Broadwater Grads Reunite after College as ‘Fat Tuesday’

Fat Tuesday and the New Custards at a Harbor Party gig. The band members play up and down the Shore, but say they like Cape Charles the best.

Fat Tuesday and the New Custards at a Harbor Party gig. The band members play up and down the Shore, but say they like Cape Charles the best.

Cape Charles Wave

September 2, 2013

With music as delectable as their name, the local band Fat Tuesday and the New Custards has been playing gigs around Cape Charles all summer. Fat Tuesday has delivered dynamic and danceable music at Kelly’s Gingernut Pub, the Cape Charles Harbor Party, the Clam Slam, and the Harbor for the Arts Festival.

All members of the band graduated from Broadwater Academy in Exmore, and went to their respective colleges, reuniting in 2010 to seriously begin playing music together. According to lead guitarist Cole Newsom, “they [the rest of the band] were on the JJV basketball team when I was on varsity. They asked me to sit in and play for a New Years show and the rest is history.”

Fat Tuesday draws many influences from the classic and funk rock genres with favorites being the Grateful Dead, Phish, and Led Zeppelin. But lead singer and rhythm guitarist Austin Riopel attributes “everyone and everything” within the musical realm to their unique sound. Bassist Philip Simpson laughingly said “someone once described our music as ‘Hippie Heehaw.’” Cole named Led Zeppelin as their favorite band to cover. “Zeppelin’s music really allows us to stretch our musical legs. We can play good music and put a little of ourselves into it too.”

Asked about the evolution of the band’s music, Austin answered, “It’s all self expression. As you change, the music is going to change also.” Restaurant owner Gene Kelly has hired Fat Tuesday to play at Kelly’s Gingernut Pub about five or six times in the past year. Gene expressed his appreciation for the band, saying, “They all definitely have individual musical talent. They are exceptionally good musicians developing a great sound.” Gene is no stranger to good music and has been choosing bands to play at Kelly’s since 2006. “Their original material is really good. They play great covers and have a remarkable energy.”


The band has a mutual appreciation of Kelly’s Pub and the town of Cape Charles, with drummer Kody Muhic rating Cape Charles as hosting the band’s favorite shows. Philip agreed, saying, “It’s neat when you can connect with an audience, which doesn’t always happen, but it always happens when we play in Cape Charles.”

Cole expressed his satisfaction with the outdoor venues in town, saying “Nothing is better than playing music on the water where we grew up.”

Cheech, a Cape Charles resident and bouncer at Kelly’s Pub, remarked that the locals seem to really appreciate the band. “The fact that they’re local guys has really been an advantage this summer. They’ve really become a great live band to see — tighter, polished, and more energetic.”

The band has released both their self-titled EP and a full-length album titled “Smile and Nod.” Their new album, with a tentative September release date, is being mixed and mastered by Tom Carr, who has worked with artists including Neil Young and Pearl Jam.

Fat Tuesday is performing at The Salty Dog in Onancock every Wednesday in September. Down the road, the band plans to move “somewhere with a great music scene and really try to make it.”

After developing a strong fan base in Cape Charles and all over the shore, it appears that the band will continue to be a success. Locals will be anticipating the sure success of Fat Tuesday as they bring the groove to wherever the bandwagon takes them. For links to music and more, click on



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