La Overtoner started as a singer/songwriter side project of Johnny Kilgore, guitarist/keyboardist of the legendary Berks County powerhouse bar band, Frog Holler. 2008’s solo released EP was mostly an acoustic affair with some bass and percussion and two outstanding tracks featuring string arrangements performed by Marie Chelius. Early on the duo of Johnny and Dave Harborfield’s electric guitar added bass and drums with Ben Longenecker and Billy Whalen respectively. After a couple years of playing local watering holes, bass and drums left the band and added Marie as a full time member on violin. The trio played throughout Berks and Lehigh counties with occasional appearances outside the area. Johnny, Dave and Marie garnered a lot of attention during this time as they developed the sound of the band and elaborated a whole new batch of songs that in Chelius’ words were “… like her little string ensemble” in that the music was complex and required a lot more than just jamming some fiddle tunes on the porch. The reverbed and (sometimes) psychedelic guitar playing of Harborfield married with the melodies of Chelius drape the songs in a heavy cloak.
“These are lush, atmospheric, often melancholy folk-rock tunes….” Don Botch — Reading Eagle 3/13/14
Yes there is a darkness… underlying a lot of the lyrics and musical themes in the songs they write. The natures of time, wistfulness, and melancholy have their root among more prevalent ones like heartbreak and despair. In a parallel universe, given their musical influences, they would be known as Big Star Kil Moon Drake, as the guitar-violin sounds and vocals attest to the dreamy and distorted.
2011 saw the band adding Mike Yesconis on bass guitar and recording engineer. They began recording in early 2011 a lot of the songs that would eventually appear on the first full length release. 2012 added Bradley Stewart (singer of the Fallen Troubadours) on drums and the 5-piece band now started playing at great venues around the area and into Philly. The songs of the trio were now put into a full band effect. Countless hours of recording and mixing during 2013 paid off. The 2014 release of “Passed Decade Passed”, the band’s LP album, has raised the bar once again as to what they are capable of and will surely find them a larger audience in the coming years.