Black Cat Bone has always been a flexible project when it comes to who is actually in the band at any specific time.
I always wrote the songs simply, and tried to put my passion and energy into making something honest. When I had friends to help out with the music, it was something I really appreciated immensely. I really enjoy the collaborative process of creation. I valued what my friends contributed, and what I could learn from working with them.
When I perform solo, I feel confident in knowing that I have a repertoire of songs to keep myself grounded as I experiment with timing and rhythm. Sometimes I improvise a series of mini-songs during my live shows, rather than “stage talk” between songs. Being a One Man Band is strangely liberating in that you are absolutely free, even to the point of simply playing in a stream of consciousness manner; whatever my fingers and day-dreamy mind manage to assemble is what I am gonna play.
After getting back to my roots by recording an album as a one man band and playing several solo shows this summer, I have started working with a new drummer in anticipation of the next few shows lined up for this fall. 2 Shows in Grand Rapids MI, and one in Bay City, MI will have Black Cat Bone playing as a 2 man band. We are currently working on getting our set list rehearsed, and shooting some B-roll footage for mixing into videos for our Youtube channel. We are working on a couple new songs and contemplating shooting a revised mini-documentary EPK in the same vein as the 2017 video currently posted on our sites.
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!