey, and Luke Banister


Current Location

Booking Agent

Tina Hickey
Other Seattle Artists
Kenny G
Ashburn Artists