CD Review – The Sally Cats “On the Prowl”
Santa Barbara’s the Sally Cats tighten up on their new EP, On the Prowl, a stripped-down covers CD that offers a succinct presentation of the group’s bracing energy and spellbinding versatility. The swinging jazz of “Lullaby of the Leaves” accelerates because each member kicks it into gear, from the soaring saxophone of Tom Buckner to the pulsating bass of James Connolly to the jamming guitar of Brad Rabuchin, all lead by the honeyed vocals of Sally Barr. But it wouldn’t be a Sally Cats record if the group stayed within any stylistic boundaries; no, these Cats love to roam.
On “Sugar Mama,” Barr really displays her range, her voice occupying the space between the fragile melancholy of folk and the deep passion of the blues. The production is clean and lean, perfectly capturing the layers of emotion in her vocals. It is tremendous stuff, the kind of performance that would bring the house down, which I’m sure is what the Cats do regularly when they gig. Rabuchin’s electrifying playing and the velvety sultriness of Barr’s singing fuel “Blues Power.” When these Cats hit the floor, there’s no stopping them.