Wildcat O'Halloran

Category: Songwriter Stories

On our latest CD "Cougar Bait Blues", we have a song called Bottled Bravery and Canned Courage, which I actually wrote a long time before I cut out (most) of my drinking, which I finally realized was a crutch that was actually holding me back (the part of "Drinking with the Harp Girls" --title of my previous CD-- that I really can't do without....wasn't the drinking). Anyhow, I had been jamming with the horn players from a Northampton band called Primate Fiasco for about a year (they run a jam on Tues nites, where I meet the young players, including the luscious, sax-playing Emily Duff of The Raft), and I wanted to feature them on my next album....so....I rewrote the song as a New Orleans second line groove, and assigned them the Professor Longhair-like riff, which I wrote on a bar napkin, and the luscious Emily, who's actually a music PHD candidate, wrote out for them later in parts (helped by their alto and trumpet players Steve Yarbro and Nick Borges). This also allowed me to have their Tuba player (J. Witbeck) double the bass line.

At the end, when I waver on sobriety, we pretend it's Emily's birthday (we didn't actually drink Irish car bombs, that's a Harp Girl specialty....but I believe there was some Jameson product consumed). Oh, and the other references are the Shutesbury A.C. girls (fans who want us to play at their home club, shouting "We want to get you in the SAC"), and my former waitresses from the Dove's Nest restaurant, who put up a big chunk of the recording money for this track!

I love to quote famous blues motifs (for example, in our version of Fluffy Hunter's Walk Right In, we quote Muddy Waters' "Walkin through the Park"...or in our Daisy Dukes song, the horns insert the bridge from james brown's "Hot Pants") and I really love to set up interlocking musical parts (Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records says he loves the rawness of my guitar playing contrasted with the smooth horns)...sometimes we'll do the same thing with my gruff voice and a silky female voice. Now I have a lot of fun that I CAN recall!

MySpace

This little Theological number was written after meeting the lovely, Guiness-bearing angels known as the Harp Girls....and our video was shot at an annual musician party called Jopeypalooza....we had raced back just in time from Fenway park (Sox won).

If God Can Make That