KAT & CO introduce their audience to an expressive musical style… reminiscent of the Blues tradition — for example, they employ cigar box guitar, washboard, shakers etc — but they also focus on the gradual transition of the blues by developing something that is far more sophisticated and is, very obviously, ‘night-club ready.’
Their songs exude class and they commonly focus on metropolitan life. Using contemporary beats and modern production techniques they create a sound that they can safely claim is rare and distinct.
We saw Kat & Co [Kathleen Pearson on lead vocals and assorted percussion, Francesco Accurso on guitar, Federico Parodi on the keys, Nick Owsianka on drums and Marco Marzola on bass] at our local live music venue — the wonderful Riverside Club in Staines.
“How ya doing Riverside?” Yelled the blues singer Kat, in her drawl. She comes from a long line of Gospel singers, Blues hummers and Soul vocalisers and her fine pedigree shows. She mews, squeaks, howls and purrs in all the right places. A consummate performer, she commanded the stage in Staines. She is incredibly omniscient. In fact, at regular intervals, she stepped away from the others, so that the audience could focus on the detail and the realization of her band, who played with extraordinary skill and exciting emotion.
Songs included a couple of covers, but most were original numbers from the first album “I Kat the Blues – Kat & Co” including the track recorded with Mud Morganfield (the eldest son of Muddy Waters ) and titled “Paying My Dues.”
The male vocals were provided by Francesco. This song was crawling with organ notes, filled with shards of guitar and, of course, the smoke and husky passion of Kat on lead vocals. The guitar-work on this number, and others in their repertoire, was elegant and highly strung. It reminded us of Santana.
The band also played some fresh numbers from their forthcoming album, details yet to be announced.
One of our favourite songs was “Your Own Sweet Way” which had comfortable folds of synth and slowly stepping drums. The buttery-smooth guitar enveloped Kat’s raspy and slightly fragile voice — reminding us of Macy Gray. Well, that is, until she reached those dramatic highs.Then the theatricality and power reminded us of Tina Turner.
What a real pleasure this show in Staines was!
The second part of the show (after the raffle) was slightly superior, more gutsy and rootsy. The musicians loosened up, and the passion seemed authentic.
If you like extremely high quality & ultra-shiny blue / jazz acts then I strongly recommend that you catch Kat & Co when they are playing at a venue near you. They play the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in May and the Ealing Blues Festival in July plus regular dates throughout the year. Check their site for details.
Once again we must thank the people at the Riverside Club Staines for hosting such a high-caliber, highly visual and absolutely unforgettable evening.
Words & Photos: @neilmach 2016 ©