Cattie Ness and the Revenge
Visit the Cattie News Oct 1999

Tokyo Garden
Fresno CA
Sonny - Cattie - The Lion Queen - Dude Boy
April '97

Rockabilly musician does it all

By Don Mayhew 
The Fresno Bee
(Published January 16, 1998)

 The motto "do it yourself" was designed with Rebecca Caraveo in mind. 

Caraveo sings and plays guitar with Fresno rockabilly band Cattie Ness and the Revenge. She also promotes shows and has begun a monthly series at the Tokyo Garden called the Cattie Ness Cafe. 

It will feature roots and surf music, rockabilly and cowpunk, the third Saturday of every month. Typically, the music is a boisterous mix of '50s-styled rock 'n' roll and traditional country - a "y'all-ternative mix," according to Caraveo. 

The first Cattie Ness Cafe show, at 9 p.m. Saturday, features Southern
California's Drain Bramaged. The band's latest compact disc is called "Happy Drunx." You get the picture. 

One might imagine that the best way to assure your new band of a lot of gigs is to promote the shows yourself. But Caraveo didn't really plan it that way. 

Two years ago, when the Revenge formed, she and bandmates Brad Rogers and Kym Kilgore all worked for Fresno music industry magazine Pollstar. One day, Caraveo asked Rogers to teach her the guitar. 

"I always wanted to do it since I was a kid, but I never got around to it," said Caraveo, who in conversation typically sounds both daring and humble. "And all my friends could do it, and if they could do it, I could do it. You know what I mean?" 

So it comes as no surprise that when Caraveo and Rogers talked about playing guitars together and Kilgore mentioned she owned a drum set, that was all it took. 

"I was like, 'Well, we have a band now,' " Caraveo said. They're on their second bass player, Kevin Thomason ("the only real musician in the group"), and it's only during the past few months, Caraveo said, that "we're finally getting it." 

About the same time that the Revenge formed, Caraveo brought to Fresno her first out-of-town group, Bay Area "psychobilly" band the Mutilators. 

Caraveo was an avid rockabilly fan, traveling around California - and even once to Europe - to see her favorite performers. She'd seen the Mutilators in the Bay Area and become friendly with them. 

"They're like, 'Hey, how about us playing in Fresno?'" Caraveo said. So she lined up a show at Club Fred. Six months later, when the Revenge was ready to perform for an audience, the Mutilators returned. It was Caraveo's 38th birthday. 

"We played six songs at the Fulton," Caraveo said. "I knew people would come, because it was my birthday. But I mean, we walked in the place, and it was full from the front to the back. And we're like, 'Oh, no - we have to play?'" 

Nervous though it was then, Caraveo said the band now laughs about the experience. 

"We really kind of started getting lost in the first song, and Brad's amp just started making all this noise," Caraveo said. "And we were just so grateful we could stop and went, 'Oh, let's fix this technical difficulty,' and fixed it, and then went and played another song that we could play. It was like a gift from the gods, I tell ya." 

In a neat twist for fans of live music, the Tokyo Garden became a likely place for concerts when the Japanese-style seating was replaced by a stage for karaoke a few years back. Caraveo has been promoting shows there since April. 

She sang in choirs as a child and wound up the Revenge's singer in part because "I'm sort of the bossy one." 

"I'm always sort of singing to myself," Caraveo said. "But I don't consider myself a singer. I'm not like Mariah Carey or someone. I figure everybody's a singer." 

She took the stage name Cattie Ness because she's fond of felines and singer-guitarist Mike Ness of Social Distortion. They settled on the Revenge partly because she, Kilgore and Rogers felt they were crashing the party in a way. 

The fun part

"There's so many musicians, and they kind of hog it, and they don't want everybody to get to join in," Caraveo said. "But when you're a kid, that's fun, everybody singing. That was my whole thing - that was fun, and I didn't like being left out of the fun part." 

Why rockabilly? Caraveo said she spent her formative years in Europe (she moved to Fresno at age 9), listening to her father's collection of '50s records. He was in the armed forces, her parents weren't into the Beatles, "and there was not a lot of cool stuff on the radio." 

Often when Caraveo describes the music to people unfamiliar with it, "They go, 'You mean like "Happy Days"?' And I say, 'No! Like Elvis, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry.' 

"It's straight rock 'n' roll, sometimes with a country influence," Caraveo said. "There's that swing thing in there. It's got a steady beat, and you know where it's going." 

Cattie Ness and the Revenge and Hands Down, 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, Tokyo Garden, 1171 Fulton St., $3. Details: 268-3596. 


X-Originating-IP: []
Subject: Cattie Ness Interview and Bio Information:)
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 23:28:52 PDT

Howdy Gentlemen:...if you don't know each other...Hans, this is Shakin'
Fever from Belgie and Fever, this is Hans...Insurgent Country Home Page
(see link at my website) from Deutschland.

I decided to follow the basic format in the Shakin Fever...
Info about the band...There are four of us...two guys and two girls.
Becky aka Cattie Ness sings, chooses the songs, plays rhythm guitar and
basically bosses everyone around.  My name started out as a nom de plume
while writing band reviews for a local entertainment rag...I usually say
"I'm Cattie Ness because I love Cats and I love Mike" (sometimes I say
"Are you all on Viagra or are you just happy to see me?"  Brad aka
Dudeboy got his name from an old movie name Tobacco Road...not from his
favorite website  He plays lead on his Les Paul which he
favorite website  He plays lead on his Les Paul which he
loves dearly.   Sonny...well, his pappy was a pistol, he's a son of a
gun.  He slaps that double bass and is the only musician in the band.
Kymba the Lion Queen was named after one of my cat, Timba the Lion King
.  She beats the hell out of the drums, plus we have the best looking
drummer in town!

About three years ago, Dudeboy, Lion Queen and I all worked together.
Every once in a while I'd make Brad play guitars with me.  I didn't
really know how to play, I could make some cords and I had a guitar.
One day Kymi overheard and said she had a drum set, and I said hey, we
have a band...we just need a bass player.  So we'd play and never really
played together, nor did we have a microphone so we would just yell over
the music.

What about the music?
We started off with some country and some punk stuff...the country was
slower and since it was stuff we were raised with, it came to us quite
naturally.  Sort of.  At first we had Peak who played electric
bass...she made it to a few rehearsals and played our first show with us
before moving to LA.  We put off playing gigs for a few months after
before moving to LA.  We put off playing gigs for a few months after
that, then Sonny came along like it was meant to be with his big hair
and double bass.  Plus he actually knew how to play everything...the
drums, the guitar and the bass...all of a sudden we had to do it right
when before we really didn't know what we were doing.

I had been into the rockabilly thing for a while, but it was virtually
unknown outside the big cities.  I wanted us to be a rockabilly band
like all the great bands I'd go out of town to see so one day I just
blurted out hey, let's be a rockabilly band, and I just started bringing
more and more songs I thought we could do to practice.  At the time I as
and still am very much into the Austin scene...I love Dale Watson and
the Derailers, so we did songs that were very obscure to the locals plus
a lot of obscure oldies...all those ones that sound familiar but you're
not quite sure what it is.  I am always tickled when someone knows what
we're doing, most people think it's ours.

We tend to be on the bopping rockabilly side with a lot of swing...we
are generally a fun band, people love to swing dance to us and believe
me, we were doing it way before it showed up on the radio in these
parts.  We do stuff like Janis Martin's "My Boy Elvis" and Patsy Cline's
parts.  We do stuff like Janis Martin's "My Boy Elvis" and Patsy Cline's
"Stop, Look and Listen".  We do Libby Bosworth's "Maybe Baby" and Dale
Watson's "Texas Boogie.

Where do we play...

I started inviting bands from the scene who I had met during the years
of going to shows.  I figured people wouldn't always be interested in
seeing us, but they're pretty much interested if someone from out of
town is playing.  We had a few great shows with the Smokejumpers and the
Cadillac Angels and at the beginning of the year "The Cattie Ness Cafe"
was premiered.

I will stop here as I'm afraid my modem will bump me...will finish

At the beginning of this year, we introduced the Cattie Ness Cafe.  It's 
kind of a take off on the Ronnie Mack Barn Dance at Jack's Sugar Shack 
in Hollywood.  I try to keep it in the basic Americana vein...we've had 
everything from Cow Punk to Hillbilly.  I started using the internet to 
connect me with bands that I knew about, seeing if they would play here 
in Fresno.  There is a pretty good scene going on in Bakersfield too and 
the promoter down there, Skip Watters, and I are very supportive of each 
other as we're pretty much the only ones doing this kind of thing in the 
Big Valley. 

The Cafe is held every third Saturday of the month at Tokyo Garden, a 
cool little Japanese restaurant that holds about 150 people.  We've had 
some great bands come through...Hayride to Hell, Cadillac Angels, Drain 
Bramaged, the Verdicts, Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, Deadbolt, 
Magnolia Thunderfinger...after putting on some of the bigger shows, all 
my shows now are referred to as "Cafes", not just the third Saturdays 
any more. 

This month we're having Sandy Rogers, a hillbilly gal who did the 
soundtrack for the Sam Shepard film "Fool for Love".  Sam is her 
brother.  The title track is also on the "Reservoir Dogs" soundtrack.

We've also have played with some of my favorites and have a couple of 
exciting gigs coming up...namely, Big Six, Rosie Flores and Josie the next couple of months.  My favorite band is Social 
Distortion and hopefully we'll be playing on the Hootenanny in 
Bakersfield with them if that all goes through.  (Also on the traveling 
bill is Link Wray, The Reverend Horton Heat, Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite 
Boys and the Blasters!)  I named my band after Mike of Social D and 
always say "I love Cats and I love Mike"...the Revenge, that's for all 
the assholes...

Please feel free to ask me any questions.  We'll be doing some live 
photos for the next two shows, Saturday and Monday, so may be able to 
get you some more if you have time or need them!

Better run as I'm at work:)

Thanks Becky!!!

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