Advertisements

Tag Archive: Joe Cat


I headed for Chattanooga two weeks ago Monday. I stopped over in Memphis and drove on in to Chattanooga on Tuesday. I played at Tremont Tavern Tuesday night. Then Wednesday night at Abbott’s Bar and Grill in Atlanta. I had a show on Thursday at Akademia Brewing Company with my friend, Joe Cat. So I was playing open mics on my way down. Hopefully setting up future shows.

Open mics are pretty much the same any where you go. The host is usually a popular member of the local music community. In the case of the Tremont Tavern, the host is Mike McDade. He’s pretty much a staple of the local scene.

I intended to get there when the list went out at 7 p.m., but I screwed up on the time change. Yeah, I know, but I did. When I got there, some of the local performers had already signed up. I added my name to the list, not all that concerned about the time. Check out was at 11 a.m. and I only had a two hour drive to Atlanta.

I got a beer at the bar and found a place to stand to watch the show and be out of the way. I missed Mike playing to open the show. But I only missed one or two on the list. I don’t know if it started on time or not.

There was the usual assortment of people playing the open mic. From those who don’t really have a lot of talent, but have friends who will show up and make noise to those who actually have a little talent and are working to get better. Needless to say, the latter had the most talent. Then there are those who think they are significantly better than they actually are. Yet they still need support, so I clapped too – but not too hard.

With the exception of those who showed up late because they only wanted to play for their own little group anyway, most of the performers stayed to hear other performers. Of course, two or three people played their set and left. Which is pretty standard for open mics.

I opened the out door for a guy coming in with a bag and a guitar case. His wife, I assume, followed him. He said hello to Mike, who told him he was next. Either the guy had showed up early to sign up and leave – which I doubt, or he had Mike put him on the list. Either way, he almost overshot his starting time.

He pulled his guitar out of its case. Then he opened the big black case he had. He pulled out three dulcimers. Then he pulled a stand out of the bag.  The third case – a bit smaller – held his pedal board, with looper. In the time it took him to get everything on stage and get it set up, someone else could have played. On the final of his three songs, he played all four instruments, two of them more than once, setting the loops up, and playing the one song – which took somewhere around six minutes. I understand that he had a show there that Friday and wanted to advertise. But all of that for three songs?

The girl pictured above was a regular who had a new song to try out. She was one of the performers who stood out from the rest. She was one of those people who make open mics interesting. As was another young man who played his songs in a practiced manner. He was playing a couple of places around town.

I played after the two people who followed the dulcimer player. I woke the place up to a degree with three songs from my Hello Out There cd in rapid fire delivery. After waiting to play – and having driven a good part of the day – I was fairly pumped. The crowd certainly seemed to enjoy my songs.

After a few more acts, I headed for the hotel. Next morning, I headed for Atlanta…

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Advertisements

Dan Roark

The Poor David’s Pub open mic on Monday, October 23 was one of those magical musical nights when you should have been there.

Guest host, Dan Roark, welcomed everyone at 7:30. He played his set of upbeat tunes and the songwriting talent never slowed down. John Mason followed the host. His set, played on his newly acquired Taylor guitar, included the title song from his upcoming cd, Branches and Leaves.

John Mason

Harry Hewlett took the stage next with his west Texas country, including a song about the effects of drinking Everclear. Called, oddly enough, Everclear. Cat McGee, with her hypnotic voice, followed Harry with her music consisting of stories she tells so well through song.

Laurelle and 3ple were the first featured act. They began the Make It Change tour in New York and the two musical friends are traveling across the country to California and back. Based on the saying that you can do nothing or you can make it change. The two are doing what they can as they play in various cities. With tracks on computer, and 3ple  on guitar, Lourelle sings her soulful music with a positive spin. They played a delightful set of inspiring, toe-tapping, heart filling music.

3ple and Laurelle

Keith Crow played his homespun songs for the audience, which included members of his family. Tracy Allen followed with a set of nice cover songs. Monk played his introspective, stories and lessons from life, songs that leave you with no doubt about how he felt at the time. His set included What’d I Say and My Mom. Rob Case followed Monk and played songs from Last Call in Texas, such as Bayou City.

Joe Cat was the second featured artist. Joe hails from Athens, Georgia, where he works the first half of the month and tours the last half. He writes songs of the heartland and the working man. He just released his new cd, Preaching Drunk, which he is working on putting out in vinyl.

Joe Cat

On one of his previous visits to Poor David’s, Joe was caught up in the spirit of the occasion and said that the PDP open mic was the only one he played anymore. I published a post on the show and quoted him. “I have to be careful what I say in front of Dan,” he said last Monday, before he told the story. “A host of an open mic called me up and asked, “You don’t play open mics anymore.”” “I said, No, wait!” He went on to play a number of his earthy songs including two of my favorites, America’s Best and Silver Thread City. He played Red Hawk from Preachin’ Drunk, which includes Americas’s Best. Follow the link and check out his music.

Scott Thornton took the stage after Joe Cat. Scott played his music that seems to be stream of consciousness at times. His songs are spiritual observations of what is happening in the world. You certainly seem to be at peace listening to him.

Craig Langford closed out the evening with his country songs that take you to the places and times he sings about. With a distinct unique voice that adds to the effect. Check his music out for yourself.

In fact do yourself a favor and check everyone’s music out. And go out and support live music. More pictures will be on my Facebook music page.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart. Peace be with you.

Joe Catanese, Mr. Troll, Lynda Case

The featured artist at the Poor David’s Pub (PDP) Open Mic hosted by Mr. Troll on Monday, August 14th, was Joe Cat (Catanese). Joe comes by the open mic whenever he tours through Texas on a weekend.  In fact, it’s the only open mic he plays at any more because of the “vibe at Poor David’s.” And there is a good vibe at PDP.

It starts with the chairs that don’t all match. The listening atmosphere which was a hallmark of all three PDP locations. The pictures on the wall of the many performers who have graced PDP stages over the years. Not to mention Poor David his own self.

But, as with David, it’s the people that top off the vibe. There’s Samantha Sanders, her sister, Leslie, and Kevin Hale behind the bar – always with a smile and occasional joke. Mr. Troll, when he is not hosting the open mic on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, is everyone’s introduction to Poor David’s. Sitting at the table in the vestibule, he greets everyone with a smile and hearty hello as he takes money or checks the list. Other than that, he is, as he says, doer of things at Poor David’s.

Last, but definitely not least, there’s Carlos Sanchez running sound. As architect of the sound system, he sits behind the sound board – when not darting to the stage to make adjustments – as grand master of sound. And at the open mic, for a nominal fee he will record your set. Which is more than worth it. If you’re on stage for your set, if you need any adjustments, just ask Carlos. More likely than not, you’ll hear him holler out, “I got it!”

Then there are the “usual suspects” at the open mic. All uniquely individual characters in a bowl of musical soup. Roy Howell, the philosophical cynic. Rob Case, with his disdain for Houston in his song Bayou City. Along with his “minions,” consisting mainly of  talented family and friends. John Mason, myself, Darren Rozell, and Scott Thornton are others.

Come on down, get on the list, and play. Or come and listen. We will talk to you, thank you from the stage, and make you welcome. We love listeners. But most of all, enjoy the vibe.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Mr. Troll

Mr. Troll

The Poor David’s Pub open mic on January 16 was one of those nights when the open mic is a mutual admiration society. Fortunately, for venue owners and hosts, they do not happen all that often. But on occasion, only a few songwriters show up. Granted, it was Martin Luther King, Jr. day. But a few of us figured that playing the open mic was a good way to celebrate the day. We played a few songs that MLK Jr. would have appreciated.

But the point is we sang our asses off. It was the best show you never saw. Even Troll muscled through his set admirably well – despite coming off of a case of strep throat. Cat McGee came across stronger and more confident than I’ve seen her – and I’ve seen her a good number of times. Her voice was in powerful form. Songs such as Sleeper Awake and Suspect. But the one MLK Jr. would have appreciated is City of Steeples.

Darren Rozell followed with his original country songs, with a little blues thrown in. I took the stage after

Cat McGee

Cat McGee

Darren and played a good solid set myself, which included Peace Be With You, my song that includes MLK, Jr. Kathleen Farris, a newcomer who hadn’t expected to play, played a few of her songs. Then Joe Cat showed up after his gig at Opening Bell. I wasn’t able to stay for his full set, so it’s a good thing he played my favorite song of his first – Silver Thread City.

It was a solid night of good music. And you missed it. As I have said previously, I am writing about the Poor David’s Pub open mic specifically, but also about open mics in general. This one wasn’t the only one you missed. To paraphrase Droo D’Anna, one of many open mic hosts, about  the Wednesday night open mic at Tutta’s Pizza:

“If you’re not coming out to our [insert day] open mic at [insert venue], you need to seriously reconsider your life…all the fun is being had here.”

Keep supporting live music.

Keep writing songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Joe Cat

Joe Cat

And on we go… The September 19th and 26th editions of the Poor David’s Pub Open Mic demonstrated what you are missing. That is, if you enjoy hearing good music. And it’s just one open mic of over 165 each month. That includes the Dallas Songwriters Association events – just saying. In fact, I didn’t do my DSA spiel on the 19th because most of the several present were members.

The regulars alone are enough to bring you back to hear some more good music the next week. And as I usually make clear, this applies to a good number of open mics, if not most, or all, of them. Then there are the irregulars and the touring songwriters who happen to be traveling through the area. Not to mention the welcoming hosts, such as Mr. Troll at PDP.

In particular, the PDP open mic has a weekly featured artist. Joe Cat was the featured artist on Monday the 19th. Joe’s songs are songs of the land. Telling the stories of people and places he has seen on his travels around the country while touring. Songs such as Roads Never Traveled, Dark Texas Oil, and Heart Made of Clay. My particular favorite is Silver Thread City. On his cd, How Are You? Where Are You?, the song has piano without guitar. While it’s a very good version, I like the acoustic version with Joe on guitar better. You can decide for yourself. He posted the acoustic version on his Facebook page.

Allen Hurt was the featured artist the next week on the 26th. The title of his cd, Always

Allen Hurt

Allen Hurt

Country pretty much sums up his music. As do the songs Rambling Rita, She’s A Country Girl and Two Nights and A Heartache Later. With all the types of songs that are called country these days, it’s refreshing to hear “good ole” country music . Allen’s humor fills the time between songs on stage.

So if you’re wondering what to do tonight – on any night of the week, find an open mic and go play. Even better, if you’re a music lover, go listen. Speaking for the open mic community, we’d love to have you. Having someone to enjoy our music is at least half the fun. And you’ll always be welcome.

See you at an open mic.

Peace be with you.

%d bloggers like this: