Chattanooga’s Live Music Scene – Overland Reunion Brings Tears And Joy

Monday, June 30, 2014 - by Bob Payne, with photos by Mark Herndon

The Overland Express reunion to benefit the late Keith Sherman’s charity and a tribute in his honor resulted in a sell-out capacity crowd at Rhythm & Brews on Sunday. The packed house witnessed some of Chattanooga’s greatest all-time musicians on stage, all singing and playing the many songs Keith Sherman wrote during his lifetime.

Near the end of the well-timed show, the crowd was treated to a recorded version of Overland’s “Prisoner of the Streets”, which featured Keith Sherman’s beautiful voice. The crowd cheered as the song came over the loudspeakers, but then settled down to listen to the haunting lyrics and great harmonies. Before the song was complete, there was hardly a dry eye in the place. Even Pat Payne, who wasn’t around during Overland’s runs at the Brass Register and Yesterday’s, cried during the song. It has been her favorite Overland song ever since I introduced her to their music 10 years ago.

That song was followed by a live version, with Lou Wamp , Kim Forrester, Dennis Haskins, Jimmy Tawater, Overland Express, James Rogers, Bob Johnson, and Kris Phillips. Needless to say, the harmonies were spectacular, as was the music. On that very stage, on that very night, there were so many members of the Chattanooga Music Hall of Fame that one had to be impressed. Overland Express members (inducted 2009), Jimmy Tawater (inducted 2009), members of the Beaters (inducted 2011), and Roger Alan Wade (inducted 2010) were all there, as was 2012 inductee Mike Dougher. Dixie Fuller (inducted 2011) had been by earlier, but waterfront management duties called him away for the Triathlon.

This was the best-produced program of its type I have ever seen. It ran smoothly and on time. Usually these events have huge spans of time between set changes as new acts come on. Not Sunday. Every changeover went quickly and smoothly. Dennis Haskins, Overland’s former manager and best known as Mr. Belding from Saved By The Bell, was a wonderful host & emcee.

The truth is that the crowd there was a bit older than many of the nightclub crowds on a typical night. They came to see their favorite band from back in the day. A few more gray hairs and few more pounds packed on many of the men guests that night didn’t stop the enthusiasm. The women from the old Yesterday’s time period still looked great, however. The band still sounded great, as always. Kris Phillips did Keith Sherman proud with his journeyman guitar work.

Naturally, what I heard the most was the real desire that these talented musicians keep playing and keep Keith Sherman’s beautiful songs alive for years to come. One can only hope. As for me, I had a cold that night, so my tears were the result of a medical condition. Pass the Kleenex, please.

Bob Payne grew up in Chattanooga and graduated from Baylor School. He is the Entertainment Editor for the Chattanoogan.com and assistant talent buyer for Friends Of The Festival.

Email Bob Payne at davrik2000@yahoo.com or www.facebook.com/davrik2000.


Lee Theatre And School Of Music To Present The Secret Garden

The Lee Theatre season will conclude with a musical version of The Secret Garden by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon, opening April 10. Performances will be held April 10 at 8 p.m., April 11 and 16-18 at 7:30 p.m., and April 12 at 2:30 p.m. in the Dixon Center.  The production is a collaboration between Lee Theatre and Lee’s School of Music, featuring more than 25 cast members. ... (click for more)

Applications Being Accepted For Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee

Applications are now being accepted for the title of Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee, USA.  The winner will represent Tennessee in July, competing against other state representatives, for the national title of Ms. Wheelchair USA.  The Ms. Wheelchair USA program is dedicated to celebrating the abilities and successful accomplishments of women with disabilities.  This year ... (click for more)

Family Escapes Sunday Morning Blaze

A Chattanooga family was getting ready for church Sunday morning when they heard a loud pop on the back side of the house. The pop they heard was apparently a window busting from intense flames on the outside of the house. Larry Erskine, his wife Nicole, and their two-year-old daughter got out of the house without injury and called 911.  The Chattanooga Fire Department received ... (click for more)

Firefighters Respond To 2 Kitchen Fires

Chattanooga firefighters responded to two kitchen fires within the past 24 hours. The first one occurred Saturday morning at 3116 15th Ave.  Captain Joey Smith with Engine 5 said the firefighters were able to contain the fire to the kitchen area. The lone occupant got out of the house safely. The dollar loss was estimated at $15,000. The cause of the fire was ruled accidental, ... (click for more)

Finley Stadium Needs To Grow Up - And Response

RE:  Finley Stadium Financial Picture Rosy; Beer And Alcohol Sales Approved; AstroTurf Almost Ready and City, County Pitching In $250,000 Each For New Finley Stadium AstroTurf I read a story here five days ago about a rosy future for Finley stadium. It lead me to believe that the stadium was making money and even improvements with donations.  Then we get a short ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Sunday Funnies

They say March roars in like a lion and leaves like a lamb. So as you reach for your lambs-wool sweater on this last Sunday of the month, allow me to lighten up a bit with a new edition of my Sunday Funnies. I have a delightful crowd that keeps me supplied in jokes and these are some of the best that have come my way: A WOMAN'S PERFECT BREAKFAST -- She's sitting at the table ... (click for more)