I had the chance to see Catl and Jimmy Jazz, Guelph, on June 2nd, and am I ever glad I did. Their Bandcamp page describes them as “…a dirty, stripped down, juke-joint blues band that likes to drink, fight, and grind.” but that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this trio from Toronto. Here’s a studio/official sample, which is still great, but doesn’t quite paint the whole picture of what this band does, and does well.
Catl is driven by the consistent pounding of Andrew Moszynski on drums that are loose sounding in style but driving in perfect rhythm. It’s almost as if the drums are being played in the bottom of a deep canyon, echoing all the way to your ears. The other members of the band, the guitarist, named catl (according their CBC Music page) and organ/percussionist Sarah Kirkpatrick share not only vocals but also engage the crowd in a way most bands can’t. Vocally they share their parts, either working together in harmony or trading off lyrics in what can only be described as a beautifully controlled wail. Catl, the guitarist, not the band, gets right into the deep groove of the drums, rocking in his chair so hard he almost falls out of it, only stopping to look at the audience when he has a lyric or slide guitar part he really wants you to pay attention to. His guitar sound is muddy and deep which adds an integrity to their Delta/Dirty/Dancing Blues style. There is no Bass player in the band but the sound of the Organ, Maracas, Tambourine playing Kirkpatrick, with her well timed audience engagement, doesn’t give you a chance to miss it. At times her stage personality is as big as her hair, or her heels, joining the crowd on the dance floor whenever she has a chance to.
I like my blues when they’re a little loose or underproduced and I want to feel attached somehow. Catl‘s live sound makes me believe, that deep down, they really do have the blues, and so do I. I’ve just never had as much fun realizing it before. Don’t miss them if they come to a local watering hole near you.
Catl are touring all throughout southern Ontario July & August 2012.