PREVIEW: The Very Best of Fantastic Cat
Are you missing the supergroups of yesteryear? Do you need a break from the stress of political and environmental news? Well, you are in luck. A new supergroup has hit the music scene and although they describe themselves as a “stuporgroup” on their Instagram account, there is no catnapping allowed for them or us! The members of Fantastic Cat trade off writing, vocal, and instrumentation duties on this album, and if you caught them on CBS Saturday Morning (8/13/2022) in concert, you saw what I am talking about.
Who is this clowder of musical cats that occasionally dress as humans with cat masks? They are Mike Montali, Don DiLego, Anthony D’Amato, and Brian Dunne – forces in their own right (I looked them up – links below). This group of four singer-songwriters, instigated by Montali and DiLego, joined up to share songs and talent, and to take a break from their own careers to have some fun. I spoke with Montali (Hollis Brown Band), who told me that the goal of this group was to keep active between their other gigs, direct their energies, and craft some folk/rock/pop/alt music to “lighten the mood” of the populace. After two years of being cooped up, and the onslaught of politics and environmental disasters, it seems they hit on a niche we needed someone to fill.
The title, one that usually sums up past glories of a band, is more of their humor and describes their efforts to bring some of their very best material to the group for development and recording. The themes of the ten songs revolve around friendship (“Amigo”), relationships (“Fiona”, “Wild and Free”), personal inadequacies (“The Gig”), and some plain old humor (“C’mon Armageddon”). You can find the release on their website.
The album is rounded out with the following additional musicians:
Michael Hesslein – piano and keys
Tyler Rigdon – piano and wurly
Randy Schrager – drums on “New Years Day”, “Nobody’s Coming To Get You”, “Amigo”, “Lakewood”
Andrew Zehnal – drums on “Fiona”
Also on their website is the Newslitter and videos for five of their songs. Others, such as “Lakewood”, are available on YouTube. I recommend watching this one, as it highlights their tight harmonies and illustrates why they really are super.
So, if you are in need of some new music and a little fun, look into adopting a new pet. Fantastic Cat is available.