photo by Hilary McHone

Michael Cerveris and Kimberly Kaye met across a microphone in 2008. Their relationship began as a professional one that turned romantic, then musical, then friendly after they split. The kind of unflinching honesty that made those relationship changes possible is woven into the fabric of their music. “It was hard times. And because therapy was damned expensive, we thought if we spent more time singing in the living room, there'd be less time for fighting,” says Kaye.  

Their shared affection for the musical and emotional rough and tumble of Johnny Cash’s duets with June Carter Cash, crossed with X’s John Doe and Exene, gave Loose Cattle its aesthetic. Cerveris is a West Virginia native and two-time Tony Award-winning actor (recently starring in Amazon’s The Tick, Fox’s Gotham, and HBO’s Mosaic) who served as a sideman for Husker Du frontman Bob Mould before launching his own music career. Kaye cut her teeth on the road, traveling the Warped Tour circuit as a member of a ska band before shifting her attention to roots music. Loose Cattle nods to their punky pasts while also showcasing their often-poignant punch as an alt-country band. According to Cerveris, “There’s something about having a clear-eyed, borderline cynical eye on the world while dancing a country waltz with a big old heart on your sleeve that is the place where this band lives.” 

Southern by birth or by inclination, they gathered like-minded friends Lorenzo Wolff on bass and Eddy Zweiback on drums, sometimes adding fiddle player Justin Smith and pedal steel player Jon Graboff, and convincing them all to lower their prodigious musical skills to their commonest level, and something like a band was born. The idea was pretty simple: squeeze a bunch of friends together in a living room and play through some country tunes. Good time songs and sad ones, old ones and new ones. Not too much planning, and not too much drinking (well...not everything went as planned). 

Weeks after their first show in a hotel lobby, they were invited to appear at Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, and on NPR’s Mountain Stage broadcast live from West Virginia, twice (once with Arlo Guthrie and again with Judy Collins, Ari Hest and Ben Sollee). They’ve appeared often at Jazz Fest in New Orleans, Chickie Wah Wah, Siberia, The Hi Ho Lounge, d.b.a., Howlin’ Wolf, and Tipitina’s, in New York at Joe’s Pub, Mercury Lounge, City Winery, and Rockwood Music Hall, and at The Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette, LA.  Loose Cattle’s recordings, including debut Live album, North of Houston, a 45rpm single, Pony Girl b/w St James Infirmary, and their 2017 Christmas album, Seasonal Affective Disorder (chosen one of Rolling Stone Country’s “Ten Country/Americana Records To Hear Right Now” and awarded 4 out of 5 stars from the LA Times) are all available from LowHeatRecords.com, and on iTunes, amazon.com, Bandcamp, and through your less discerning retail outlets.

 

photo by Jacob Blickenstaff 

content ©Low Heat Records 2017