|13 Tracks, 13 Cats
Raucous Records, RAUCD141
First released on JVC/Victor (Japan) in 2002, this album was only available as import, and quite expensive. That don't mean no one heared it before, because all 13 tracks spread like wildfire accross the internet in no time at all. I guess you can't stop progress, MP3 is here to stay. Most rockabilly artists I know don't really mind that, just don't share your Michael Jackson collection or you might get sued. As if he doesn't have enough already...
13 Cats is an all star neo-rockabilly band consisting of Slim Jim Phantom (Straycats), Tim Polecat (Polecats), Danny B. Harvey (Rockats) and Smutty Smith (Rockats). The album contains all the studio recordings the band made over the past four years, except the three on "In The Beginning".
Slim Jim is known the world over as the drummer for the Stray Cats, a band he started in 1980 along with Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker. When the Stray Cats broke up in 1984 Lee and Jim released two albums along with Earl Slick under the name "Phantom, Rocker And Slick". The Stray Cats reformed in 1989 and finally broke up for good in 1995. In recent years Jim has played and toured with many acts including Tom Jones and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Long before playing stand-up bass for the 13 Cats, Smutty Smith, along with Levi Dexter, started The Rockats while they were still just kids living in England. When Levi parted company with The Rockats in 1980 Smutty stayed in America and continued with The Rockats until their breakup in 1984. In recent years he also received fame as a member of The Havalinas a band he co-founded along with another former Rockat guitarist Tim Scott.
Levi Dexter and Danny B. Harvey started the Ripchords and arrived in London at the beginning of the new rockabilly revival. Levi had previously been in "Levi & The Rockats" who had a good reputation as being the first of the new rockabilly bands (3 years before the The Stray Cats and a year or two before The Polecats). Their first six months in London they played almost all their shows with The Polecats as the opening act and after the Polecats had a national hit in England The Meteors took over the opening slot. Danny left Levi after only a year and a half to join up in New York with his Levi's formal Band mates The Rockats.
Tim Worman was only 15 when The Polecats had their first hit record in England. The Polecats managed to hit the top thirty in England another time after that, a feat unmatched by any other rockabilly band to date, and also scored a top ten hit in America "Make A Circuit With Me". Some years ago Tim released his first solo album "Virtual Rockabilly" on Nervous Records and actually played his first and only solo gig with Danny playing guitar. In 1996 Danny and Tim recruited Smutty and Levi to play a one off gig in San Francisco. They had so much fun that upon returning to LA they contacted Slim Jim Phantom and The 13 Cats were born.
April 2003 the 13 Cats CD is finally available for an affordable price on Cleopatra (US) and Raucous (UK). The title is still "13 Tracks", even though they threw in 2 bonus tracks, so actually it's "15 Tracks" now.
13 Cats are:
Information by Raucous Records & Danny B. Harvey