a little intro video of Black Cat Bone in 2020 and beyond

It has been a few years since we created our mini documentary about Black Cat Bone, and even though the spirit of the band remains, none of the musicians from back then are in the band in 2020. So I put together a new intro video about what we have going on musically these days.

While we are on a break dealing with work and life in the times of COVID-19, some songwriting has been happening, as well as gathering some material for future videos and recording in 2020. Until then, stay safe!

Sixty Watt 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

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.

 

Farmer John videos posted

Friday July 28 2017 Black Cat Bone played at the Tip Top Deluxe in Grand Rapids MI, taking the middle slot between Elroy Meltzer and Left Lane Cruiser.

We ran into Farmer John who helps out with a lot of the shows at the Tip Top Deluxe. Farmer John is also the founder of the Cowpie Music Festival in Alaska, Michigan. They host some of the best live music to be found around yonder parts and are something you should check out.

He asked us to do a short interview, which he then posted on his Facebook account. Farmer John also captured our first song in the set in a separate video.