Jadi Norris Overdrive
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Jadi Norris Overdrive

Band Country Rock


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The best kept secret in music


"Tucson country bands shy from contesting Jadi Norris"

Jadi Norris and Overdrive apparently strike fear in the hearts of other Tucson country bands.

The idea the band was on the bill for the True Value-Jimmy Dean Country Music Showcase at the New West this weekend prompted three acts to pull out. The event sponsored by 99.5 KIIM FM, was canceled.

The showcase and competition was to find Tucson's best country band, was to feature four acts on Sunday and four July 11. Of those, two would be selected to perform in a face-off competition Aug 15, with the winner then progressing to a state championship in Prescott.

Only six bands submitted demo tapes to the New West; of those, only four were available to perform Sunday's, said Ryan Dahlstrom, New West Event Entertainment Coordinator. "A lot of the acts we had talked to - for whatever reason, I'm not sure - didn't want to compete against Jadi Norris," Dahlstrom said.

That sends a two-sided message to the 31 year old Norris, who performs with Overdrive Tuesday-Saturday at Maverick, King of Clubs on East 22nd Street. "In a way, I'm sad that it's viewed as a competition, because I thought that it would be a way for new bands to showcase at the New West," he said. "But in a way I'm happy. That's quite a compliment."

Norris and Overdrive have opened shows for several national acts. The club at 4385 W. Ina Road, is always looking for local country bands to open for national artists. For more information, call Dahlstrom at 744-2099.
- From The Arizona Daily Star By Cathalena E. Burch-

"Overdrive craves 'Runaway' hit"

Bathed in crimson stage lights on a semi circle platform ringed with tiny red lights, the young man in a black hat, patriotic shirt and jeans strummed his guitar, tilted his head back, closed his eyes and sang.

"In the middle of the night, lost in the dark. They found what they needed, a brand new start. Head over heels into something led only by a spark. Oh there's nothing that can stop a runaway heart."

If you didn't know better, and if the marquee out front didn't say different, you could swear that song came from a band direct from Nashville. It's that good.

Lucky for Tucson, the band that plays "Runaway Heart" performs five nights a week at a popular local honky-tonk - the Maverick, 4702 E. 22nd St.

Jadi Norris and Overdrive recently released their CD, a self-titled album of six songs penned by Jadi. It sells for $10 at the Maverick, Blockbuster, Wherehouse, Guitars Etc, and the New West.

Jadi produced the album, which was recorded at Cavern Studios and engineered by Bill "Golden Ear" Cashman. The high quality sound and tight songwriting - from the hillbilly strains of "Grandma's Song" to the Southern rockin' number "Workin' Man's Saturday Night" - add up to a CD that's ready to go to air, if anyone dares take a chance on a local band.

Nashville already has expressed some interest in the group, which band leader John Chastain formed several years ago with Troy Olsen as its front man. Troy inked a songwriting deal and is pursuing a solo career.

"Troy was good, very good," said Mo Farhang, longtime owner of the Maverick. "Besides Troy, this is the best group - the nicest group - I've ever worked with in all my years."

"I've never felt this good about any band I've been in," John said.

That's saying a lot, John, who comes from a family with deep country roots, has been a musician for a good 30 years. Recently, he politely passed on an offer to join a country star's band.

Bassist Keith Caudill, also well-known to Tucson country fans, said Overdrive's camaraderie is rare for a local band.

"Everyone has a say," Keith said. "What we play, how we play - that's unusual."

Drummer Bill Dinardo, the groups newest member, said he was drawn to country music about five years ago by its honesty. "And that's what you get from our music," he said, "It's pure. You can't get help but feel it."

That honesty is something that Jadi - and yes, that's his real name - has felt since his youth in North Carolina.

"I made my first recording at age 13," he said. "It was set in stone then - I knew that would be my life's work."

At 16, Jadi was spending his weekends performing in his first band. By 18, he was out 50 weeks a year.

Over the years, he's played and sung many kinds of music. But his heart was in country. "I always wrote songs that were more country than anything," said Jadi, now 31.

Eventually, Jadi caught the attention of a Nashville record executive. Waiting for his big break, he sang commercial jingles and waited tables.

He didn't get a record deal, but did catch up with a band called Reo Posse, whose tour of the Southwest three years ago led him to Tucson, and the Maverick.

There, Jadi met his future wife, Tara, who produces the "Bobby & Brad" morning show at MIX FM.

"She works as hard as I do every day to make things happen," Jadi said. "Even when I don't feel like doing something, she pushes me."

A year and a half after they met, the two were married and Jadi adopted Tucson.

"I love my family. I love North Carolina," he said. "Tucson's become my home. The minute I came here, I knew this was were I was destined to be."

The band often opens for national touring artists at the New West nightclub. Next month, Jadi Norris and Overdrive will open for Collin Raye (May 14) and Bryan White (May 30).

Tomorrow, they'll perform a set of all-original songs at Country Thunder in Queen Creek.

Though the band has no ties to Tucson, none of its members would scoff at an offer to go to Nashville.

"How far do I want to take this band?" John said, "As far as Jadi wants to go with it."
- From Tucson Citizen by A.J. Flick-

"Jadi Norris and his band on stage at Dino's"

Jadi Norris and his band Overdrive perform tonight at Dino's Restaurant and Club, 4007 York Highway, Gastonia.

The Gastonia native, who made his first professional appearance at age 13, is now an accomplished songwriter, having penned more than 100 songs ranging from soulful ballads to toe tapping, upbeat working man songs.

Norris spent years playing clubs and concerts across the U.S. and performing in Nashville.

In the summer of 2002, he relocated to Gastonia from Tucson, Ariz. where he was the "king" of country music.

Tonight, Norris and the band will make their Gastonia debut in support of their CD "Collection"

Members of Jadi Norris Overdrive are Jadi Norris, lead vocals, guitar and harmonica; Robb Williamson of Cherryville playing drums and percussion; Ron Geibel of Dallas on bass and backing vocals; Scott Barker of Gastonia featured on keyboards.

For more information about the band, go to www.jadinorrisoverdrive.com

- From the Gaston Gazette Break Section - March 12, 2004

"Musician comes home to Gastonia"

He's Gastonia born and bred, a musician who has played with some of the greats - Charlie Daniels, Kenny Rogers, Tammy Wynette, Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack. Now Jadi Norris has returned to his roots.

"He's been all over, playing and singing, but he never intended to stay. He always wanted to come back home," says his father, Sonny Norris of Gastonia.

Jadi Norris got his first guitar at the tender age of 2 and at age 5 appeared on a local gospel radio show. He taught himself guitar, piano and any other instrument he could get his hands on.

"He made his first public appearance at about 13 up in Kings Mountain," Sonny Norris said. "He heard the applause and that ruined him forever."

Unlike the "stage-mothers" noted for their pushing, Sonny Norris said he didn't push his son.

"He wanted to do music. I'm of the opinion that you should allow your child to try things he wants to do," he said, "So we did everything to do with music, you name it - we played, sat in on jam sessions, everything. And every step moved him along."

"You know, when we first went to Nashville, some of the musicians would say, 'that boy's not old enough or ugly enough to play country.'"

Even Sonny Norris recalls being a little dubious.

That was until at age 13 a musician named D.J. Fontana played with Jadi Norris on his first recording session.

"D.J. Fontana is the fellow you hear a lot about right now because he was the one who used to play with Elvis on the Ed Sullivan shows," Sonny Norris said. "D.J. told me, 'Jadi's got true talent. I think you should encourage him.' When D.J. told me his opinion of Jadi's music, then I really believed."

Jadi Norris attended both Hunter Huss and Ashbrook, graduating from Ashbrook. He won a scholarship from the University of Cincinnati in the music department, but turned it down.

"I was a little disappointed, but he said he would rather be performing," his father said.

The musician took his music from North and South Carolina to the entire eastern seaboard. He spent six nights a week, 48 to 50 weeks a year, on the road. And all the time he was writing songs.

After he accumulated a portfolio of original songs, he made Nashville his home to concentrate on his writing skills. Five years of working with some of Nashville's top songwriters helped him to get some valuable experience.

Since then he has spread his musical talents from eastern United States to western towns of Arizona, and toured Alaska as a member of the Reo Posse.

Arizona? Tucson, Arizona, is where he fell in love and married his wife Tara.

Within a year of moving to Arizona he was awarded with two "Tammies." "Tammies" are a regional award given by the Tucson Weekly, voted on by the readers. He received both Country Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year in 1999.

But he never intended to stay in Arizona, his father said.

Wife Tara was attending the University of Arizona.

"She graduated in December of 2001. Their baby was born in February of 2002," said Sonny Norris.

"Jadi called me and said, "I'm coming back," said his dad. "Now he's here. Jadi figures Gastonia is near the center of the country music field, with Atlanta and Nashville both so close. So I hope he's here to stay."

"Yes, I'm proud of him. You know you try to do the best you can for your children, and steer them in the right direction, but you have to let them do what they want.

Friends, classmates and those who just plain love country music will enjoy listening to the artist's latest release, a 14 song collection aptly titled "Collection." A sampling of the 100 plus songs written by Jadi, "Collection" covers the bases from honky-tonk to emotional ballads.
- From the Gaston Gazette By Fran Farlow - Aug 29, 2002

"Jadi Norris on a roll - Nashville is noticing"

Jadi Norris doesn't need to move to Nashville to get Music Row's attention. He and Overdrive are causing quite a stir from their home base at the Maverick, King of Clubs on East 22nd Street.

In late April, they appeared at Country Thunder '99 in Queen Creek alongside Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn, John Michael Montgomery and Tracy Byrd; the band was the only act on the bill not with a major record label.

Last month, they opened shows at Tucson's New West for Collin Raye and Bryan White; both artists requested them.

"One thing I've learned about being in Nashville is that when you're right there on 16th Avenue, you're likely to be missed. Nashville looks outward," says Norris, who pounded the Music Row pavement as a singer-songwriter in the early 1990's. "I've gotten so much more response from Nashville being in Tucson."

That could translate into a major-label for the 31 year old North Carolina native who moved to Tucson in 1997. And, eventually, he may have to "move the mountain to Mohammed."

"But right now we're right where we want to be," he says. "I'm very happy to be able to do what I'm doing."

Norris and Overdrive - John Chastain, 52 on steel, Jazzmaster and backup vocals; Bill Dinardo, 44, on drums and Keith Caudill, 39, on bass guitar - play five nights a week at the Maverick.

Under Chastain's leadership, Overdrive had been the nightclub's house band for a year when Norris joined last year.

"The first time I saw them, I knew they were missing an element, a little bit of direction, and I knew I could bring that element," says Norris, who adds solid rhythm guitar to the mix.

"The hardest thing to find when you get a band together is chemistry. It's like getting married times four," he says, "The chemistry we have is wonderful."

With Chastain's blessings, Norris took over the reins and immediately infused a raw, contagious energy into Overdrive, which until he arrived had never really ventured outside of the Maverick.

When he isn't on stage performing a mix of original material and contemporary standards, he's at home, penning new songs and working the phones.

Norris has plenty of people to call on from his days in Nashville singing lead for Reo Posse, a nationally touring, pop country band signed to an independent record label. Creative differences split the group before its members finished their first CD, but Norris walked away with a wealth of knowledge.

Within months, he had arranged for Overdrive to open New West shows for Aaron Tippin, Mark Chestnut and Ty Herndon. (Herndon reportedly called Norris a hard act to follow,) Overdrive saw its local fan base widen and the Maverick filing up with new faces.

Norris also lured the band into the studio to record "Jadi Norris & Overdrive," which they released in March. They've already sold 650 or 1000 copies they originally pressed.

The CD features five of Norris' original songs, including the uptempo ballad "Runaway Heart" and the often requested "Grandma's Song."

"I was really surprised by the reaction "Grandma's Song" gets. It's a fairly popular song." says Norris, who's been singing since he got his first guitar at age 2 and writing songs since he was in high school. "I've gotten a lot of (comments from) women who tell me it's a song they can identify with. And that's the greatest compliment you can get." Another cut, "Workin' Man's Saturday Night," is played on Phoenix radio stations KMLE and KNIX.

This summer the groups goes back to the local Cavern Recording Studios to finish its sophomore CD, which will feature "Best Man In The World," a ballad Norris wrote and sang to his wife, Tara, when he proposed. They are expecting their first child in September.

With the success they've experienced so far, so fast, Norris' band mates say they're sold - they'll back him all the way to Nashville, but they'll do it from Tucson, Norris says.

"I want to make it out of Tucson for Tucson," he says. "I've lived and played in 49 states and Tucson is my home, mainly because of the people. It's hard to find a place to call home."
- From The Arizona Daily Star By Cathalena E. Burch-


Runaway Heart
Northing Like You
Grandma's Song
Company Man
Bottom of My Heart
Sweet Magnolia
Make Hay (While The Sun Shines)
Best Man In The World
Hammer Down
Pictures On The Wall
Lifetime Guarantee
Stone By Stone
Not Coming Back
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Forever Only Takes A Little While
Borrowed Time
Close My Eyes
Miss Friday Night
Money Where Your Mouth Is

Streaming audio samples are available at:


Feeling a bit camera shy


It's all about the music. With Jadi it is and always has been. Jadi made his first professional appearance at age 13 at a small music park in North Carolina. From the moment Jadi heard applause, his dream of being center stage came to life. He immediately endeared himself to the audience, young and old, and has continued to do so ever since.
Blessed with an abundance of natural talent, Jadi continues to perfect his craft. Jadi has that rare ability to perform to an intimate group or to a concert sized audience. Leaving each person with the feeling that he has performed soley for them. A consumate professional, Jadi dedicates himself to each performance; ensuring that audiences go away knowing that they have experienced something great.
Accomplish songwriter, Jadi has penned over a hundred songs to date, ranging from soulful ballads to rocking, working man songs.
Jadi's inspiration comes from LIFE. His drive is genetic. His love of music comes from within. His talent is God given. His uest for excellence is simply the essence of Jadi Norris.