Charlie Overbey may be a lifelong Californian, but his songs are steeped in the timeless traditions of the American South. After years of touring the world supporting acts ranging from David Allan Coe and Blackberry Smoke to Social Distortion and Motorhead, Overbey slowly amassed a collection of introspective original songs that transcend the endless rock & roll party, taking a stark, undeniably honest look at some of life’s most gritty moments. The result is Charlie Overbey’s new LP, Broken Arrow.
A triumphant collection of road-hardened alt-country tunes born of Overbey’s upbringing in what he calls “the school and church of Johnny Cash,” Broken Arrow features guest appearances from The Mastersons (who also play in Steve Earle’s band The Dukes), Miranda Lee Richards (who sings on duet single “Slip Away”) and Eddie Spaghetti of the Supersuckers, and was produced by Ted Hutt who recently won a Grammy for his work with Old Crow Medicine Show, and has helmed multiple albums by Lucero, The Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys and many more.
“I’ve never worked with anybody like Ted,” Overbey says, reflecting on the sessions. “This is the first time I’ve ever let go and trusted somebody else as a partner in my songs. He really pulled some stuff out of me that I had not planned on delivering. Honestly, these songs can be hard for me to sing—they come from a deep, real and sometimes dark place.”
Glide is proud to premiere “Shame” off of Broken Arrow (below), a galloping rocker with punk and twangy flourishes equally part Bad Religion, Murder by Death and Waylon Jennings. Overbey sings with a no BS/”I Lived It” overtone, creating a compelling story-telling listening episode.
“Shame” is written about the dark side of a man that appears to have it really going on but still struggles with the same day-to-day trials and tribulations,” describes Overbey. “It’s also about trying to be a righteous man; choosing the right path, turning things around from a life of sin and making difficult, adult decisions rather than living the same mistakes over and over again. I wrote this during a divorce, newfound sobriety, and losing my father to cancer. It’s pretty heavy.”
“The demo / original version of this song was in a quick shuffle time and beat,” adds Overbey. “Once tracking, my producer Ted Hutt thought that maybe it would be more interesting to come from the John Bonham school of drums rather than the standard, tired shuffle that we hear so much these days on “cool” Americana/country records.”