Cat Meat is led by a trio of multi-instrumentalists: Phil Rogers, Ian Olney, and Barney Bodoano out of London. Amy Butterworth and Ben Dean are, respectively, frequent contributors on violin and piano. Their music is a sweet concoction of alt. country, blues, and Americana–it’s always weird to write that about a band from the UK, but this act knocks it out of the park.
Phil, Ian and Barney cite a number of influences that include alternative mainstays Wilco, Sparklehorse and Califone; the classic psychedelic experimenalist, Captain Beefheart; and the legendary bluesmen Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Willie McTell. When you listen, they’re all there in subtle drips, drabs and dollops.
Each year, a Friday Free Feature or two make our “Best of” list. This album leapt out at me from the start (and that was only yesterday), and it’s played all day today. It’s gritty at times, mellifluous at others, and very entertaining. Without going through our typical review process–it’s a definite keeper for the year. Go get it while you can.