News

Patrick Sweany @ Tip Top Deluxe, Grand Rapids MI 9/8/19

The good folks at Tip Top Deluxe have asked us back for another killer show! This time with Patrick Sweany on Sunday, September 8 2019

$ 10.00 / Age 21 And Up

Tickets:
https://www.ticketweb.com/event/patrick-sweany-tip-top-deluxe-bar-tickets/9732105?REFERRAL_ID=twfb

the 3 crossroads in a man’s life

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!

new song “I still didn’t find what I’m looking for”

I just posted a video of the newest song I have been working on. Lyrically it is inspired by Abraham Partridge and Ray Wylie Hubbard.

The guitar is inspired by Junior Kimbrough,

Thematically the song is inspired by a mixture of all those Jack Kerouac books I read when I was younger, drinking too damn much coffee for my own good, driving a Freightliner truck around the continental United States with nothing but my own thoughts to keep me company

The song is a hazy, Stoicist narrative that incisively cuts through the disillusionment of everyday life, but then looses focus as thoughts of that someone special keeps calling the heart back home.

New Album Release: the 4-track tapes

The new album “The 4-track Tapes” has been released on our Bandcamp account today, June 13th. 2019. The album is also available on our site, as well as Spotify and other streaming services.

Featuring 11 tracks captured with a Tascam 4 track digital recorder and a Behringer cardiod microphone. All tracks were exported to Cakewalk and mixed down with a minimal amount of production in an effort to maintain that “analog tape recorder” vibe present on old school cassete tape porta-studios.

Those analog tape recorders were cheaply made. They didn’t have anything visual to inform you of what you were recording, except a few LED indicator lights to keep you from clipping the sound while recording. Mixing down was a matter of running an RCA cable into another tape deck to record what your recorder played while you manipulated a few volume or tone knobs in real-time. You physically had to adjust the knobs to bring down the bass while you raised the guitar up for a solo, or smoothly turn all four volume knobs at the same time to achieve a full band fade at the end of the track.

The primitive design of the machines left plenty of room for mistakes. But that was kind of what made everything so fun. Those mistakes made for some pretty interesting sounds.

“The 4-Treack Tapes” invokes the spirit of when I first started to learn open tunings and using the bottleneck slide. I was sitting in my tiny apartment with a broken Tascam tape recorder that I dug out of the trash and repaired. I started layering tracks to see what combinations of guitar riffs I could throw together to make sense of that brass slide bottle. Eventually I found my true voice on the guitar, and figured out how to write songs in the process. That crappy tape recorder was what allowed me to transition from just a guitar player to an actual songwriter.

Before I started Black Cat Bone, I had nobody to help me make the kind of music I make today. The 4-track tape recorder was my band.

A few years later I started the band with my wife Jewly, on cajon and djembe, using the material I created on that old 4-track Tascam as the starting point of what this band would eventually evolve into. The band I wanted had finally become a reality, transitioning from the tape deck to the stage (at Mulligan’s!). She was the first of a dozen friends/band members to come over the years. That is why I released this album today, June 13th, our anniversary.

Currently, Black Cat Bone is operating as a one man band. Our work schedules weren’t lining up, and I was ready to take a step back from the routine we had been maintaining as a band for the last few years. So while I figure things out, I decided to just focus on writing new songs, and playing shows whenever the mood hits me. I am just taking the time to enjoy going back to the woodshed and getting ready for whatever the next step in the evolution of Black Cat Bone brings my way. I hope you enjoy the new music.

-Scott/Black Cat Bone

D.I.Y. recording of 3rd album in progress

Way back in 2002 I was freshly divorced, sitting at my kitchen table with a piece of shit guitar that could barely stay in tune. I figured out that i could drop tune it to open G and make some sweet sounds that made me reconsider throwing that guitar in the trash. So I bought a broken Tascam 4 track tape recorder and repaired it. I bought a microphone and a brass slide bottle. I bought some cheap beer. I put it all together and recorded a low-fi demo of the results. It was primitive, and crude. It was perfect!

16 years later, I find myself at another proverbial crossroads. So I go back to the beginning and break out the digital recorder, a microphone, and some beer. 3 Sessions in and I have 7 tracks that I feel have some promise to them. Simple and primitive and pure. Another session or two and I will mix it all down quickly and upload to Spotify, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud. The goal is to be ready for the airwaves in the summer of 2019.

Stay tuned for details….

Scott/Black Cat Bone

Ernie Clark & the Magnificent Bastards, Black CAt Bone, the Hellbound Drifters 2 shows

Ernie Clark & The Magnificent Bastards asked us to do a pair of shows with them and The Hellbound Drifters this spring…. and since we particularly like LOUD and TWANGY guitars, funky ass bass lines, and hard liquor flowing as fast as the mighty Grand River, we couldn’t resist!

The first date is 4/27/2019 at WHITE’s BAR in Saginaw. White’s is where anybody and everybody worth a damn plays in that neck of the woods. The second date is 5/04/2019 at MULLIGAN’s PUB in Grand Rapids. Mullie’s is THE premiere dive bar to catch a wide variety of heavy rock, punk, indie, and roots music in Grand Rapids, MI.

working on new material for 2019

2018 was a rough year for us. We ran through 3 different drummers. Each one learned just enough material to get us through the next few gigs, which at the moment was what we needed. While we were struggling to keep up with our shows, we never really got back into our songwriting mindset.

Now that we have finally found a long-term match in our most recent band member, Federico Jones, we are starting to focus on writing new material again. We are planning on recording in the next few weeks. We’ve been focused on writing songs in Open D tuning and probably have enough material to record. Below are 2 videos from our last practice session featuring a few of those songs. They’re still a little rough around the edges, but we’ll get that worked out soon enough