The Boston Blues News
The Magazine of the Boston Blues Society
Volume XIII / No. 4 / July – August 2003
The Wildcats were recently chosen as winners of Blues/Roots category in Worcester’s Best 2003 Music poll! Over 3000 people voted in this year’s Wormtown Sound Awards contest. Awards were presented on May 4 at the Lucky Dog Music Hall as part of the Wormtown 25th Anniversary Celebration Weekend. Check out the Wildcats review of their latest disc, By the Light of Day, in this issue of BBS news. You can pick up your copy of the disc at www.wildcatblues.com. You can see the Wildcats July 5th at the BBS Boston Blues Challenge at Harpers Ferry in Allston!
Recording Notes: CD Reviews by Art Tipaldi
The Wildcats, By the Light of Day
There’s a lot to like about the Wildcats, a Central Massachusetts-based blues band. The powerful horns that augment the standard guitar-and-keyboard blues lineup dress up this band’s music in chic Saturday-night finery. For the opening track, “Show Me,” Boston horn ace Scott Shelter has charted a tight horn arrangement as the perfect match for Wildcats singer Fay Adams’ upbeat vocals. Throw in Jeff Adams’ aggressive guitar solo, and you’ve got one helluva kickoff to By the Light of Day. On their debut recording for Black Rose, the Cats romp and stomp through 10 originals and three covers. Singer/guitarist Fay Adams penned eight of the originals, so there’s a very personal commitment to much of what she sings. Adams lives in the lyrics of songs like “Has the Whole World Gone Crazy” and the slow-blues burner “I’m Sorry.” Guitarist Jeff Adams shows plenty of range in his playing; he can crank it up for the high-octane leads on “King Bee,” and then shift gears to some delicate fingerpicking on his “Land That Time Forgot.” The band does a nice jump-blues workout on the classic “It Ain’t the Meat, It’s the Motion,” which showcases Fay’s elastic voice. They also hit a synergistic groove with Shelton’s vintage R&B arrangement on “Till the Well Runs Dry.” When the band wanders from the blues, they dig into the CSN’s rocker, “Long Time Gone.” Too often, a regional band like this finds themselves rushing into recording and releasing an album marred by mistakes. Thankfully, the Wildcats have taken their time, tapped the right people, and worked out the details – and they got it right.