- Rustic Overtones
Infobox musical artist
Name = Rustic Overtones
Img_capt = Rustic Overtones in a promotional picture taken for the release of 2001 album
Landscape = yes
Background = group_or_band
Portland, Maine, USA
Instruments = Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Drums, Baritone Sax, Trombone, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax
Genre = Rock
Years_active = 1993–2002, 2007–present
Ripcord Records, Arista, Tommy Boy
As Fast As, Paranoid Social Club, Tony McNaboe, and Groove Disciples
URL = [http://www.myspace.com/rusticovertones/ Rustic Overtones' Myspace]
Current_members = Dave Gutter
Rustic Overtones is a rock/
jazz/ funkband from Maineactive from 1993-2002 that recently reunited. They were the first group to perform live on XM Satellite Radio, and their new album Light At The Endhas become the fastest-selling local disc ever in the state of Maine[ [http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=123981&ac=PHfea Die-hard fans cheer Rustic Overtones' reunion | Portland Press Herald ] ] .
Rustic Overtones started out in the early 1990s as a three-piece cover band known as Aces Wild with Dave Gutter, Jon Roods, and then-drummer and close friend Matthew Esty, playing small bars. This lineup produced the very rare "Smile" album. The Rustic Overtones gained popularity during the mid to late 1990s in the Portland, Maine music scene, although they had many self-financed tours throughout the country, mostly the northeastern states. After the release of their 1998 album
Rooms by the Hour, major record label Arista signed the band spurred on by then president Clive Davis. The signing lead to "Hardest Way Possible," a song from "Rooms By The Hour" being featured on the soundtrack to the Rob Schneiderfilm The Animal. Arista hired legendary producer Tony Viscontito produce what became the 2001 release, Viva Nueva!. However, after disagreements with the label, and a shakeup at Arista that saw their primary suppoter, Clive Davis, depart, the record deal fell through. They were shortly afterwards picked up by Tommy Boy, and released Viva Nueva!in 2001. The album featured guest appearances by Funkmaster Flex, Imogen Heapand David Bowie. However, Tommy Boy dissolved shortly after the release of the album, once again leaving the Overtones without a record label. The disappointment of two major record deals falling through proved too much for the band members, and they went their separate ways in 2002. Their "final" performance was a three-hour show at the State Theatre on May 11th, 2002.
, which was released independently in late July 2007 coinciding with the two reunion shows.
Although the band originally made it clear that the reunion will only last for the summer, and the members would turn their attention back to their post-Overtones projects after the completion of the two shows and the release of the album, Gutter confirmed in an article for the
Portland Press Heraldthat "reunions will become a regular thing" and that the band is "here to stay." [ [http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=111579&ac=PHfea Rustic Reunites | Portland Press Herald] ] Furthermore, during one of the bands reunion shows, Spencer Albeeproclaimed, "we're never going to leave you again, we're sorry" [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGwzJtkc3_I YouTube - Rustic Overtones - Car Sick (LIVE) ] ] . Also, during an interview on a local news station on July 18, 2007 with Gutter and Albee, the two were asked what the future plans are with the band. Gutter responded with "we've got a couple more huge endeavors planned for Rustic Overtones" and Albee stated that "theres no reason to not be together" [http://www.wcsh6.com/life/lifestyle/207/article.aspx?storyid=66531] . Currently, the Rustic Overtones remain on an irregular tour across the northeastern states, playing at stops in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York.
On September 8, 2007, the band announced on their
MySpacethat they were in the process of filming a "feature film documentary," though they did not announce a release date or filming timetable. On November 24, 2007, Spencer Albee announced to the crowd at an Asylum concert that the band would soon re-release the albums Long Divisionand Light At The Endon a national record label to get the albums out to the masses. Two days later, the band announced on their MySpace that the label they had signed with was Velour Music, and hinted that their entire back catalog of albums would soon be released.
On August 15, 2008 The Phoenix reported that Spencer Albee left the band to be replaced by Nigel Hall. “I need a change of pace, as well as clarity and perspective. Since 1995, I’ve been on tour and making records constantly, and now I find myself seeking respite" Albee stated [http://thephoenix.com/Portland/Music/66405-Portland-scene-report-August-15-2008] .
tyles and influences
In the earliest days of the Rustic Overtones, the band was mostly classified as a rock and soul band, citing their heaviest influences as artists such as
Earth, Wind, and Fireand Tom Waits, and playing with a raw sound. However, by Rooms by the Hour, the band's sound had become much more refined and diversified, with much more of a jazz influence on songs such as "Pink Belly" and "Machine Maker," and an alternative rock feel on songs such as "The Heist" and "Kicking and Screaming". By the late '90s and into the early 2000s, the band had become heavily influenced by hip-hop music, leading to the heavy production of the entire album, a collaboration with hip-hop veterans Naughty by Naturethat appeared on the rap group's 1999 album, and the Viva Nueva! song "Smoke", which when played sometimes featured a guest rapper friend of the band who rapped over an extended outtro to the song. Many believe that this radical switch of style is what contributed to the band's fallout with their Arista record deal, as the company apparently believed that the band's sound on the album would be similar to that of their older material. The band's most recent album, Light at the End, sounds most similar to the production and style of Rooms by the Hour, although the album draws from various other phases of the band's musical evolution as well.
During the five years that the Rustic Overtones went their separate ways, most of the band members pursued a side-project. Dave Gutter and Jon Roods met up with one-time Overtones drummer Marc Boisvert, and formed
Paranoid Social Club, another band that enjoyed success, with its single "Wasted" appearing in the soundtrack to the movie Beerfest. Spencer Albee joined with other local musicians including guitarist Zach Jones, drummer Andrew Hodgkins, and bassist Haché and formed Rocktopus (later " As Fast As"), whose album " Open Letter to the Damnedreceived a 4.5/5 rating from music critic giant Allmusic. Tony McNaboe served as a touring drummer for Ray LaMontagne, and released a R&B solo album in 2003 titled "Destination," which was warmly received by both former Rustic Overtones fans and music critics and had two songs entered into local station WCLZ's regular circulation. In addition, saxophonist Ryan Zoidis split his time between Lettuce and Soulive, baritone saxophonist Jason Ward pursued a music education degree at the University of Southern Maineand played with several local bands including Groove Disciples, and The Apocalypse Brass Band. Trombonist Dave Noyes joined local group Seekonk.
Shish Boom Bam" (1994)
Long Division" (1995)
Rooms by the Hour" (1997)
Viva Nueva!" (2001)
Light At The End" (2007)
My Dirt" (1996)
Check/Girl Germs" (1997)
Volume Up" (1999)
* "Check" (1997)
* "Combustible" (2001)
* "C'Mon" (2001)
(This is only a partial listing)
* "This Is Rock N' Roll" (Promo Tape) (2000)
* "Viva Nueva! Album Advance" (2001)
* "Live on XM Satellite Radio" (2001)
* "Promotional Pre Release Viva Nueva!" (Date Unknown - boilerplate Tommy Boy inserts are labeled 1997 and 1998, although they were with another label in '97/'98)
* "Selections from the Album Viva Nueva] " (2001)
* [http://www.myspace.com/rusticovertones] - Band's Myspace page, closest thing to an official website at this time.
* [http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=109104&ac=PHnws Rustic Overtones reunite to release album] -
Portland Press HeraldArticle chronicling the reunion of the band.
* [http://condalmo.typepad.com/condalmo/ Condalmo] - Portland-based book/music site; track listing for new album
* [http://www.rocklikewar.com www.rocklikewar.com]
* [http://www.rustic-overtones.com www.rustic-overtones.com]
* [http://www.archive.org/details/RusticOvertones Rustic Overtones collection] at the
Internet Archive's live music archive
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