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 be transition from 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

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

Local Rigs episode featuring Scott and his arsenal

Local Rigs is a bad ass project that focuses on local musicians and the gear that they utilize in making their music.

Recently they had Scott come out and do an episode, which is shot at River City Studios in Grand Rapids, MI. Scott took 4 guitars and his trusty Marshal amp and spent an afternoon talking shop with the crew

1st new song of 2019

Heartache in my Songs, written Jan 3, 2019 on a Washburn HB15TS and a Marshall amp. Open D chord riff with minimal slide bottle work. Recorded on a shitty camera phone for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Video Archives (Not really. They can go fuck themselves)

Black Cat Bone on Spotify

We finally got our act together and released both albums for distribution on Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, Amazon, and Spotify and a whole boatload of other sites.

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!

bcb7

Mid-West Coast Blues”  from 2013, and “Jealous Is Poison” from 2017 have already available on our site, as well as Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Reverbnation for some time, but we felt that it was important to broaden our horizons. You can download music for free or at a name-your-own-price on those sites.