Plugging the Rockabilly Love Cats

With Monster Mash 2013 a week away, the Rockabilly Love Cats deserve a plug.  The combination of Ivan, Lucas, and Rob is a family affair of sorts.  Ivan and Rob are father and son.  Lucas and Ivan are cousins -- 15 to 20 years apart.  I am not sure what that makes Rob and Lucas other than they are related and closer in age.

As the band name makes clear, the Rockabilly Love Cats play rockabilly music.  Like many of the early rockabilly performers, the band relies on percussive bass and guitar for its underlying rhythm and beat.  No drums required.  Lucas plays bass.  Rob handles the electric guitar duties on a Gretsch hollowbody -- the essence of rockabilly style.

Ivan sings and does duty on an acoustic electric.  As the frontman for the Rockabilly Love Cats, he is engaging and mischievous.  With a twinkle in his eye, Ivan will announce, “Good evening, we just flew in from Hollywood.”  Hollywood?  Get real.  Ivan, Lucas, and Rob are from Grass Valley.

Ivan also has the “look” -- that is, rockabilly style.  Flaired sideburns precisely cut at the bottom.  Neatly combed and pomaded pompadour.  Skinny tie and narrow lapeled jacket.  Black slacks.  Blue suede shoes.  An occasional snear.

Ivan’s look and personality define the band.  Rob and Lucas are the perfect sidemen.  Rob, who usually plays lead in the Sneaky Tikis, is a precise and creative picker on the big box Gretsch.  He moves easily up and down the guitar’s neck.  His licks and double stops compliment Ivan’s singing and also provide fills between verses.

Lucas -- rhythm guitar for the Sneaky Tikis -- is perfect for the Rockabilly Love Cats’ music.  He provides the bottom and keeps the bass line moving.  Rockabilly bass requires an active player.  Single notes do not work.  Walking lines do.  Lucas’ surf rhythm sense serves the Rockabilly Love Cats well -- percussive and substantial.

Rob’s and Lucas’ musicality provide the foundation for Ivan’s vocals.  His voice is perfect for songs made famous by Johnny Burnette, Gene Vincent, and Carl Perkins.  Ivan takes on Elvis Presley songs without the lower range found in much of the King’s work.  By doing that, Ivan makes those songs his own.  But traditional rockabilly underlies every song the band performs.

Despite Ivan’s large personality and style, the Rockabilly Love Cats are a work in progress.  Their line-up finally is settled.  Rob and Lucas just are beginning to work into their roles.  Ivan kept his love for performing contained for years.

Fortunately, the cork now is out of the bottle, and we are all better off for that.  Check out the Rockabilly Love Cats when they join the Sneaky Tikis and Pups for Monster Mash 2013!

We bet that you will glad you did.


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