We hope you have been doing well during this difficult time. We've been keeping busy finishing up our new Live Picks collection and working on a new lyric video.
Stay tuned for a video this Sunday featuring Tyler talking about MMOC Live Picks Vol. 7.
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."
We spent this past Saturday at Mammoth Recording Studio in Buffalo, NY to kick off recording for our next single and album. We had a blast laying down some new songs. We'll have many more details soon, but for now here are a few photos from the sessions -
Expect an announcement on what's coming next around Christmas!
And yes, that's the one and only Dave Verbocy back with us!
We have several playlists available on iTunes and Spotify, including live and rare recordings. Click the links below to check them out!
Also, don't forget to listen to our new Live Picks release at marshmellowovercoat.bandcamp.com. We're looking forward to hitting the studio and announcing more shows in the coming months!
A long time ago we recorded one of our albums at a studio far, far away. We weren’t staying the night at the haunted studio, but were recording through the day and early evenings over the course of a weekend, and staying the nights at a hotel nearby. If I remember there were four of us but of all of our MMOC bandmates over the years I’m only positive Anthony was there with me on this session. But Alan and Jason were probably there and culprits as well.
Anyway, there was a break in the Saturday recording session. We were probably doing some overdubs. We had a few moments to spare so we went out onto a porch overlooking the woods. One of us, certainly not myself (probably Al), was smoking a pipe of tobacco and it became clogged. With no other option we grabbed a pen sitting in the control room to unclog the pipe. While the pipe was successfully cleaned, the pen was left unusable. As the head of the studio returned from his break I quickly grabbed the pen and tossed it deep into the darkness of the wood.
Hours later we wrapped up a successful session. As we were leaving I reached into my pocked and grabbed a check to pay the studio/engineer/producer for their time. I needed a pen to write who to make it out to - Unfortunately “The Pen” was missing. As everyone began nervously laughing, I tried to keep my composure and ultimately ended up signing the check with a pencil. We left with our lives and recordings intact, but the haunting cloud hanging over “The Pen” remains.
We had a quick break in our schedule this week, and it gave us time to compile our next Live Picks release! It will be officially released on CD on Friday, September 21st, but head on over to our BandCamp Page for a listen now. We recorded more than a half dozen of our shows over the course of Summer '18, and picked some of our favorite moments.
We've included many new original songs as well as several covers we've never made available before. Fan favorites like our self-titled song and Collective Soul's The World I Know are among the highlights, along with The Beatles' Hey Jude and a few surprises. The collection also features more piano than we've included in the past. Give it a listen, and download the album for bonus tracks. All of our past Live Picks recordings are posted as well!
MMOC Live Picks Vol. 6 - Summer '18 available at:
I'm making my first trip to State College in a while to see a Sir Elton John concert and of course a football game, and it reminded me about some of the fun times the band has had in Central Pa. I dug out a few old photos and remembered the time Ron showed up with cornrows, the time Greg came down with the flu the second he arrived, the time Danny had to head to bed before the recording session (we visited a few taverns) and of course the first time Dave, Anthony and I recorded together and wound up having our vehicle towed on our way to the studio. That's not to mention my undergrad years down there, but we don't have time to get into that!
It's all part of a day's work for MMOC. And it's been a busy summer again - Keep up with us this fall at marshmellowovercoat.com/events and be on the lookout for a new single and Live Picks!
We mustn't forget about the guy who yelled for Neil Young's Alabama for several minutes after one of our gigs. May he enjoy Alabama another time.
On Friday, July 6th, I'll be releasing a new solo album, entitled "Late To Fly." I've been busy writing since the last MMOC album, and it's time to get something new out! I recorded everything at my home studio in Bradford, Pa, and while most of the songs are brand new, a few have been unfinished ideas floating around for years. I'd recommend the tracks "Run Away With Everything," "And I Don't Mind" and "Really Coming Home" if you've only got a few minutes to check the record out (available July 7th with the links below).
Expect a new single from Marshmellow Overcoat before the end of the summer as well, and maybe even a new installment of our Live Picks series when we find time to mix some of our new live recordings.
Stream on Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play
Download on iTunes or Amazon
Buy on CD at CD Baby
Read Tyler's Blog about the album
In case you haven't checked out our bio page, and let's face it: Who has time to click on all that stuff? We'll catch you up here:
MARSHMELLOW OVERCOAT - "CLASSIC ROCK FOR TODAY"
In 2008, singer and songwriter Tyler Calkins set out to create a sound reflecting the songwriting techniques of the sixties and seventies, while also utilizing modern and contemporary rock aspects. Over the years since, Tyler's unique rhythm guitar, piano, harmonica and vocals have made him one of the most sought-after performers in the Southern Tier. Having achieved his Masters degree in Performance from Pennsylvania State University as well as a PhD in Music Education at age 30, Tyler's knowledge in music, songwriting and performance is growing each day. Backed by his band, Marshmellow Overcoat, Tyler has five albums under his belt (in addition to solo and side projects) including a new Self-Titled LP, Marshmellow Overcoat, released in January of 2017.
A hot new item in the MMOC Store this summer will certainly be our Anatomically Correct Marty and Martha Inflatable Blow-Up Dolls. Being the next best thing to our giant cardboard Marty cut-out, inflatable Marty and his mistress will make a great addition to any home or office. You can do anything you please with the dolls for only $39.99 (plus shipping and handling).
Sign up for our mailing list and stay up to date with all things MMOC! We'll be sending some surprises out to our email followers in the upcoming months, including an exclusive download upon signing up. There will also be monthly announcements on MMOC news including upcoming shows, new music, new merchandise and more.
One thing that's always common among people from Bradford, Pa (MMOC's hometown) is their genuine love and extreme jealousy of Olean, NY, located about 25 miles northeast of Bradford. Sure, Bradford has many things going for it, but let's revel in the greatness that is Olean, NY. I'll point out a handful of reasons why us Bradfordians are so infatuated with our neighboring city to the north.
.All of our studio albums are available to stream on Spotify. Every few weeks we'll be coming up with a new playlist featuring some of our songs and a handful from our influences.
MMOC frontman Tyler Calkins does his usual ranting