Workin’ Man by Cats on Holiday CD Release (2007)

2007 COH Recordings

Even if you don’t know them by name, if you are at least a casual follower of the local music scene, you know Cats on Holiday. Lead by a couple of guys whose musical resumes go back to the 70’s, the ‘Cats play well over 100 shows a year of mostly original material. They play regular gigs at places like the Parkview and the Savannah, have done some commercial work for the local media, and appear occasionally on Around Noon and the local morning TV shows. They have just released their third self produced CD “Workin’ Man” and it is a good one.

The heart of their “Cajun swamp pop” sound is the triple threat of Denis Devito’s song writing, the guitar playing of Rick Christyson, and the violin of Kristine Jares. Their live shows attract a loyal audience, and this CD is made up of new songs they have been playing out for awhile. Recorded at Magnetic North Studios and engineered by Chris Keffer, it is their most polished and professional sounding effort.

DeVito’s song writing is still sharp and witty, and his voice has never sounded better. Most songs feature lyrics by a child of the Seventies growing deep into middle age in our modern world. Songs like “Goodbye Girl,” Gotta Be Down,” and the title tune will strike a chord with most of us in northern Ohio. Amongst the covers are three songs the Cats have done live for a long time, Hank Sr.’s “Hey Good Looking” features a great fiddle solo by Jares, Doug Kenshaw’s “Louisiana Man” with vocals and handy guitar work by Christyson, and Jares adds lead vocals to her fiddle work on “Warm Me Up.”

“Workin’ Man” is an outstanding effort by one of the long time stall worth outfits on the Northern Ohio music scene.