Oteil Burbridge is one of the best bassists in the world. He’s a two time grammy winner who rocks out all over the world with the legendary Allman Brothers’ Band. When we first met it was at a music festival called Jungle Jam in Costa Rica where he was playing with Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzman. I saw him on stage with the biggest smile and I thought, “I want to be friends with that man.”
The next day I was in a yoga class and I looked over and the smiling bassist was practicing right next to me. After class I told him how awesome I thought he was and that I wanted to be friends with him. This could have freaked him out, but he said, “I think you’re awesome too and I want to be friends with you also.” From that moment on we became great friends. Being in Oteil’s presence I have learned a lot about life.
- Do it scared. Oteil shared with me that every time he steps on the stage he feels fear and sometimes it feels so scary it’s paralyzing. He said he tells himself to just do it. And do it scared! He practices this when he goes on stage, and in life. “If something is big enough to scare you it’s something you have to do” Oteil says.
- Vulnerability is badass. Oteil is a mentor for my Rock Your LIfe Mentorship program and what makes him one of the favorite mentors is how vulnerable he is. Many of the members are huge fans of Oteil and The Allman Brothers and to hear that he is a human experiencing human things is extremely inspiring for them. Oteil shows up as he is even if it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Oteil shared, “‘It’s an extremely healing experience when I allow myself to be really seen exactly as I am.”
- Being nice is not overrated. Mr. Burbridge is one of the kindest people on this planet. He takes time to talk with his fans, he goes above and beyond for his family and friends, he gives his money and time to charities and he gladly sits in with up and coming musicians and bands. Oteil isn’t nice because he expects anything in return. He’s just kind because he wants to be nice.
- Support your loved ones the way you wish to be supported. Jessica is Oteil’s wife and she is one amazing woman. During their first year of marriage she was given the dream opportunity to go to Africa for a year with the Gorilla Doctors as a Gorilla Conversationalist. Many newlywed husbands might have said no, but he knew that if she didn’t go she would regret it for her whole life just like he would regret not taking the musical opportunities he’s felt called to take. She went and their love is stronger than ever.
- Play is rad. Last year Oteil picked up a hula hoop for the first time. He was immediately hooked. He practices hooping for hours because it brings a sense of play to his busy life. The smile he has on his face when he’s on stage rockin the bass is the same smile he sports when he has a hoop around his waist. Some people make fun of him and think he looks ridiculous, but he doesn’t care. Others saw him and how awesome it was that their hero was hooping and it inspired them to pick up a hoop and play too.
- Surround yourself with those who inspire you to be better. Oteil got his start by becoming a founding member of Aquarium Rescue Unit featuring Col. Bruce Hampton, someone he has always looked up to. Col. Bruce became his life and musical mentor. Oteil later formed a solo group called Oteil and the Peacemakers where he played with some of the best musicians in the world who challenged him to become a better musician. Oteil joined Phish’s keyboardist Page McConnell and The Funky Meters’ drummer Russell Batiste to form Vida Blue. He also founded an improv based trio with Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and Max Creek guitarist Scott Murawski in 2008. Recently a dream came true for him. He got to play with his talented brother Kofi in the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Over the years, Oteil has also recorded and shared the stage with Herbie Hancock, Roy Haynes, Randy Brecker, John Scofield, Jerry Goodman, Bob Moses, Lenny White, Steve Smith, Bela Fleck, Jimmy Herring (solo), Howard Levi, Victor Wooten, Branford Marsalis, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Levon Helm, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Billy Gibbons, Chuck Leavell, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Johnny Winter, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow and Trey Anastasio who are all responsible for pushing his playing to the next level.
Go see Oteil do his thing and get inspired!
Oteil is one of the guest mentors for my super awesome coaching program Rock Your Life Mentorship. This program created with love for people (like me) who are obsessed with live music who want to bring that special feeling they feel when they’re at a festival or show into their everyday lives. It’s possible!!! You’ll explore that while creating more abundance in your life so you can easily afford to go to all the shows you desire. Enrolling now! Learn more >>>here.
Here’s Oteil doing his thing at Jungle Jam. This year’s festival takes place March 12-15 in Jaco, Costa Rica.
The awesome in me sees and bows to the awesome in you,