'EP ominous' offers a range of styles and influences, but it's all pop to them. A funny thing happened on the way to Jazz Fest, and New Orleans wound up with a new songwriting team. Early this year, recent Grammy nominee Beth Patterson and her fiancé, busy guitarist/drummer CJ Solomon, started to assemble a new band to back Beth at the 41st Jazz & Heritage Festival and subsequent appearances. "Suddenly, without really setting out to do so, we started writing together," says CJ. "We liked the name Potent Bathers even though it had been originated to designate Beth's new backing band (it's an anagram of her name), so we went with it." The two decided to write accessible songs that anyone can enjoy, and to focus on crafting songs that are both lyrically and musically clever. Influences in just these five songs range from blues to punk to reggae but have a consistent vibe and some repeating sonic elements. "We realized right away that there was a certain sound to having CJ's electric guitar against my bouzouki," says Beth, "and it gives our sound a certain identity." Beth Patterson fans will certainly hear her voice, her bouzouki and her influence but this music is very different from what you'd hear on her four CDs. "This is not the ballad-singing Beth you used to see at O'Flaherty's," she says, "nor the gal with songs in odd time signatures and using pedantic language. This is yet another direction, one that reflects my current state of mind: Bathers just wanna have fun!" The two did all the singing and played most of the instruments on the EP, with CJ on drums and guitars (as well as percussion and melodica) and Beth playing bouzouki and most of the bass. "Trumpet Mike" Kobrin provided all the horns, and Rob Schafer plays bass on one track. They're also in the lineup for live performances, along with Steven Randall who covers drums while CJ plays guitar. The same crew will be Beth's backing band and performed with her at Jazz Fest, where they also switched things up and performed as Potent Bathers. Writing contributions vary. "Some tracks are mostly Beth's words, my music - some the reverse - it's all very collaborative," explains Solomon. The exception is the oil spill-inspired Blood on the Water Tonight, written by CJ. "I had no intention of doing a 'spill song,'" he mentions, "but some tunes write themselves and this one did just that after we attended the protest rally at Jackson Square. We already had some studio time reserved so we were able to capture it right away. I'm angry and frustrated, like everyone, and we tried to express it in song." The hard-driving tune even a features Beth's bouzouki cranked through a big Marshall amp. Beth and CJ continue to write, and a full-length CD is next on the docket. They also perform together as the rhythm section of John Lisi & Delta Funk.