Creating an object out of wrought iron or steel is the traditional occupation of a blacksmith. While the band Neoga Blacksmith might not use the technical skills of this profession, the group's songs prove it can create music out of everyday experiences.
The group, founded by vocalist/guitarist Matt Wade, began recording music in 2007. Over time, Neoga Blacksmith grew to include its current lineup, featuring vocalist/guitarist Brad Olson, bass guitarist Tony Ewald, Kyle Usher, on piano, harmonica and vocals and Ryan Hoffman on drums.
Although the guys are from the Monticello area, Wade explained he named the band after the town of Neoga, where his guitar was purchased.
"I have a piece of junk guitar I purchased in Neoga, and I named it after the town. Many of the early songs were written on it. I came up with the band name about a second before I typed it in to start a Myspace page," Wade said.
For Olson, the name fits the group and its message.
"I've always enjoyed the way it sounds. I would guess none of us know much about the specific town of Neoga, but we've all driven past it countless time, and to me it just sounds nice," he said. "It kind of seems like a good symbol for the Midwestern small town idea, which is what a lot of our songs seem to be about."
When asked to describe the band's sound, the members all seemed to reiterate the fact that it is not easy to label its music into any one genre, but rather a mixture of several elements, including country, rock, grunge, folk and more.
"We all come from backgrounds of country, rock, blues, and also growing up in the 1990s gave us a love for grunge and alternative music," Olson said. "If I had to describe us to someone else, country usually doesn't give them the right picture, and neither do other genres.
"I think the best way to put it is it's like scanning through a radio dial sometime in the 20th century: We try to blend in all kinds of great American music as seamlessly as possible, which I think gives us a unique sound and makes it difficult to compare us to other groups sometimes."
Wade said being from the same town brought together individuals with similar tastes.
"We all like country, rock and blues. Some individuals bring a touch of punk and grunge that blends like it's always belonged there," he said.
Through the years, the band has played a majority of its shows in the Champaign-Urbana area, but it is planning to tour small-town venues in Piatt and Champaign counties.
"Over the years we've had tons of shows in small bars in Champaign and bigger venues like the Summer Camp Music Festival," Olson said. "These days we still try to play as much as we can in town but are booking more shows in smaller taverns and bars outside of the Champaign area, trying to gain a few more friends."
On Saturday, Neoga Blacksmith will release its new album, "Some Pig," at Memphis on Main alongside the Tractor Kings. The new songs were in the works since the last album came out, yet it was completely constructed a month before recording.
"We worked on these songs as a band for a solid month before recording them," Wade said. "Some songs may have been around longer than others.
"I probably listen to 'Margie Rose' more than any other song on the album just because it reminds me of people I know and what was on my mind when I wrote it. 'Hogchute' will be a fan favorite, especially for the people who grew up in the Monticello area and went over the bridge on their country cruising route."
Said Olson: "Our last album was recorded in the spring of 2011, and almost immediately we started working on new songs. Some others came along a little later. They mostly existed as ideas until this summer when we started putting them together and working towards recording."
For those who have yet to listen to Neoga Blacksmith, Wade encourages everyone to check out neogablacksmith.com , where a preview of the new album is up in addition to other albums and more information on the group. To interact with the band, Olson said fans can like the group's Facebook page  and follow it on Twitter  as well.
"But the best way to get the full experience is to come see us live," Olson said.
If you go
Who: Neoga Blacksmith (with Tractor Kings)
When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6
Where: Memphis on Main, 55 E. Main St., C
Cost: $5 cover