Tuesday, September 17, 2013

NEAF '13 Feature Artist: Tad Overbaugh

Shooting straight is what Tad Overbaugh & the Late Arrivals do. Straight rock n’roll with an alt-country twist. This is telecaster music. Catchy tunes with twangy, over-driven guitars, Overbaugh’s stalwart vocal’s cutting through the mix, and always great stories behind the songs. A bit Merle Haggard, a pinch of Tom Petty, and throw in a little Buddy Miller for good measure and you get Tad Overbaugh. Great songs with excellent hooks that will be running through your brain for the rest of the week after you catch a listen to these fellas. What more do you want, good music is as good as it gets. Grab a brew, belly up to the bar and lend an ear as these gents rock this year's festival.

Tad gave us some answers...check them out.

1)      First and foremost, who are you, what do you do? That is, what band are you in or are you a solo artist, what have you guys been up to leading up to the festival, anything exciting we should all know about? Your chance for shameless self promotion…go!

I’m Tad Overbaugh, a singer-songwriter who currently lives in Swampscott, MA. I’m a solo artist
that primarily performs with my band these days, Tad Overbaugh & The Late Arrivals. My songs fall into the alt-country/Americana/Rock category.  Some artists that really influenced me are Tom Petty, Paul Westerberg and Steve Earle.

I went solo in 2010, after my band The Kickbacks ended. The most exciting thing I’ve got cooking is my debut solo album I’m recording now, scheduled to be out in early 2014.  I’m working with a great producer/sideman in Nashville named Shawn Byrne.

2)      New England Americana and the Fest firmly plant their roots and morals in “community”. The event is a culmination of a community of musicians and artists that is going on all year. What does that community mean to you?
I think the main thing that comes to mind for me is friendship and support.  As a musician you end up meeting lots of other musicians at your shows and other people’s shows.  Some of those introductions become really solid friendships. I think you naturally start helping each other out to get shows, attending their shows as a fan when you can make it, sharing gear/rehearsal space, or filling in if a band is down a member 1 night. This is a tough business and you won’t get very far being just about yourself.  I think this kind of thing really cultivates and helps a music scene grow and become a community.

  3)      Name a record that shaped you as a musician early on. What music initially made you want to sing, or pick up an instrument and make music?
The Replacements album “Tim” had a huge impact on me when I first started playing music.  I just loved the songwriting… lots of hooks, great lyrics, rockers, and ballads on that.  I also liked that their songs could be serious or kind of funny. I think you need that balance on an album.   I loved Tom Petty and a lot of classic country. I really learned so much from country music about tight song structures, hooks, and clever, well written lyrics that were universal, but somehow still interesting and not cliché.  You could apply those lessons to almost any style of music you wanted to make.  I liked the challenge of trying to write something as good as some of the songs that inspired me.

  4)      What are you listening to now that you think folks should be aware of?
Slaid Cleaves new album, "Still Fighting The War" I think is great. He’s one of those songwriters where every line counts in his songs. He’s really good at getting his story or point across in a universal, but non cliché way. He’s got a great voice to deliver it all too.  He tends to put a new album out every 4 years,
but it’s worth the wait for this kind of lyrical quality and superbly constructed songs.

  5)      Music  festivals, in general,  are fairly well known for surprise sit ins, improvisational jams and collaborations. If you could see any two of this year’s acts collaborate on stage at this year’s NEA Festival, who would you like to see?
I’d love to see Dennis Brennan sit in with just about anyone. To me he’s just a model of how to put on a fantastic show. Also, I really think my friend Chuck Melchin from Bean Picker’s Union is a great songwriter and guitar player.  He knows how to sit in and adapt to the feel of the music around him very well.

  6)      Why is creating music important to you? Why do you pick up your instrument and write songs? Why do you play that dive bar on a Thursday night? What keeps you going?
Hey, Thursday is still a pretty good night in the week to score a gig…ha ha! I became a music fan long before I ever picked up an instrument or started writing songs at 15. I guess for me as a songwriter or fan, I love to hear a song that hits you and you feel it. It has all the elements to pull you in hard… great lyrics, melody, hooks, and feel. You believe the person singing it. Striving to write songs with those qualities and bring them to life at shows with my band or on record, is one of the things I live for and why I stay involved in music.

Tad and the boys will be hitting the Tasty Burger bar stage at 8:30 on Saturday night. Give them a listen online at tadoverbaugh.bandcamp.com


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