Custard Pie
Gig Seeker Pro

Custard Pie

Band Blues Jam


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


The best kept secret in music


"We're Gonna Groove"

DECEMBER 14, 2005
Custard Pie gets the Led out


Making their Charleston debut this week, newly-formed Asheville, N.C. quartet Custard Pie plan to pay tribute to the heavy-duty rock of Zeppelin with a respectful approach and an unusual twist: female vocals in the place of Robert Plant's howl.

The name is based on the lead-off track of the 1975 masterpiece Physical Graffiti -- a song based on various early blues recordings, including Blind Boy Fuller's "I Want Some Of Your Pie" and Brown McGhee's "Custard Pie Blues."

The lineup features two former Charlestonians: David Jones on bass and Rhett Thurman on vocals. Jones grew up listening to the punk and new wave of the early '80s (as anyone who remembers his high school garage band, Modern Art, may remember), but maintained and nurtured a fascination with Led Zeppelin, preferring the expanded arrangements of Presence to the hits of I and II. Thurman (daughter of local artist Rhett Thurman) came up checking out Woodstock-y classic rock, too, and fell in love with the band's entire catalog.

"I listened to Physical Graffiti in seventh grade and couldn't believe my ears," says the singer. "I was awestruck and addicted. At that point in your life you're beginning to try to define yourself, and when I heard Led Zeppelin, I really identified with it. Your music is part of who you are, and Zeppelin is part of who I am.

"What they did with the blues was unprecedented, soulful, raw, and earth-shattering," she adds. "They exposed the underbelly of the emotion in that music as it had never been done before."

Jones and Thurman hooked up with busy N.C. guitarist Woody Wood (formerly of The Blue Rags and Hollywood Red) during the summer. They recently added drummer Jamie Stirling (ex-Drug Money, The Merle) and played a series of shows around Asheville.

What makes Custard Pie's approach to doing Zep music different from other cover/trib bands doing a similar thing? "I think we're unique in the respect that instead of trying to emulate Zeppelin and play everything just as they did, we're giving people our individual interpretations of their music and how we would play it," says Thurman. "It's more like we're paying homage to them, rather than trying to be them. That would be blasphemous since they are some of the true rock lords."

"No one can be Led Zeppelin, so why try?" adds Jones. "We have no interest in looking like them or acting like them or even doing a show like them. We just want to play this music to the best of our abilities and have a great time doing so."

Custard Pie are gonna groove at Cumberland's on Wed. Dec. 14. - Charleston City Paper

"Custard Pie serves up Led Zeppelin"

Custard Pie serves up Led Zeppelin
By Laura Blackley

published: February 10, 2006

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. This is usually the premise of most rock tribute acts - an art form that has exploded into pop culture by providing a close-up, just-like-the-real-thing experience of a rock show without the excessive ticket prices.

Asheville's Custard Pie, a tribute to Led Zeppelin, pays homage to the long-standing lords of rock without compromising their own individual identities - no small feat considering Zeppelin's far-reaching fame.

"We enjoy this band and just want to have a great time doing it," says Custard Pie guitarist Aaron "Woody" Wood (founder of Hollywood Red and formerly of the hot band the Blue Rags). "We want to pay respectful tribute, but sometimes I've just gotta say 'Hey, Mr. Jimmy Page, I love the way you play guitar, but I'm gonna do it this way."

Custard Pie was the brainchild of bassist David Connor Jones. Jones approached Wood last summer about putting together a Zeppelin tribute act. Vocalist Rhett Thurman (formerly of Menage) and drummer Jamie Stirling (of the Merle and Drug Money) came on board soon after. A Custard Pie set list has all of the hallmarks of a classic Zeppelin set, plus the band's Web site promises that they will eventually learn the entire catalog.

"It's a lot of fun," Wood admits. "When I listen to Led Zeppelin, or any band that sent a lot of ripples out, (I) hear the hardship that these people went through, what they were influenced by, and how they made their own music (from it) - that's what drives me and pushes me (with my own music)."

Custard Pie and its members have been sending out their own ripples, at least regionally. In the short time that the group has been together, they've been packing area clubs and taking no prisoners.

"I personally think that Jimmy Page is a hell of a songwriter," Wood says. "His compositions and arrangements are fun to play - they're not the most difficult in the world ... his playing has a lot of soul and spirit to it."

Custard Pie makes an appearance at the French Broad River Brewery for an early 5:30 p.m. show on Wednesday. They'll be joined for a rare acoustic night by friend and multi-instrumentalist Jason Krekel (of Mad Tea Party), on banjo and mandolin.

"It's gonna be a special all-acoustic night," Wood says. "We'll probably never do this again - so get there early or you might be standing in the parking lot," Wood laughs.

Wood and his bandmates' appreciation for their chosen subject matter is readily apparent.

"We're taking songs that hundreds of thousands of people have heard and been affected by," Wood explains. "... Led Zeppelin is no longer rock music, they're folk music -they've become a part of our collective unconscious."

Go To Original Article: - Take 5 - Citizen Times

"Custard Pie Reveals All - Mt Xpress Interview"

Xpress MySpace Alert: Custard Pie Reveals All
by Steve Shanafelt on 02/22/2007

Is local group Custard Pie more than just a Led Zeppelin tribute act? Their MySpace fans seem to think so. For two weeks running, the quartet of vocalist Rhett McGahee, guitarist Aaron "Woody" Wood, bassist David Connor Jones and drummer Jamie Stirling have won the Xpress Battle of the Bands on our MySpace page, giving their profile and music prime placement. And yet, even before they were "big on MySpace," the group had already found something of a following in the non-virtual world. With a reputation for putting on memorable shows, and a reliable fanbase that has allowed them to play regularly at a variety of venues in the area, Custard Pie seems to have a bit more depth than your average tribute act.

So, to find out a little more about what makes this unique local outfit so popular, Xpress interviewed bassist/manager David Connor Jones.

Mountain Xpress: How did Custard Pie come into being? How did the band form, and why did it happen with these people?

David Connor Jones: Custard Pie germinated one night when I was over at Rhett's house. We were playing duets, me on guitar, her singing. I think we started with "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner, and ended up doing a string of Zeppelin tunes. I noticed immediately that her range uncannily mapped Robert Plant's. She suggested we might work up a set and play it out one night at the Westville Pub or somewhere like that, just for kicks, and I said, "Why don't we find a guitarist and a drummer and do a full tribute?" Woody Wood came to mind immediately, and when I approached him about it, he said he was definitely interested. He was very busy with other projects at the time, namely Hollywood Red, but eventually - like 6 months later - we got together and started playing along with the records in the summer of 2005, just to see what would come of it. Turns out Woody had had a brain tumor in high school & had to have surgery and sit out of classes for several months. All he did was learn the Zeppelin catalogue front to back as he convalesced. So, after a few weeks of figuring out which tunes we could do reasonably well, we called Rhett in and rehearsed as a trio. The next week Woody brought Jamie Stirling over and we realized immediately we were on to something good, that this might really work. A month later we debuted at the French Broad Brewery and it was a really good show, good turn out, good response.

Xpress: Cover bands and tribute acts are often not treated as seriously as bands that play their own original material. Do you consider Custard Pie to be a tribute act? Do you take these songs as seriously as something you wrote yourself?

Jones: I am so glad you asked me this question. First off I want to say that Led Zeppelin was a 'cover band.' "I Can't Quit You," "You Shook Me," "Whole Lotta Love," "Lemon Song," "Bring It On Home," "When The Levee Breaks," "Custard Pie," "Boogie With Stu," "In My Time of Dying," "Traveling Riverside Blues," "Nobody's Fault But Mine"—all covers. The Rolling Stones started as a cover band. First two albums of theirs: all covers.

We don't think of Custard Pie as a 'cover band.' The category of cover band has such a lame stigma attached to it. It is a bad category. Yet, almost every bluegrass band is a cover band. Almost every jazz band starts as a cover band. Blues band, ragtime band, you name it. If they are grooving on one or more popular traditions, chances are good that more than half their material is 'covers.' In the jazz world these might be called 'standards.' In bluegrass maybe they call them 'traditionals.' In rock they are called 'covers.'

This is not a bad thing. Tradition is key to innovation. And if you don't know a tradition well, you can't innovate significantly. I listen to a lot of so-called original music today coming across the tube or the radio or even on the internet and not much of it really does anything for me. It seems very bland, voiceless and non-committal.

I think there is a lot of great local original music hear in A'ville, though. But people don't roll down to Jack of the Wood to hear all original music on any regular basis. They roll down there to hear music they recognize and love and know that they can groove to for a few hours. They either want to dance within a certain style or listen to some really good local musicians interpret a familiar piece of music in a specific tradition. Our tradition is rock 'n' roll. Rock 'n' roll is a tradition on par with bluegrass, country, gospel, jazz, blues, or hip-hop. It is one of many types of popular music that has been created in the trenches of everyday life. Woody calls it folk music: "Music for the folks."

The fact is, if you want to make any regular money at a local level playing music—if you want to consider music your full time profession—you stand a far better chance of making ends meet as a band playing/interpreting 'covers,' focused w - Mt Xpress


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Not your average tribute, Custard Pie does not aim to look or act like the original when they take the stage, nor do they try to replicate the songs exactly as they occurred on the albums. Instead, Custard Pie focuses on bringing to each audience an intense extended live performance of the material, always keeping it as Jimmy Page used to say, "Tight-But-Loose."

The first thing that immediately sets Custard Pie apart from most other "tributes" is the fact that they have a very gifted female lead vocalist, Rhett Magahee. The fact that Rhett is a woman would make simulating the original band in appearance kind of difficult. But the visual simulation of Led Zeppelin was never on their radar. They are about taking this very special music rooted in The Blues, Folk, & Rock and making it theirs via the Jam. They hit all the chord changes and fundamental melodies, but almost never play the songs the same way twice. Variation is most noticeable in the guitar work, thanks to Woody Wood's fantastic sensibility.

As a band, Custard Pie is a curious amalgam of blues, folk, rock and the jam band. But really one has to witness a performance to get the full picture of what they are doing. While they aim to eventually learn the entire Zeppelin catalogue, they have the first six albums down, with the exception of 3 or 4 songs. In addition, they are constantly adding other other classic material, from the likes of Sabbath, Bowie, The Stones, ACDC and so on. Again, besides doing these numbers very well, they bring the added curiosity of hearing classic male frontman tunes done by a woman. People absolutely LOVE this twist!

The music of Led Zeppelin was as much a tribute to the great tradition of American Blues music as it was innovative rock & roll. Part of what makes their music so timeless is their being so deeply rooted in traditional music. As Woody has put it, their music has become "folk music, music of the people." It is as much a part of who we as any other genre. The members of Custard Pie see Rock music as genre of equal merit with Bluegrass, Jazz & The Blues. Going to see Custard Pie would be on par with going to see a great rag band, a great blues band, or a great Jazz band. In any of those situations, the audience is expecting to hear standards done well by musicians who revere that particular genre. Who knows, once The Pie has finished absorbing all this material, they may even make a rock & roll statement of their own ...