Cats On Holiday Brings New Orleans To Lakewood
If you were at Lakewood Park the evening of Sunday, June 24 and got a chance to dance on the lawn to Cats on Holiday, you already know what “Swamp Rock” is all about. Start with standard rock instruments played perfectly by the likes of longtime Cleveland musicians, like “Cats” founder Denis Devito on acoustic guitar, Steve Hudock on bass, Kevin Price on drums, Jeffery Bowen on percussion, Denis’ son Dillon on bass, and guitar god Rick Christyson on electric guitar, and add some swampy spice. Denis is a master of the button box, with guest players stirring in an occasional fiddle and steel guitar to a zydeco beat. Now you have New Orleans on Lake Erie.
Cats on Holiday’s new record, “Holiday in a Box,” gives you a chance to take that experience home, with DeVito penned numbers like “You Never Think of Me” and “Flo’s Getaway,” complete with a Cat’s take on a couple covers, “Just One Kiss,” by Andrus Espree, zydeco classic “Co Fa,” by Keith Frank and “Ape Man” by a Mr. Raymond Douglas Davies. They slow down with the help of a violin to reflect in “Dirt Nap” (“Hope you know there ain’t no coming back”) which takes on topics like final acts of contrition and being measured for your casket, never less than happily, then turns the page to celebrate a N’awlins Christmas with “It’s Christmas Day,” getting some bounce from Greg Kudlady’s lap steel guitar, and never missing a beat of the swamp vibe. Cool CD cover art by Wally Gunn.