this cat has 9 lives

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.

-scott/black cat bone

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

Nov 17 2018 with Ernie Clark & the Magnificent Bastards

We return to the stage with another show with our good friends Ernie Clark & the Magnificent Bastards. They put together a cool bill for Quinn & Tuite’s Irish Pub on November 17, 2018.

We really dig the bad ass rock n roll vibe these of Ernie Clark & The Magnificent Bastards.

Its classic old school American rock distilled to its bare elements, with a smooth-as-cheap-whisky country finish. The perfect music to drive to…. or fix your broke ass truck to….  as the case may be.

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Left Lane Cruiser, Black Cat Bone, and the Tube Socks Oct 27 2018

Black Cat Bone returns to our home bar, Tip Top Deluxe with a newly booked show featuring Left Lane Cruiser (Fort Wayne IN) and the Tube Socks (Grand Rapids MI). on October 27th 2018

Join us for a night of wildly over-driven guitars, explosive drums, and cheap booze!

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Justin Howl wsg Black Cat Bone @ Rocky’s in Grand Rapids MI

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Justin Howl (Chicago, Illinois) is coming to Grand Rapids, MI on Saturday October 20, 2018.

He will be playing at Rocky’s Bar & Grill with Black Cat Bone opening the show.  This is his 2nd show in Grand Rapids on that weekend. His first show will be at Mulligan’s Pub with Freight Train Rabbit Killer (Kansas City, MO), Grand Rapids musician  Dead Eye Zack

Justin Howl is an accomplished singer and acoustic guitarist well versed in blues and deep american roots styles. He tours the US, bringing his own unique style of roots music to the people , building up a sizeable fanbase in his wake as goes

 

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!

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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.

 

Hymn For Her w/Black Cat Bone at Tip Top Deluxe 9/19/2018

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Black Cat Bone is back at the Tip Top Deluxe with an opening slot for HYMN FOR HER!!!

Hymn for Her have been busy touring across the country and abroad over the past few years, injecting juiced-up backwoods country blues with a dose of desert rock psychedelia that has been described in such ways as, “Hell’s Angels meets the Amish.”, “Opening up Pandoras box and out jumps two hillbillies with electronics that blow your mind.”

Stay tuned for a new release recorded with Vance Powell due out in the fall of 2018.

Returning to the States after a 3 month UK/Euro tour the past two summers playing festivals (including Glastonbury, etc…) and many shows, they immediately hit the road for fall & winter to promote their 4th US release, “Drive Til U Die” recorded partially in their vintage Bambi Airstream and partially in studios with renowned engineers/producers. (Vance Powell, Mitch Easter & Jim Diamond)

For their 3rd release, “Hymn for Her Presents . . . Lucy and Wayne’s Smokin Flames”, the twosome kicked it into high gear. They traveled to Ghetto Recorders/Detroit to work with Jim Diamond. They recorded live & mixed 12 original songs in just one week.
The duo certainly covers a lot of musical territory in Smokin Flames. Their wild-eyed mash-up of country, blues and punk led U.K. music critic Steve Bennett to call H4H’s sound “a riotous, rocking roadkill stew,” while others have referenced such diverse bands as Captain Beefheart, Primus, X, R.L. Burnside, JS Blues Explosion and the Ramones.

They recorded their 2nd album, “Hymn for Her Presents . . . Lucy and Wayne and the Amairican Stream”, in their vintage 1961 Bambi Airstream trailer at locations stretching from Philadelphia to Malibu on a three-month tour.

Their first release, “Year of the Golden Pig” is a bare bones acoustic album recorded in a cabin on a cove on an island off the rocky coast of Maine. It captures the stark barren winter with haunting melodies and yearning lyrics.

Impressively, the two create their “ripsaw sounds” (Los Angeles Times’ Randy Lewis) with only a few instruments. Wayne (with the devilish voice), mainly playing the kick-drum, high-hat, acoustic guitar and harp, serves as the group’s rhythmic driving force. Lucy (of the fallen-angel voice) delivers a gritty squall on her “Lowebow” — a custom-made cigar-box guitar: “The Riff Monster.”

Catch this duo as they burn down the highway and tear up your town like a Wichita twister.