Ass Shakers & Heartbreakers is the first song written in 2020. It comes from an improv jam at the Old Dog Tavern that we performed as our soundcheck on January 25th 2020. The words are essentially my mantra, my idea of what the musical philosophy of Black Cat Bone should be. That there are only really 2 kinds of songs. If you can’t make them dance, you better make them cry! It’s really the reason I ever picked up a guitar in the first place. I am looking forwrd to recording this one with the band soon.
Facebook live video from Bemo’s Bar in Bay City MI. Black Cat Bone dida one man band set opening for Ernie CLark & the Magnificent Bastards and The Hellbound Drifters . Scott played on an amp borrowed from Ernie Clark, and used the house drum set.
In 2015 I was in Clarksdale, Mississippi with my wife (and Black Cat Bone’s original drummer) Jewly. I showed her the infamous crossroads (Highway 61 & Highway 49) where many people believe Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for musical prowess.
I also took her to see Ground Zero (the club owned by Morgan Freeman), but since it was closed we took a tour of the Delta Blues Museum. That is where we met Josh “Razorblade” Stewart.
He was really friendly and talkative. I could tell that he saw himself as an ambassador of the blues, making sure to let every soul he encountered his story. He was a Vietnam Vet, a former cop (I think he said he was the 1st black cop in Clarksdale), a truck driver, and of course a bluesman that has experienced a lifetime of struggle and sorrow during the relentless pursuit of happiness.
The video of Razorblade I posted above is one I found while deep in the Youtube rabbithole looking for stuff about the crossroads and Robert Johnson meeting the devil. I have seen another video or two of pretty much this exact conversation, and is pretty much the same conversation we had with him back in 2015.
In his ad-hoc role as Clarksdale’s Ambassador to the Blues, whenever he meets a new person he always gives a rundown on his theory that a man reaches a “crossroads” at 3 specific stages in his life. This is illustrated by a drawing of a Dollar Sign Snake to show the 3 crossroads.
The first crossroad a man comes to is in his 20’s as he becomes his own man, and has to decide what kind of man he will become. 2nd in his 40’s as he develops a stronger understanding of his own life, and his role in this world. Finally the 3rd crossroads in his 60’s as a man turns towards more important matters in his remaining years.
Unfortunately Razorblade has since passed away, but his lesson about the 3 Crossroads in a Man’s Life has stuck with us. RIP Razorblade!
We are on most of those sites under the moniker “Black Cat Bone 616”, using the Grand Rapids area code to separate us from the other artists out there using the name Black Cat Bone. There’s at least one in every country…. The oldest seems to be from the 70’s in Canada, the current big deal is out of the UK… but the best Black Cat Bone is from the heart of the Rust Belt…. dirty ol’ Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA!
We have added our 2013 recording by Micheal Cook to our Bandcamp page for listening and downloading. Variously titled “Mercurial” or “the Micheal Cook Sessions” the album has been posted with the “Mid-West Coast Blues” artwork by former band mate Matt Popovich-Judge (bass, guitar). Judge also designed our cat head logo, carved into a lino-block that he stamped out prints from.
The lineup back then was Scott Warren on vox/guitar/percussion, Chris Van Hoven on harmonica, Matt Popovich-Judge on bass (guitar in live shows), and Sarah Popvich-Judge on percussion. Jewly Warren also played percussion in the live shows.Mark Van Hoven played bass in live shows While many of these songs have made it onto “Jealous is Poison” in 2017, it is an interesting recording in that we were a much more stripped down band in 2013,…. our percussion on the album in 2013 was limited to a shallow plywood box holding a handful of antique silverware and a cajon. Both were simply 4/4 beats to emulate the” bottles and cans rattling on the porch” sound we were trying to harness with our front porch blues. Sarah Popovich-Judge was simply tagging along at the recording session when we drafted her into our band as percussionist. She literally had no band experience…. but we told her “sit on that box and count to 4…. when Scott plays, you play;when Scott stops, you stop”
We did a dry run of a verse and chorus thru each song, then hit record. Every track was captured in one or two takes. We ended up doing 3 or 4 sessions, since about half way through Mike discovered a better recording set up to fit our sound, and wanted to get everything we had recorded in the new arrangement.
The end result was a success; Raw and imperfect. Honest and simple. Dirty and beautiful.
Black Cat Bone has just released our new recording on Bandcamp for immediate streaming and download. CD’s are in the plans for the near future.
Jealous Is Poison was recorded live at a local screen print shop, Bad Mojo Design, in Grand Rapids, MI.
The album consists of 9 tracks. The album was recorded by our drummer David Schofield. Every track was captured in less than 3 takes to maintain the intregity of Black Cat Bone’s rough cut style, with minimal overdubbing, and minor post-production editing to clean up the tracks