|Roots, Terep, Piik, December 2013. Photo by Siret Roots.|
The band was born onstage the night Roots’ original "Roundabout" album was released in November 2010 - a jam with his former guitar student Martin Eessalu and Tallinn harpist Indrek Tiisel was broadcast as episode 1 of the "Folgikelder" series on Tallinna TV and two tracks captured that night ended up on the band's 1st album "Leigh's Spider Jam". Blues Blast Magazine wrote: "If you are looking for a respite from over-driven blues rock, you’ve hit the winning lottery ticket... These guys can hold court at any blues jam in America."
The album featured Raul Terep on drums, Ahti Bachblum on keys, Bert Deivert on mandolin and Leighton “L.R.” Phoenix on vocals, with Asko-Romé Altsoo and Hanno Maadra providing a string arrangement for one tune. Tiisel, Terep, Roots, Eessalu, Maadra, Altsoo, and bassist Peeter Piik also appeared on Phoenix's own CD "The Hollow Log Of Capt. Richard Wolfe", recorded simultaneously in Tartu. Both albums reached the top three on blues airplay charts in France.
In autumn 2011, Roots, Eessalu and Terep decided to tackle hometown gigs as an instrumental trio and released "Electric Dixieland" EP in May 2012, with the French Soul Bag magazine championing the Roots-penned "Link To Elmore" as "the hit of the season". The group found themselves backing Scots alt.blues hero Dave Arcari at the international Jazzkaar festival and in the Buzz Records documentary "40 Days & 40 Nights"; "Rock House" EP and "Three!" album followed in 2013, as did further TV and radio appearances and more gigs: from the rock dives of Liverpool to the prestigious Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn. Launched with a set at the Sigulda Blues Festival in Latvia, many reviewers acclaimed "Three!" as the best instrumental album of recent years.
Meanwhile, Roots and Peeter Piik had kept touring together in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and the UK with Finnish harpist Ismo Haavisto and British harpist Steve Lury, so when in December the time came for Martin Eessalu to move on, Piik joined Roundabout full-time. In addition to recording with Phoenix and Lury, the current Roundabout trio of Terep, Piik and Roots backed New Orleans piano player Eddie Baytos on the road as far back as 2005 and provided the backbone for most of Bullfrog Brown's best recordings.