First cool review

Two  Rockin' shows on New Year's Eve in Northampton!! Basement was rockin' like never before!  And amazed that my "flame" shirt didn't actually ignite while playing Blues on the altar at St. John's Church!!! ...  also...check out this new review from" 


New England’s Blues Cat takes it to the people!


Wildcat O'Halloran Band Shutesbury Athletic Club

Friday December 21, 2012 

Review Submitted by Reader:  Karen Traub



I was lucky enough to catch the Wildcat O’halloran band just up the road at the Shutesbury Athletic Club pn  Friday 12/21/12.   (Check out some video of Wildcat in the attached video section, from an appearance at Snowzees in MA with special guest Ted Wirt.)


The band was smokin' hot and not just because they were playing  next to the woodstove. Wildcat is a seasoned professional with charismatic stage presence and insightful songwriting peppered by a wicked sense of humor. If you've lived in the Pioneer Valley long enough then you remember seeing the Wildcat at Sheehan's in Northampton or perhaps he served you breakfast in Sunderland at the Dove's Nest restaurant which he owned for 20 years.   Wildcat is a local legend whose playing is, was and always will be top notch. He has opened for just about every major blues artist to visit the area including Gregg Allman, John Lee Hooker, and Bo Diddley and the list goes on and on.  As a band leader he has a talent for bringing out the best in other musicians, sometimes surprisingly pulling them from the audience and occasionally even handing over his 1965 Fender Esquire guitar.

Wildcat chose the iconic Slumberland Stomp from his album Drinkin' with the Harp Girls to get people dancing from the first song and the crowd that was more Kennedy than Dead Kennedy generation continued through an amazing set including Bottled Bravery, Cross-eyed Cat, That's my Life, Every Night and Every Day, Born in Chicago, Ain't Superstitious, Crosscut  Saw, Come in My Kitchen and Suzy Q-in the first set. The collective mood in the room elevated with the cathartic blues melodies and deeply touching lyrics. 

Wildcat promised not to repeat any songs from his recent show at Wendell's Deja Brew and he delivered a generous cornucopia of originals and covers that would make old dead blues guys wish they had been born later so they could have added influences like Hendrix to their music.  

Complementing Wildcat's mastery on guitar is Devin Griffiths' who exudes a saintly joy that has earned him the nickname Brother Teresa, hardworking, far-driving Jim Campbell on drums is the band's heartbeat and Belchertown's Gene LaVoie is versatile and funky on bass.  Smooth and crisp from the first note, under Wildcat's direction the band plays like they’ve been together for years.  Guest musicians on Friday included Myron Becker, Emid LaClaire, John Mackenzie, John Lyman and Doug Smith.

 Wildcat proved his genius for musical alchemy when he hosted the recent fundraiser jam for Art Steele at the Harp in Amherst and he offers a very cool blues Jam on Sundays in Northampton at the City Sports Grille that attracts big name local musicians as well as rising stars. There is also a rumored tour of England in the Spring. It's no wonder the Wildcat O'Halloran Band was chosen as the 2012 Valley Advocate Band S

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