Twangin', Sangin' & Bangin', The JumpKatz
JumpKatz, 2005

Windsor, Ontario's premier 3-piece roots rock'n'roll, rockabilly, blues, country and classic rock band - an irresistible blend of sound designed to get your feet (and other parts of your body) moving! No matter what the function - live music is best and the JumpKatz deliver Great Live Music. The Katz were formed in late 2002 by Frank Foxx, but the band truly gelled at the start of 2004 when the present line-up was finalized. Ojo brought his old buddy Dave into the fold and, along with a name change, a new surge of energy was realized. Their sound is an amalgam of decades of incredibly diverse musical experiences which straddle genre upon genre and now - culminate, in the sound of the JumpKatz.

From 1980s, when he was a teenager, to the present, Frank Foxx has insisted on professionalism in any musical project he's been part of - whether it was the Toronto showband the Remnants, soul horn band the Sharp Set, innumerable party and wedding bands, and for over seven years, Toronto's renowned roots rock trio Highway Hepcats, which he formed in 1993. Accomplished as vocalist, guitarist - Frank can "read a room" - with literally hundreds of selections from a vast repertoire built over 25 years of pro-level playing.

Owen Jones has a rap sheet way too long to detail here. But Windsor's best roots/blues/jazz drummer has played with so many - Rebound, the Doctones, Southside Geno, da Spice Guys, Steppin' Out, etc. With an incredible ability to synthesize styles, play with restraint where necessary, rock out with unbridled glee - Ojo may be the most versatile drummer in southwestern Ontario - and he sings, too.

Dave Willick, equally comfortable on keyboards, trumpet and now bass with the Katz. He's seen it all, including stints with Blues Train, Overtime, Six Grand, Rainbow, with his own Willick Sisters who also performed in their own right, around Windsor and beyond, for years. A studied musician, professional in every respect, and he sings, too.

All 18 songs on this album were written by Frank Foxx and/or Dave Willick. All original American music, but not all rockabilly. As the Katz write themselves in their promotional flyer, they play a wide variety of roots music, ranging from blues to rockabilly to classic rock. Mixing in classic rock is often not appreciated by authentic rockabilly fans, but the JumpKatz make great music very profesionally. The opener "Jump Kat, Jump" is a great rockabilly song, with a bit of a Teddy Boy sound, due to the electric bass, somewhat in the "Carl Perkins in the 60s" style. "Jump & Shout Some More" continues rockin' in the vintage 50s style. Great guitar breaks, Frank Foxx can really wiz his strings. And there's more great rock 'n' roll on this album, like "Hi-Tech Tin Can" and the Elvis style "Old Dog".

There's also a bit of country music (in the widest sense of the word) to be found, "Wrong, Wrong, Wrong", "Basket Case" (fabulous lyrics) and "Get Lost, Good Riddance". A bit of latter day blues on "Tomcat Blues" and some mid 60s style songs that are not really my cup-of-tea, but they are still great songs; "It's A Blur", "Nobody's Fool" and "Dread".

If I had to pick a favorite from this album, it would be the fast and catchy stomper "Traffic Jam", which has a bit of a neo-sound and some classic rock guitar riffs mixed in. Great sound! Much to choose from on this album, there's something here for everyone. I guess The JumpKatz are aiming at a broad public, which is always difficult, coz whatever your style, you'll find songs that you love and songs that you will most likely skip.

The JumpKatz are:
Frank Foxx - Guitars, Piano, Vocals
Owen Jones - Drums, Vocals
Dave Willick - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals

Jump Kat, Jump / Jump & Shout Some More / School Daze / Hi-Tech Tin Can / Wrong, Wrong, Wrong / It's A Blur / Tomcat Blues / Basket Case / Get Lost, Good Riddance / Traffic Jam / Nobody's Fool / Baby, You're Crazy / Dread / Cry To Me / Old Dog / Beatle Stew / This Ain't Route 66 / The Way It Goes

Contact information:
13300Tecumseh Rd. E. #343
Tecumseh, Ontario
Canada N8N 4R8
Phone: +1 519 739 6370 

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2005