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An Interview with Chris May: Overwater by Tanglewood.

Tanglewood’s Dan Reeks has a wee sit down with Overwater chieftain, Chris May to chat about his beautifully unique range of tasty bass guitars. Yum.

How long has Overwater basses as a brand been in operation?

For over 30 years as custom bass builders, we at Overwater have been lucky enough to work with an impressive roster of customers; representing every musical style; from rock stars like John Entwistle and David Gilmour, old school session players such as Mo Foster, Mick Feat and Guy Pratt, through to the current crop of first call freelance bassists on both sides of the Atlantic – including; Phil Mulford, Andy Pask, Trevor Barry, Carlos Henriquez and Jim Donica to mention just a few…

How did the collaboration with Tanglewood come into being and why?

Despite three decades of production, Overwater basses have only been available in limited numbers, to players willing to wait for a custom build and able to afford the inevitable price of ‘one off’ production. But the recent partnership between Tanglewood Guitars and Overwater Basses and the ‘Overwater by Tanglewood Basses’ will change all that!

This is the culmination of a long standing desire to be able to offer a line of ‘off the peg’ Overwater instruments at prices available to everyone – but which still represent what we have always stood for; without compromise in design, build quality or playability!

How many models are in the Overwater by Tanglewood range?   

There are currently five distinct ranges..Classic J and Contemporary J which pay homage to traditional legendary designs but include some recognisable and uniquely Overwater signatures, plus the exciting new Aspiration series, in the Artist, Deluxe and Elite formats which are easily identified as original Overwater designs both cosmetically and even more importantly on a sonic, player’s level.

As the project rolls out we have plans to extend the Overwater by Tanglewood line to include, new models, left-handed instruments, in addition to fretless and 6 string derivatives and much more…

What in your opinion makes the instruments unique in the market?

Designed from the bottom up, every detail and feature of these instruments has been planned and implemented to the professional, standard of the bespoke instruments for which we are renowned; Timber selected for acoustic and structural properties in addition to its visual beauty and all hardware and electronics are uniquely Overwater in design and production, incorporating much of what I have learned from long established relationships with players from every genre and working with a very experienced team, including pickup designer Alan Entwistle, long time Overwater luthier Haydn Williams and bass electronics guru John East.

Although firmly aimed at the mainstream market sector, we are proud of our achievements and feel these instruments are very much part of the Overwater family; we hope you agree.


Who is Chris May?

Chris May is Overwater’s head honcho, as it were. For those of you who don’t know, the Overwater name has become synonymous with the finest in hand crafted bass guitars and to date they have produced over three and a half thousand instruments in the UK. Pretty impressive. Chris May himself has a rather illustrious career background; combining periods as an engineer, a musician, a designer AND an instrument technician. Again, pretty impressive. He has always, always kept close ties with both sides of the music industry and has been lucky enough to work closely with a number of leading Jazz and Rock musicians, both in the UK and further afield. Basically, Chris May is a bit of a legend. Recognise.

About The Author

Red Dog Music

Dawsons Music is delighted to announce that the Red Dog Music brand is now part of the Dawsons family. This is an exciting opportunity to bring both communities together and create a stronger, wider network of people passionate about music gear. We both share a common heritage to support musicians throughout the UK and Dawsons want to support Red Dog Music customers in their continued musical journey.

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