Cattie Ness and the Revenge
Visit the Cattie News Oct 1999
Sonny - Cattie - The Lion Queen - Dude Boy
musician does it all
By Don Mayhew
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.
first Cattie Ness Cafe show, at 9 p.m. Saturday, features Southern
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."
PREVIEW: DRAIN BRAMAGED with
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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'
I decided to follow the basic format
in the Shakin Fever...
About three years ago, Dudeboy,
Lion Queen and I all worked together.
What about the music?
I had been into the rockabilly thing
for a while, but it was virtually
We tend to be on the bopping rockabilly
side with a lot of swing...we
Where do we play...
I started inviting bands from the
scene who I had met during the years
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
The Cafe is held every third Saturday
of the month at Tokyo Garden, a
This month we're having Sandy Rogers,
a hillbilly gal who did the
We've also have played with some
of my favorites and have a couple of
Please feel free to ask me any questions.
We'll be doing some live
Better run as I'm at work:)