Genres:Kids/Quirky, Country - Classic, Country - Bluegrass, Country - Alternative, Rock - Surf, Blues - Electric
Todd Novak: Americana, Surf-Hot Rod, Rock n' Roll, and Alt. Country - Bluegrass!
Todd Novak's musical journey began as he sprouted up in rural Pennsylvania and southern Ohio. In 1981 he moved to Columbus Ohio where he met kindred spirits on the local music scene.
After spending several years in the legendary "Ronald Koal and the Trillionaires", he was soon also playing lead guitar with "Rickey Barnes and the Hootowls" a rootsy country trad. bluegrass outifit. Equipped with hay bales and an upright bass fiddle, the Hootowls played barns & clubs warming up for the likes of Rank n' File, D. L Menard, Buckwheat Zydeco, Richard Thompson and many other greats, with Dave Schramm often joining in on lap steel guitar. Todd felt he was out-growing his britches in Ohio (ouch!), and he moved to New York City to play in the Ska band "Cryin' Out Loud". C.O.L found themselves the first independent label band to have a video on MTV in regular rotation. Once again the britches shrunk. So Todd joined Dave Schramm's group "The Schramms" and recorded with them on their first CD "Walk To Delphi" on Okra records. Still in a growing spurt, Todd formed and fronted a surf band "The Dragsters". He left the Schramms when "The Dragsters" received a recording deal from Great Jones/Island records.....Loads of touring, surfing, and sun followed. Enter Kevin Salem of Dumptruck, Freedy Johnston, and Yo La Tengo fame. Kevin asked Todd to join his group, and they soon landed a recording deal with Roadrunner records via Jeff Pachman. Todd appeared on Kevin's first CD "Soma City," produced by Nico Bolas (of Neil Young fame), playing guitar and singing harmony vocals with Syd Straw . The KS band played on national tours supporting The Jayhawks, Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, The Bottle Rockets, and many others. Other New York activities included performing and producing cuts on the Brian Wilson tribute album "Smiles, Vibes and Harmony", and teaming up with virtuoso jazz guitarist/mandolin player Peter Brazier in a 1920's/Django-style group "The String Tickers". Soon the growing pains started again and sunny California started callin' Todd's name. He flipped coasts and formed a band of all-star Bay Area musicians called, yes, you guessed it, "The Cowlicks." The Cowlicks have been very successful, and "C.W.A" their first release won the California Music Awards in 2004 beating Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. "Psychedelic Service Station" which received play on the BBC, and "Hey Hey We're The Cowlicks" which has been called "the best alt. country record to come out of the bay area for many, many years".
Todd has a new album of original songs called "Raspberry Moonshine" with special guests The Clinch Mountain Boys, James Nash, as well as mountain-bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley making a special appearance- (on two songs). This is Todd's first solo release ever!
As of summer 2014 Todd has just finished recording and mixing 32 surf, hot rod, and dragstrip style guitar intrumentals to be released very soon under the name Todd Novak & The Benny Hillbilleez! This recording was done with Johnnie Hamilton on bass: -Mermen Berzerkers-Polo Del Mar, monster surf drummer Martyn Jones from the Mermen, and Scott Theakston on hammond organ. stay tuned. Twang! toddnovakmusic.com