What happened to the band Rustic Overtones?
July 17, 2004 10:48 PM   Subscribe

There once was a great band called the Rustic Overtones from Portland, Maine. In 1996 I had the pleasure of seeing them live a couple times, and they were really, really. good. David Bowie produced a song on one of their albums. Does anybody remember them and happen to know what the individuals in the band are doing?
posted by vito90 to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
I used to work at a bar in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I happened to see these guys play a show at some place and immediately set out to book them. They were like 8 or 9 young guys with loads of musical talent, and for all the world seemed headed for super stardom. They were also really cool and down to earth and likeable. I can't find any recent information about other bands that resulted from their wreckage and wondered if anybody remembered them or knew anything about them.
posted by vito90 at 10:49 PM on July 17, 2004

AMG has a page on them (just search allmusic.com for 'rustic overtones' if that link's broken) where you can click the name of each band member. Most of them don't seem to have done anything else, though -- the only thing I could find is that the trombonist, David Noyes, joined a band called 'Seekonk' in early 2002.
posted by reklaw at 3:51 AM on July 18, 2004

Of course I remember them! You can't be a Mainer of my generation and not at least know the name, if not love them completely. Believe me, they are very missed.

As far as where people are: Spencer Albee is alive, he made an absolutely fantastic solo album prior to the break up that has carried him to other things. And I mean truly solo, he played most of the instruments himself, did multiple recording sessions for every song. Very talented fellow. It rocked WCYY, the formerly edgy alt rock station in Portland, ME and looked like he was really heading somewhere. Alas, he's mildly schizophrenic as a musician and I think the only place you have a hope of finding it now is at your local Bull Moose (there is one in Portsmouth). Look for "Frankenstein presents the Popsicko" as his name is actually nowhere obvious on the packaging. I can't remember if it's even filed under "Albee" or not.

After that, he moved on to forming another band Rocktopus. They put out two CDs: "I Love You, Good Morning!" which I have not listened to, and "Something Fierce" which was decent, but the (in my opinion) less than stellar remakes of a couple songs off Albee's solo album killed it. You can download a track free from Amazon.

But, Rocktopus is also no more, having morphed into "As Fast As" who I know very little about. They do have some tour dates around New England this summer, so check them out if you're interested in following up on Rustic's old keyboardist.

As far as the rest of the band, some of them (Dave Gutter and Jon Roods) have ended up in Paranoid Social Club who have a respectable chunk of of Rustic Overtones' fan base. Nothing near as big, but fans know Dave and Jon where the original core of Rustic. Worth a listen!
posted by nelleish at 6:11 AM on July 18, 2004

Thanks for asking that question, vito90-- I wondering about their whereabouts last weekend when I driving up to my folks' house. And thanks for the complete, answer, nelleish.

Meanwhile, if you like Maine music...

(vague disclosure: link is hosted on my webspace)
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:04 AM on July 18, 2004

Thank you, thank you, thank you nelleish. I will check out the album you linked. They really were a sight to behold. Cheers.
posted by vito90 at 10:12 AM on July 18, 2004

vito, where did you work in Portsmouth?
posted by yerfatma at 10:19 AM on July 18, 2004

yerfatma, I worked for the Redhook Ale Brewery at Pease Airforce Base (Now Pease International Tradeport). I worked for Redhook in Seattle and they sent me out there to set up the retail space, the Pub was called the Cataqua Public House (after the Piscataqua River). I booked them to play twice, the other time I saw them was at a place, if memory serves, called the Stone Church...
posted by vito90 at 10:42 AM on July 18, 2004

Small world. I work on Pease now.
posted by yerfatma at 4:17 PM on July 18, 2004

Ever drink at Redhook?
posted by vito90 at 5:29 PM on July 18, 2004

I drank at Redhook last summer!
posted by crazy finger at 6:13 PM on July 18, 2004

I also lived at Smith Hall.
posted by crazy finger at 6:14 PM on July 18, 2004

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