Buddy Ramone & The Mats Meet The Cats

HOLY ROCKA ROLLA!!! Are we ever making a rock 'n' roll record!!!

Folks, this one is stuffed with high-octane original songs. Yep! I wrote 'em all. 

It's interesting how this one started coming together.

Last summer we were planning to film a mini-documentary of a road trip to the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. I'd been to the Surf Ballroom a couple of times (even played there in 2007!) and have driven through the area tons of times as I have relatives in Des Moines. I've often considered pulling off of I-35 to make a pilgrimage to the crash site of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, the Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) and pilot, Roger Peterson. We never made it.

Something in me has put it off to this day.

We were going to cap the documentary with a visit to the cornfield where the plane went down. Just film us experiencing it after a nice lil' tour of the Surf Ballroom. It was going to be a low-key thing. I knew the documentary would need music to provide the right tone, but since synch licenses are so expensive and a pain in the butt to acquire, I started writing songs in the style of Buddy, Richie and the Big Bopper for accompaniment. I didn't plan on them being anything more than soundtracks. Well, I entered some vibe and never left it. It's been with me through the whole writing and recording of this record. Then something very cool happened...the songs started pulling from other parts of my music loving soul. 

The Ramones. The Replacements. Stray Cats. 

They all shaped me. It's starting to show. It's taken on a life of its own. I let go of the reins and man am I ever enjoying the ride!

The Stray Cats opened the door to a whole new rock 'n' roll world for me. Before them it had been pretty much 70s AOR acts for my rock fix. I flipped when I first heard "Rock This Town" on my Bone Phone (an early 80s fad). My heart got a jolt and my rockabilly soul was ignited. I went out and bought "Built For Speed" the next day. "Little Miss Prissy" was my favorite track on that album. It was punky, greasy, raw and rockin'. The easiest one to play too. From there I jumped right into Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly, Sun Studio era Elvis and all of the rockabilly compilations I could get my hands on. I'd already been way into all kinds of classic 50s music through my dad's record collection. Music from that era had always made my soul feel right. But it started meaning more. A LOT more.

Then I heard my first Ramones song at a college party in 1984: "I Wanna Be Sedated." I ran around the beer-soaked parking lot asking party goers, "Who is this!?!?" Finally, an enlightened soul informed me it was the Ramones. They still rock my soul. I never got to see them live, but watching Youtube videos of them in their punk prime thrills me. Educates me. They knew how to rock with a fury. As far as I'm concerned they invented punk rock. They wrote great pop songs steeped in Americana as well.

Another legendary band that rocked just as raucously was the Replacements -- a fantastic post-punk Minneapolis band lovingly coined The Mats by their fans. You never knew what you were going to get from them in concert. (Or their albums.) I was fortunate to see them twice. At one show they were too drunk to perform. At the other, they throttled me. I sat in awe of their greatness, knowing I was witnessing one of the most special American bands. Ever.

"I Will Dare" off of their classic "Let It Be" album was the first song of theirs to grab me.You can hear a rockabilly spirit in it. My favorite album of theirs is "Pleased To Meet Me." It's funny, it's serious, it's sweet, it's bitter, it's rockin', it's laid back, it flips you off. It's the Replacements.

I guess what I love so much about Buddy Holly, The Ramones, the Mats and Stray Cats is that they all became legends by blending pure American music forms with their own unique energies. I get a similar rush from all of them, just with different vibes and flavors.

In no way am I saying this record will be anywhere in their league. They're legends. Giants. It's just that they inspire me to put my freak on with this band.
With this record.

I think you're gonna LOVE it.


james anderson July 04, 2016 @11:44 pm
saw your show at watertown july 3 i have been going to watertown for the july 4 shows for many years and your band was the best i have played music for many years and know dave well keep up the good music
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