On Friday August 5th, indie folk group Jack Klatt and The Cat Swingers joined IPR students and staff for Adam Levy’s first DIY-360 of the early fall quarter. After their performance of the powerful, heart-pumping song “Ruckus on Wall Street”, which can be found on the band’s self titled album, members Jack Klatt (vocals/guitar), Patrick Harrison (button accordion/washboard) and Sabyre Rae (ukulele/backup vocals) shared how they met, where their musical influences come from, and how to make your very own washboard. (Other members include Josh Granowski (upright bass) and Jason Marks (trumpet), who were both unable to attend).
With the intention of capturing true human emotion in their music, each member found their niche in this industry playing solo or as part of the Cat Swingers. Through networking, shows, and mutual friends, Klatt, Harrison and Rae found their passion as a common interest that ultimately lead to the formation of Jack Klatt and The Cat Swingers.
When asked about their musical influences, Klatt admit that he’s stuck in the past; he doesn’t listen to today’s music. Klatt continued, “I sing the way I do because I feel that we as a society missed something along the way, musically.” Following Klatt’s comment, Harrison and Rae both made the argument that the type of music they play should not be considered “old” because it’s still a living tradition.
According to the group, people all over the country are playing this type of music today; finding people who play this style is not as hard as it used to be.
An important highlight from this week’s DIY was Patrick Harrison’s skillful approach to the washboard; it was one of the most exciting moments of the event. When asked about it, Harrison explained that he first found love for the washboard while he was living in New Orleans (which describes why he rests the washboard on his lap, instead of holding it on his side). He continued by sharing, “Everyone’s style of playing is different; there is no right or wrong way to play this.” According to Harrison, anyone wanting to learn the washboard can make their own with supplies from their local Home Depot.
Jack Klatt and The Cat Swingers left students enlightened and educated by presenting a new take on a music rooted in a style often considered “old”.
For months, Jack Klatt and The Cat Swingers have been busy playing concerts all over the country but are currently sticking around the Twin Cities to play some hometown shows. Make sure to check out Jack Klatt and The Cat Swingers live at the 331 Club Thursday, August 18th, and at Sound Town Friday, August 19th .