MMOC Blog #70 - December '22
We'll be getting back to the grind this December with a couple of hometown shows (Bradford Brew Station on Dec. 10th and Glendorn on NYE). If you haven't had the Toasted Marshmellow Overcoat Porter yet, stop down to the Bradford Brew Station and try it on tap or in one of the limited edition cans.
Live at Quaker Amphitheater, Allegany State Park
Tyler used a few weeks off from performing to release a live solo album and record a new single. The live album is out November 18th on all streaming platforms. It features solo piano and acoustic guitar renditions of Tyler's original songs from many MMOC and solo albums over the years. A new song and a cover of Elton John's "Madman Across the Water" are also included. The show was recorded this past July in front of a receptive crowd of about 150 people at Quaker Amphitheater in Allegany State Park, NY.
Take a Deeper Look
Tyler's new single is a brand new studio recording entitled "Take a Deeper Look," and will release on all streaming platforms on December 2nd. The song is a bit of a throwback tribute to the Beach Boys' "Wild Honey."
MMOC Blog #69 - Summer Photos
We had a busy and productive Summer season promoting the Ghost In The Doorway album. Here's a few of our favorite photos from our travels, including at the Austin Dam Show and Southern Tier Brewing:
Here is the complete Ghost In The Doorway Documentary featuring the interview and album release concert. Thanks to the Bradford Brew Station and our buddy Michael Miller for helping to make it happen. Speaking of the Brew Station, we were grateful to be a part of this year's Hops of Hope campaign - The Toasted Marshmellow Overcoat Porter might be Anthony's favorite beer.
And of course we have also been thrilled with the response to the new album. It's all thanks to the many people who have supported us over the years. We will be posting our Spring and Summer tour schedule soon, so stay tuned!
Marshmellow Overcoat is releasing Ghost In The Doorway, the band’s latest album. Ghost In The Doorway is MMOC’s seventh studio album, and second recorded with the current lineup of Tyler Calkins, Dave Verbocy, Alan Hancock and Anthony Cavallaro. Recorded at GCR Audio in Buffalo with engineer Brad Lauchert, the album is the band’s strongest yet.
The album is the culmination of a long journey of writing and performing. Thirteen years ago Tyler Calkins and Dave Verbocy started Marshmellow Overcoat with the intent of playing “Classic Rock for Today” - Songs written in the vein of old classics but with a modern edge and twist. In the years since, the band has evolved from trying to sound like its heroes to crafting its own sound.
The new LP features the recently released singles Peace of Mind and I Can Still Remember, as well as the brand new title track with its memorable ominous riff. Seven more original compositions of varying styles round out the album.
Ghost In The Doorway is available on all streaming platforms as well as CD on Friday, October 29th, just in time for Halloween. The vinyl edition will be available in December.
On November 6th the band will have a hometown release show at the Bradford Brew Station from 5 till 8pm. Visit marshmellowovercoat.bandcamp.com to order your copy of the new album.
MMOC's seventh studio album "Ghost In The Doorway" is finally ready for release -
Available October 29th on all major streaming services and on CD/Vinyl at marshmellowovercoat.bandcamp.com.
The new LP features the recently released singles Peace of Mind and I Can Still Remember, as well as the brand new title track with its memorable ominous riff (available Oct. 22nd on Bandcamp). Tyler, Dave, Alan and Anthony recorded all of the songs with Brad Lauchert at the mixing board at GCR Audio in Buffalo, NY. Stay tuned to marshmellowovercoat.com for pre-add links, videos and much more!
From first dreaming up our Classic Rock For Today in 2008 to perhaps MMOC's best album yet in Ghost In The Doorway, thanks for taking this journey with us!
Click on a song title for a link to listen on Spotify. MMOC's singles and EPs from 2008 to 2021:
Burn the Memory/Turn the Light On (EP) - Released Feb. '09
Faces On The Floor - July '10
In All Certainty - Aug. '11
She's Got Revolution - April '12 & Oct. '15
Wait For Me - May '16
Marshmellow Overcoat - Jan. '17
See The Plan - June '17
Smoke Screen - Feb. '19
We've Got To Roll (EP) - May '19
Peace Of Mind - Dec. '20
I Can Still Remember - April '21
Visit marshmellowovercoat.hearnow.com to listen to our latest single on your favorite streaming service. This one is among our favorites so far. It's a Classic Rock-inspired song with influences ranging from Elton John to My Morning Jacket. Our Anthony put the official music video together using footage from our February session at GCR Audio in Buffalo, NY.
We can't wait to start playing frequently again, and we're kicking things off May 1st at Table 105 in Kane. Be on the lookout for many more show announcements soon on our Events tab. The next single and full album will follow this Fall.
Any being our 64th blog, you'd think it's time to mention our favorite Nintendo 64 games. And of course it is. Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Mario 64, Mario Kart 64 and Goldeneye are all must-plays if you haven't taken the time. Truly classics!
We've been hard at work on the next album, and while it won't be completed until late this year, we have the second single ready. The song is called "I Can Still Remember," and will be released on all streaming/downloading platforms on Friday, April 16th (and available April 9th on our website and YouTube Channel)! We'll keep you posted on this site and on our social media pages.
Our Summer schedule is rounding into focus as well. We're scheduling as many outdoor and festival shows as we can in order to move forward in an exciting way. There will be some shows in our hometown as well. The full slate will be posted by May!
We'll be seeing you soon.
7. Dominique's Garden (2009) - The band's debut featured only Tyler Calkins and Dave Verbocy and their first batch of songs recorded at home. A handful of tunes still stand out (Hey Hey Lila), and Not Coming Down is still one of the band's strongest songs. But this is probably only worth seeking out for fans wanting more and more MMOC.
6. Wait For Me (2016) - Self-recording an album has its advantages and disadvantages. The songwriting on this album deserves a higher ranking, but the lo-fi production doesn't elevate most of the songs. The title track and Miracle are nonetheless still part of the band's repertoire, and Emily is worth a listen.
5. Marshmellow Overcoat (2017) - MMOC's Pittsburgh album was a step in the right direction. With more than half of the songs written with Danny Glassmire, there's a different poetic and jam band feel surrounding this album. A bit of a black sheep in the band's catalogue, but at the same time more than worth having with tracks like See the Plan, Snow Lights and the title track.
4. She's Got Revolution/MMOC 3 (2012) - Perhaps MMOC's most underrated album, and one that has grown in stature in recent years thanks to a deluxe edition. Both songwriters delivered one of their better outings, and while a bad record deal and band member changes led to the album not being promoted as much as others, Dienna, In All Certainty and the title track are among the band's more successful songs.
3. On Safari (2010) - The old classic that helped fuel the band for years to come. While it's not the band's finest album as far as performance, the songs rank as highly as any Calkins/Verbocy have written. More than half of the album is still in the band's live set today. Faces On The Floor, Goin' To Williamsport, Nothing's Ever Been The Same, Another Way to Hide, Life is Complicated... This might be the first MMOC album to own, and was also the band's first working with Anthony Cavallaro and Marc Frigo.
2. Jumping Sharks (2019) - This was the album where MMOC reached the potential hinted at on earlier releases. Recording with GCR Audio and Mammoth Recording Studios was the spark the band needed. Smoke Screen, We've Got To Roll, At The End of The Day, The Best Thing, Reason to Stay, Stop You Now... Pretty much the entire album ranks among MMOC's best work. Alan Hancock (guitar) and Brad Lauchert (engineering) helped take the record to the next level.
1. Ghost In The Doorway (2021) - The ranking may be a bit biased being MMOC's latest release, and on the heels of Jumping Sharks the two albums could be interchangeable. But with the singles Peace of Mind and I Can Still Remember, along with You've Just Gotta Believe Me, Visiting My Dreams, Tide's High and the title track - There is little argument Ghost is one of the band's best efforts. Recorded with Brad Lauchert at GCR Audio, it marks a high point and along with Jumping Sharks is a big part of MMOC's live set.
MMOC Blog #61 - Christmas Special
If you missed our Christmas Special, here it is in its entirety!
Be sure to follow us on YouTube at youtube.com/marshmellowovercoat and check out the new single Peace of Mind at marshmellowovercoat.hearnow.com.
MMOC Blog #59 - New Single
Marshmellow Overcoat is releasing a new single just in time for Christmas. The song is called “Peace of Mind” and is available on all online streaming and downloading platforms. Visit marshmellowovercoat.hearnow.com to listen!
With live performances becoming infrequent due to the pademic, Marshmellow Overcoat wanted to release a new song in time for the holidays. The song is the first completed in what will become the band’s next album by late next year.
“This is our first studio recording since the Jumping Sharks album last year,” lead singer Tyler Calkins points out. “We recorded in Buffalo at GCR Audio. It’s a Christmas song if the person listening wants it to be. We hope everyone enjoys it.”
Marshmellow Overcoat will also be playing a holiday livestream show on their facebook page this Tuesday night (12/22) at 7:00. To see it, visit facebook.com/marshmellowovercoat.
Cover artwork by Anthony Cavallaro.
MMOC Blog #58 - Video and Concert
We hope you have been doing well during this difficult time. We've been keeping busy finishing up our new Live Picks collection (available May 1st) and working on a new lyric video. But first we're happy to share a free full live concert from late last year! Visit our BandCamp page to listen at marshmellowovercoat.bandcamp.com. This one was recorded at our friends' wedding in Allegany, NY, and we had an awesome time as always.
We did a livestream from the home studio last week featuring this version of the Beatles' Here Comes the Sun. Subscribe to our YouTube page for more videos!
We're all stuck inside for at least a couple of weeks, and most importantly we hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. Along with getting the new live album ready, it seems like a good time to reflect on some things.
We're also using this time to write some new material, so let's look back on the songs on "Jumping Sharks," and I'll try to think of what was going through our minds on each song before I forget!
Smoke Screen - This was as close to a political song as we've gotten. I was comparing current political personalities to the Wizard of Oz, and commenting that there is a smoke screen of mirrors clouding what's really going on. This idea has aged well already, and I think we were only hitting the tip of the iceberg. Whenever I meet someone who thinks they know what's really going on I want to slap them. Most people probably have no idea why we're here. I sure as hell don't want to pretend to know what's going on. There's a smoke screen clouding many peoples' minds. The fact this was our top song yet as far as streams made me happy. We said something with this one.
Stop You Now - We needed another song or two for the album and this was one of the last ones I showed to the guys and we finished it quickly. The main riff is taken from something Alan added to an old song of ours, "Girl With The Red Hair." We sometimes call the song Bow Bow Bow in reference to the riff. It's a bit derivative of some of our other songs but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Reason To Stay - Reason To Stay was a co-write between Dave and I. We reused and old hook we've had for years, and did our relative minor thing by putting a part in the key of C with Bridge/Middle 8 in the key of A minor (my part in this one). We managed to really rock out on the recorded version. We layered several instruments on, and kept most of them.
Through The Night - This was another rocker that I'd had in my head for a while. It was one of the first tracks we recorded at GCR in Buffalo with Brad Lauchert engineering. It sounds like a bit of a teenage angst song by the lyric, and has some comedic elements. I can hear some '90s punk/grunge in this one as well.
The Best Thing - One of Dave's, and this one gave us some great space to jam. Anthony put together a lyric video for this one too. I wanted to add some Kinks-inspired harmonies and I think we pulled it off.
Really Coming Home - This song is a little older and originally appeared on my solo album Late to Fly. It's a solid acoustic-based track that reminds me a bit of something off Every Picture Tells a Story. All the guys played great again on this one, and Al even added some mandolin!
I Hope You'll Understand - I wrote this song for Lisa Platko Auteri to sing with Second Act, and while she didn't end up singing this one (She went with Smoke Screen, a better choice), it was one of the last songs to make the cut for the album. It sounds almost like something that could be on a soap opera it's so sappy for one of mine, so it's perhaps my least favorite on the album. But it sounds professional and I'm still proud of it and the way everyone played. Brad, our engineer for the GCR sessions, helped find spots for harmonies and organ fills that rounded out the song well.
We've Got To Roll - The song that pretty much started the rest of the album "rolling" for me. I'd had the bulk of this one for a while, and one day the lyrics and arrangement poured out quickly on the piano. It was originally titled "We've Got To Row" and was much slower (there's an early version on Spotify etc.), but when we all played it together we managed to turn it into a rocker. Now it's a highlight at most shows and was the second single from the album. John Tomerlin made us a very cool video for the song as well.
What I Love - One of Dave's that I really didn't want to make many changes to - It was pretty much ready when he showed it to me. Al and I took solos and Anthony laid down a nice 2/4 drumbeat. The harmonies were what we worked on mostly, and they were simple, fun and catchy on this track too. We recorded this one with Mike and Jason and Mammoth Recording Studio.
At The End of The Day - This was another song I finished at the last minute for our final session on the album. Samantha convinced me to make it the last track, and I remember the last 25 seconds of the song really sticking with me. I'd had the chorus for a while and needed verses to finish it off, and that little descending pattern tied everything together. It ended up being one of my favorites. Al's guitar through a Leslie speaker was one of the more memorable elements to the song.
Hope you'll enjoy hearing new live versions of all the songs when Live Picks Vol. 7 comes out in May.
Marshmellow Overcoat's Live Picks Series will continue this Spring with the release of Live Picks Volume 7. This time the entire "Jumping Sharks" record will be featured in addition to ten other songs played during the band's Summer shows in 2019. The collection will be available on all streaming and downloading platforms as well as CD, and also at the usual place to download MMOC's live recordings: marshmellowovercoat.bandcamp.com.
The release date is Friday, May 1st, and you can add the album and one of the songs on Friday, April 3rd at marshmellowovercoat.fanlink.to/livepicks7. This live album will be a great way to keep Jumping Sharks rolling, present some new full band recordings in a live setting, and also set the stage for our next studio sessions. And Samantha made some awesome artwork again for the cover.
I enjoyed listening to River of Dreams on vinyl today. Took me back to '93.
Take heed over the coming weeks, especially at fine places like WalMart - The pride of Buffalo Bills fans will overshadow everything. Little olden folk who normally wear their 1992 Bills Starter jackets with their heads down will now be confidently trotting from aisle to aisle. Stay out of the way or you may be trampled like the many teams foolish enough to line up against the Bills this season.
I myself am a Bills fan. And I couldn’t imagine the mental damage this could cause to my wonderful friends who may happen to be Steelers fans. Or God forbid fans of some of the other teams people seem to choose for no reason. Cowboys fans might be my favorite.
For this is the Buffalo Bills’ time. The Cotton Bowl is obviously also a gem this year. But as the Bills march onward through the playoffs, one of my old preminitions is coming back. Perhaps, just maybe, the Mighty, life-affirming Buffalo Bills will lose one more Super Bowl for me before my days are done.
In the summer of 1992 my parents hired Eddie Vedder to be my babysitter for a night. They had to go out for the evening at the last minute and Eddie happened to be in the area. I was approaching five years old and was already somewhat aware of popular music, but I was not a Pearl Jam fan yet. This was about to change.
Maybe I technically wasn't a baby, but I sure as hell needed to be supervised. I was known for drawing Zorro Zs all over the walls after all. Eddie must have been around 27 at the time. This was between the Ten and Vs. albums. He must have needed a little extra cash as Pearl Jam was just beginning to take off nationally.
He arrived prompty around 6:30 PM. He said “Heyoooo Tyler,” and proceeded to sing half of the things he said. His hair was down to his back and he had his famous Doc Marten boots on the entire time. We ordered some Dominos, played Atari and even played some pool on my Fisher Price pool table.
He sat down at our piano and played a bit of Better Man, which wouldn’t appear on an album until 1994’s Vitalogy. His girlfriend at the time wanted to come over as well, but Eddie was way too professional and appropriate to do such a thing. Of course he let me stay up and watch Beavis and Butthead.
I didn’t even realize who this strange and wonderful man was, but after my parents had gotten home I vowed I would research it. Being the early ‘90s I knew it might take some time. But lo and behold, the following week I was swimming at Callahan pool and heard my babysitter’s voice blaring on the radio through the park speakers: “Oh oh ohhh I ah, ohhhhhh oh I’m still alive.”
Here are a couple of our favorite newspaper articles written about the new album, featuring interviews, reviews and more.
Also an update on CDs and vinyl: Our first run of vinyl is in and already sold out, so contact us if you'd like a copy on the second run. CDs are available online at CD Baby as well as at all of our shows. Visit the Events tab for upcoming shows!
Bradford Era Article by Joellen Wankel
St. Mary's/Kane/Ridgway Article by Bob Parana
I've been meaning to do this for a long time. Here's a bit of info about some of our more popular songs over the years, including some from the new album Jumping Sharks.
We've Got To Roll - This was the first song completed for Jumping Sharks. The chorus had been spinning around in my head for years, and the verses came together through some strumming on the acoustic guitar and sitting at the piano. I had a slow demo version ready to go and showed it to Dave when he was still living in Nashville. That version is available on our We've Got To Roll EP. Dave seemed excited to help on it, and before long we were showing the song to Anth and Alan. We sped it up a bit, and with a few minor tweaks we had the song ready to record at Mammoth Recording Studio in December '18.
Smoke Screen - Smoke Screen was simply written as an excuse for Alan to go nuts on electric guitar a la Jimmy Page. The whole political/religious slant came later. And yes it's making fun of people who are overtly religious or political these days. I like to kind of be in the middle and argue with everyone, and admit that I have no idea what's really going on. I'm afraid there's almost a Wizard of Oz situation going on in the world - We're just waiting to have the curtain pulled back. Maybe it seems bitter, but overall I was proud of this one and happy to have it be the first single from Jumping Sharks.
Reason To Stay - Reason To Stay started out as one of Dave's songs, and probably my favorite of his newest ideas. My goal was to contribute the other half without it seeming chopped up. We stole the riff from our old song She's a Winner, used Dave's verses, finished up a chorus and finally I threw in a bridge/middle 8 that probably could have been its own song. There's definitely some Beatles influence on this one, as usual. It's probably the closest we've come to a dance song, and I find myself moving around when it comes on (you don't want to see that).
What you’re making now
Try to cry to Jesus
But no one’s listening
Tried to find you someone who
Is very hard to see, yeah
That’s left now.
Try to cry to Jesus
But no one’s listening
All been searchin’ for someone who
Is very hard to see, yeah
This is the hardest we’ve worked on an album. Our sixth overall (who’s counting?), it features Alan Hancock on lead guitars, mandolin, bass and percussion, Dave Verbocy on vocals, bass, acoustic guitar and percusion, Anthony Cavallaro on Drums and percussion, and myself on vocals, piano, organ, harmonica, guitars and percussion. It was a matter of time before I had to go into a bit more detail and the MMOC Blog is the perfect place. The album now available on all of your favorite streaming platforms, as well as CD and a limited vinyl run this Fall.
The sessions took place between December of 2018 and May of 2019 at GCR Audio and Mammoth Recording Studio, both located near downtown Buffalo, NY. We’d been sitting on most of the new songs for some time, and it helped to have the opportunity to rehearse everything at our home studio (That ‘70s Show) before spending time at GCR and Mammoth.
Brad, Mike and Justin were all fantastic to work with. They made these recordings sound fresher than my usual 1968-ish approach. But we still retained that throwback Classic Rock feel. Dave and I are probably most into bands like The Beatles, The Band and Neil Young, while Alan is more of a fan of modern Rock and Anthony is an unabashed Dead-head, so our influences meshed in a way that made sense to all of us.
As much as I wanted the songs to play as a thought-out album, we also wanted them to each stand out on their own. I remember mentioning I wouldn’t be opposed to somehow making the album play on constant shuffle, somewhat like a choose your own adventure novel. But as we finished up the final sessions a running order began to take shape, as well as an overall theme.
The title Jumping Sharks is a nod to us getting a bit older and perhaps we’re 'Jumping The Shark' on some little things. Embracing it and allowing the music to go where it’s going in the future are key elements. As much as we love Classic Rock and stuff our parents enjoy, there’s a chance this will be the last of our albums to have that old-time feel. But maybe it won’t. I’m not even sure of it to be honest. I originally planned on titling the album Riverflow (everyone hated that), since songs like We’ve Got To Roll had a good deal of influence from the outdoors surrounding our hometown of Bradford, Pa, including the Marilla Reservoir. The Buffalo Sessions was another title we considered, but we figured countless bands could use that. We settled on Jumping Sharks, and Samantha provided fantastic artwork to top it all off.
As for the songs, Smoke Screen is about what’s going on in our country right now. I’ll leave it at that. Stop You Now and At The End of The Day were the final songs I wrote for the album, a time where I’m nervous and thinking it’s do or die, and I’m proud of those. Reason to Stay is a co-write with Dave and features maybe my favorite writing of Dave’s since Wait For Me.
We’ll be keeping busy with gigs over the next year before we head back to the studio again. I’d like to put something 'live' out in the meantime but we’ll have to record a few more shows first. Thanks for buying the album and supporting us, and you can always keep up with us at marshmellowovercoat.com.
Bradford, PA-based Rock band Marshmellow Overcoat is preparing to release its next studio album, and this time around the band employed the services of GCR Audio in Buffalo, a professional studio owned and operated by Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls.
“Jumping Sharks” is the title of the band’s sixth studio album, and band members (Tyler Calkins, Dave Verbocy, Alan Hancock and Anthony Cavallaro) put in over six months of writing, rehearsing and performing to bring it together. Engineer Brad Lauchert of GCR Audio and Mike Santillo and Justin Smith of Mammoth Recording helped the band shape the recordings.
Lead singer and songwriter Tyler Calkins pointed out, “This is the hardest we’ve worked on an album project. It has been a couple of years since our self-titled album was recorded in Pittsburgh, and we wanted to raise the bar and give people a reason to pay attention and get excited. We kept the Classic Rock feel we’ve always loved, but this time we added more instrumentation and modern influences.”
The new album will be released on Friday, July 26th and will be available on all streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play. CDs can be purchased through Marshmellow Overcoat’s website, marshmellowovercoat.com, and at all of the band’s shows.
Two singles from the sessions, “Smoke Screen” and “We’ve Got To Roll” are already available to stream and download, and have gained more airplay than anything the band has released over the past decade.
The band will be playing several album release shows throughout the region as a mini tour. Visit marshmellowovercoat.com for full details.
New MMOC Single - "We've Got To Roll" available on Friday, May 24th at fanlink.to/marshmellowovercoat
New MMOC Album - "Jumping Sharks" available on Friday, July 26th!
We'll have many more details coming soon at marshmellowovercoat.com, including how to listen before the release dates! The album's first single, "Smoke Screen," is available here. Be sure to check out the song's new music video too.
It has been two years since our last studio release with our Self-Titled album. But we've been working hard on our next batch of songs at Mammoth Recording Studio and GCR Audio in Buffalo, NY, and it's finally time to share one of the songs with you.
"Smoke Screen" will be released Friday, February 8th on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, GooglePlay and just about anywhere else you can stream and download new music. The song is the first to feature the lineup of Alan, Dave, Anthony and myself, and we're pretty excited about it. "Smoke Screen" is a rocker featuring lyrics dealing with the fact that it's difficult to distinguish what is happening in the world today. There seems to be a bit of a smoke screen clouding news and the real picture, and if we could just figure it out, we'd all be much better off.
We'll be releasing more singles in the coming months, and not to spill the beans, but our goal is to have the full album out this July! And we'll be playing more shows than ever this summer. So be on the lookout for more MMOC!
You can sign up to our mailing list now and hear "Smoke Screen" a week early on Friday, February 1st - We'll send you a link!
Cover artwork by Samantha Yohe.
"Smoke Screen" was recorded at Mammoth Recording Studio, 12/8/18.
Official video live from "That '70s."
MMOC frontman Tyler Calkins does his usual ranting