Bitter Crush is made up of four old friends.

As a result of crossing paths on the New York/New Jersey music scene over the years, Amy Gruber Phillips, Lou Vito, Steve Buzbee and Joe Rowley have known each other for decades.

Vito and Rowley were members of regional favorites the Whirling Dervishes; Phillips and Rowley were members of the original lounge revival act Everlounge, who released three albums and played notable NY and NJ venues such as the Stone Pony and the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, and Kenny’s Castaways and “The Greatest Bar On Earth” in Manhattan.

All four members were part of “Devil Machine”, Rowley’s punk rock cover band (but not at the same time).  Devil Machine played at The Cutting Room and other venues in NYC, as well as at The Crossroads and Roxy & Dukes in NJ. 

In 2013 Vito, Rowley and Buzbee were recruited by Asbury Park singer/songwriter Tara Elliot to be her supporting band, “The Red Velvets” and although the band had a successful run playing many gigs in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, and recording a critically acclaimed EP, it was “not to be” for the usual reasons bands are not to be. The takeaway from that experience was that Vito, Rowley and Buzbee couldn’t deny the musical chemistry they shared and the fact that they enjoyed writing, recording and performing together. In 2015 the trio approached Phillips to contribute her voice, keyboard and songwriting talents, which upon her acceptance was the birth of Bitter Crush.

In their self-titled debut EP you will hear the band’s modern take on the various styles that have influenced them…60’s rock ‘n roll, classic rock, punk, and alternative rock. The band hopes you enjoy the music and will come out to hear a live performance.

Bitter Crush is:


Amy Gruber Phillips – Vocals, Keyboards
Lou Vito – Guitar, Synths
Steve Buzbee – Drums
Joe Rowley - Bass


About Bitter Crush

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