Charlie Overbey’s new song, “Ode to John Prine,” is out today with all proceeds benefitting NIVA’s Save Our Stages (watch the official music video here and stream/purchase the song here). Written by Overbey and produced by Tedd Hutt, the song features background vocals by LP as well as an all-star band: Conan’s Jimmy Vivino (musical director/guitarist), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Steve Ferrone (drums), The Rolling Stone’s Darryl Jones (bass) and Foo Fighters’ Rami Jaffee (keys).
An acclaimed singer-songwriter and activist Overbey is no stranger to the plight of NIVA and Save Our Stages. He has toured the world relentlessly as both a musician and as a booking agent for artists in hundreds of the venues now at risk. This cause hit home hardest in a year full of pandemic related charities in need. The single is a sobering call to arms for all the working musicians affected by the worldwide lockdown. Not to mention the fans that are missing out on seeing live music and theatre productions for the past seven months and the unforeseeable future to come.
Of the inspiration behind the song, Overbey shares, “A year ago, I had gone to see John Prine at a benefit show for the Americana Music Association here in L.A. Jimmy Vivino was the musical director of the evening. The whole night was incredible but, John’s performance touched me on levels as a writer and honestly just as a human being that I had never experienced before. Flash forward to spring 2020 when COVID was hitting hard worldwide, it made me so concerned and then angry at the amount of people that were non-believers, claiming it was all a hoax. People in our circle started getting sick, then we lost John…I had to find a way to process the grief and frustration. The tune came to me in less than an hour. In my opinion, the best songs, the real ones, come like that. It was one of those songs that wrote itself and I was just the guy holding the guitar and pen.”
He continues, “I mentioned to LP and Jimmy that I wanted to do a charity single for Save Our Stages and both said, ‘Whatever I can do to help, I’m in.’ LP is one of my favorite, stand up human beings! She had a couple of influential ideas and lyric changes and sang her heart out, while Jimmy came in with a guitar hook, which took the song to next level cool. Plus, he invited along the power-house rhythm section of Jones and Ferrone. Both legends in their own right. Rami knew exactly what to play on organ and keys and emailed his part in within hours of hearing the song. I even got my 14 year-old daughter, Katie June, in on the track with some striking violin flourishes.”