Mick Overman (& The Maniacs)
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Mick Overman (& The Maniacs)

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1981 | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1981
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Studio City Sun Review - Mick Overman & The Maniacs - Good Thing Happen"

Here’s a band that seems to have it all ways. They’ve got a strong spiritual bent, spinning out songs of positive intent, with a dedicated bluegrass base crossed with a rock rhythm section. And then, they veer off into a sideways boogie that sounds like they could also hold their own in any beach blues bar up and down the California coast. Singer-songwriter Mick Overman has obviously been around, and has the chops to prove it. By the last song, an incredibly shining version of “Shenandoah,” the Maniacs have shown they can be manic when called for, but they also have the vision of musical seers and the instrumental abilities of journeyman players. What a combo. - Studio City Sun - Bill Bentley

"Sing Out! Review - Mick Overman & The Maniacs - Good Thing Happen"

During his lengthy career as a singer, songwriter and guitarist, Freedom, California-based Overman has developed an eclectic repertoire, bolstered by a nonstop touring schedule, which has made him one of the most original and trend-free musicians on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. His rootsy, stick-to-the-ribs approach has been accurately described as "bluesy folk and roll with a jazz attitude" and with the addition of the Maniacs trio (mandolin and banjo ace Patrick O'Connor, percussionist Jim Norris and bassist Craig Owens) on his latest self-released project, he creates a multi-textured yet acoustic oriented atmosphere that pretty much reflects the band's appealing live sound. The conscription of award winning engineer and producer Cookie Marenco is another decided plus with her female perspective and invigorating mandolin, accordion (Joe Paquin), cello (Doug Harman), harmonica and banjo-spiced ensemble arrangements.
Stand-out Overman composed songs include a pair of sweeping, swelling testimonials (the title cut and "When You Are Guided By Your Heart"), an existential, dream like soliloquy titled "Cup And Cane" (that also appears as a bonus track with Overman speaking, rather than singing, the mythic lyrics) and the blues-rock oriented "Pocket Full Of Zero" along with a languid cover of Katy Moffatt's low throttle "Take Me Back To Texas" and a stark yet majestic take on the traditional "Shenandoah" that is influenced by jazz pianist Keith Jarrett who "takes the chord changes outside of the usual folk tonalities and re-harmonizes them." according to Overman. Noted also are three superior songs by band member O'Connor - particularly the ringing, John Hiatt-influenced "Ghost Of A Living Girl" and a haunting "Lighter Side Of The Load" that proves quite riveting in its lassitude. Recommended as are all Overman's solo efforts. - Sing Out! - GvonT

"KyndMusic.com Review - Mick Overman & The Maniacs - Good Thing Happen"

Mick Overman is one of those unique talents who, if the world had any sense of justice, would be headlining stadiums around the world. A prodigy in the musical, political and spiritual sense, this multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, youngest City Commissioner ever, published poet and entrepreneur has been performing, writing and such since the early 60’s. And if you think I’m making up the whole talent thing, keep in mind that in his various incarnations as activist, writer and musician he has shared the stage with Taj Mahal, Kelly Joe Phelps, Hot Tuna, Country Joe McDonald and others.

And when Overman hits it on Good Thing Happen, he hits it with the perfection you’d expect from the above resume. The rootsy mandolin-picked tunes “Ghost of a Living Girl” and “You Me and the Moon,” both penned by Patrick O’Connor, bring to mind the best of the legendary Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Then on the balls out blues of “Pocket Full of Zero” Overman scratches out a restless performance complete with a whiskey-soaked vocal delivery while the funky and inspirational rock of “Happiness is the Best Revenge” blasts triumphantly out of the speakers and plasters a smile on your face. Finally there is the aching delivery of the traditional Americana number “Shenandoah.” Sparingly delivered as a soft and mournful instrumental it is a treasured piece of music. I don’t doubt that he is doing exactly what and how he wants. For that alone I’d recommend this album.

LINK: http://www.kyndmusic.com/2006/12/31/under-the-radar-chooses-to-find/ - KyndMusic.com - Dave Terpeny

"North Bay Bohemian Profile of Mick Overman"

No one would ever accuse Mick Overman of being lazy. For nearly 20 years, the Santa Cruz-based musician has built a strong reputation as an Iron Man of the road, playing as many as 379 shows a year. On top of that, he's been a one-man promotion machine, driving the releases of all his albums, which showcase his self-described "bluesy folk and roll with jazz attitude."

But despite his tireless work ethic, Overman's always been a Bay Area sensation, playing regularly at Downtown Joe's in Napa and the Tradewinds in Sonoma County, a place he calls his second home. Overman first played the North Bay a decade ago at the behest of friend and Cotati accordion guru Jim Boggio. The area reminded the SoCal transplant of why he'd originally moved to Santa Cruz back in the '80s. "Six or eight years after moving to Santa Cruz, the music scene wasn't as strong, but it seemed to be thriving in the North Bay," Overman remembers. "There was more of an appreciation for live music, and for original music."

At the turn of the millennium, Overman scaled back after 12 years of grueling, nonstop West Coast touring. "I wanted to focus more on just being a human being and an artist, rather than a money-earning machine," he remembers. This turning point, ironically, was consistent with one of Overman's many astute business theories. "You can oversaturate a market, and no matter how you evolve and improve as an artist, there's a danger of people taking you for granted," he says. "I only play my hometown three or four times a year."

The fiercely independent songwriter shows more of a collaborative spirit on his new album, Good Thing Happen, to be nationally distributed by Burnside Distribution, which should gain Overman an audience faster than his years of touring have. But his idea of success transcends the bottom line. "I'm getting to live as an artist on my own terms, earning a living and getting by year after year, writing, performing and recording music that's important to me," he says. "If this is as good as it ever gets, I'm OK with that."

LINK: http://bohemian.com/bohemian/12.27.06/north-bay-musicians-0652.html - North Bay Bohemian (Bohemian.com) - David Sason

"NBC.com/San Diego Review - Mick Overman & The Maniacs - Good Thing Happen"

Who is this guy, and where's he been all this time?

I don't know who he is or from where he hails but when a CD is this good, I don’t much care about the small print. Overman comes with a Springsteen work ethic and a singer-songwriter folk-rock sound not so far off the beaten path as to call it anything but commonplace – but commonplace in the way of those Diane Arbus black and white photos from the '60's that look quite ordinary until you really look at them and see that there’s something else going on beneath the surface. Likewise, there's something worth encountering just under the surface of Overman’s wonderful road-wizened voice. Best listens: "Ghost of a Living Girl," and "Pocket Full of Zero."

Rating: ****1/2 stars

LINK: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/whatshot/10935758/detail.html - NBC.com/San Diego - Dave Good

"Marc Pucci Media - Mick Overman Bio"

“… a seasoned, soulful, salt of the earth virtuoso...singing clean from the gut as if life and music naturally mix and match,” - Cruzan (Santa Cruz, CA)

“... pearls of originality and great song- writing...Overman may just be one of the greats”- Good Times (Santa Cruz CA)

“… phenomenal abilities with writing and performing from the heart and soul.”- Tacoma Reporter (Tacoma WA)

During his lengthy career as a singer, songwriter and guitarist, Mick Overman has produced a body of work, bolstered by extensive touring, which has made him one of the most-beloved and well-respected artists in the San Francisco Bay Area. While trends came and went, Mick Overman remained a rock-solid performer always doing what he does best: creating exciting, roots-based music with a stick-to-the-ribs quality that knows no boundaries or limitations.

Overman, whose music has been described as “bluesy folk & roll with jazz attitude,” is considered a Bay Area legend, having been long regarded as one of the West Coast’s hardest-working and most-prolific artists (He’s played as many as 379 shows in one year!). He’s also a poet and a master musician, with an honest, gutsy style of singing and guitar playing that’s been dubbed “Berklee College of Caveman.”

With the release of his latest album, Good Thing Happen, he is presenting his first release as “Mick Overman & The Maniacs,” which represents the respect and attachment he feels for the band he’s assembled over the last few years since his 2002 album, Authentic. Joining Mick Overman (guitar, harmonica, vocals) are Craig Owens (bass, vocals), Jim Norris (drums) and - most-recent addition - Patrick O’Connor (mandolin, guitar, banjo, vocals).

“After that last album, I wanted to have a regular band rather than a large rotating cast of sidemen,” says Overman, “and as Craig, Jim, Patrick and I performed together live and did some recording, it began to feel like a band. I decided that I wanted to make an album written with this particular lineup in mind, which would in addition to featuring my songs, vocals and guitar playing, be the expression of the whole being greater than the sum of the individual parts. More than once after a performance, I've received remarks from people listening that when the four of us were really locked in it seemed like an invisible fifth member of the band was present and that another element emerged through the music which couldn't be accounted for. I feel like this is a special group and wanted to do the best I could at documenting it.”

Good Thing Happen was co-produced by the band members and Cookie Marenco, who has engineered or produced five Grammy-nominated albums, several gold albums and an Academy Award-winning documentary. “When Cookie Marenco joined the team as engineer and co-producer, another key element emerged,” says Mick Overman. “Cookie has long been recognized as one of the recording industry’s most influential women and brought a new perspective to the production and recording. It’s also the first time that a woman’s point of view has so dramatically influenced the making of one of my records.”

The new album features seven brand new Mick Overman originals written specifically for this band, three songs from Patrick O’Connor and two covers: “Take Me Back To Texas” (written by Katy Moffatt and Greg Leisz) and the band’s take on the traditional folk song, “Shenandoah.”

“For Good Thing Happen, I wanted a primarily acoustic recording which also was accurately representative of the band’s live sound,” says Overman. “Although I play probably more acoustic guitar live than ever before, I still wanted to include some electric guitar without it dominating. Listeners may notice a distinct difference in the amount of guitar solos from some of my previous releases in favor of other textures like harmonica, ensemble arrangements and certainly mandolin, which was due in large part by Cookie Marenco’s input,” he adds.

On an album filled with solid writing and performances, several songs are worth highlighting. “I started writing ‘Happiness Is The Best Revenge’ as a project with another songwriter friend,” remembers Mick. “I'd overheard the saying ‘happiness is the best revenge’ somewhere conversationally and always liked it. I resonate with the idea of taking the high road in a song that otherwise might result in a negative attitude. For some reason, we didn't finish that project, but I came across it a few years later, decided to finish it and got very positive responses when I performed the song. While I was working with it, I thought to lighten it up and remembered the periodically repeated ‘rule’ that ‘nothing in the English language rhymes with orange’. I have an affinity for breaking rules and exposing myths. ‘Orange’ and ‘Door Hinge’ (especially when the ‘H’ in ‘hinge’ is soft like an English person might pronounce it) are a perfectly good rhyme as far as I'm concerned, so I have the satisfaction of having done what I was - Marc Pucci Media - Marc Pucci


Mick Overman - Mister Double Happiness
©2008 Max Records
Streaming audio available at

Mick Overman & The Maniacs - Good Thing Happen
©2006 Max Records
Streaming audio available at

Mick Overman - Authentic
©2002 Max Records
Streaming audio available at

Mick Overman - Mileage
©1998 Max Records
Streaming audio available at

Mick Overman - Lucky.
©1996 Max Records
Streaming audio available at

Mick Overman - Empty City
©1994 Max Records
Streaming audio available at



Mick Overman is a Legend and “Iron Man of The Road”.

He’s a poet and master musician. "Bluesy Folk & Roll with Jazz Attitude" is the best description of his music and performance. His singing and guitar playing are accurately described as "Berklee College of Caveman".

Overman has long been regarded as one of the west coast’s hardest working (as many as 379 performances in one year) and prolific artists.

In addition to being an impactful and dynamic solo performer Overman’s band consistently features some of the west coast’s most gifted and talented musicians.

More information about the artist and his music is available at




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“I’m convinced that ”perfect” does little for art or music” Overman states. “I think we are primarily looking towards art or music to experience the expression of something we can identify as resonating with our own life experience and which reminds us that we’re both human beings (speaks to our hearts/emotions and minds/intellects and souls) and animals (we live in and use physical bodies).

The central theme in most of my work is detachment and transcendence and victory of the human spirit over futility with as much humor as possible. And it always has been.”