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Flat Cat hisses with rich sounds

KEYSTONE – Flat Cat may have originated on a farm in the flatlands of Iowa, but these cats have been out on the town. Their sound hisses with the rich sounds of Memphis soul, San Francisco improvisational rock, Chicago blues and a New Orleans backbeat.

Flat Cat stretches its sound throughout the decades, covering songs from Chuck Berry through Santana to the Grateful Dead. Forty percent of the band members’ tunes are original, but they keep their sound fresh by playing covers from obscure writers.

“It’s not a lot of covers of popular stuff, but it’s a lot of dancing music, up tempo,” said keyboardist Dave Bader. “(Our sound has) probably gotten funkier over the years. Where it used to be more country-rockish, it’s a little more Latin now, with a little more New Orleans backbeat.”



Flat Cat was born out of informal acoustic jams on a farm in West Bertram, Iowa, in 1994. After not quite nine lives – which included various lineups – guitarist Jeff Redder helped Flat Cat land on its feet by bringing his rock ‘n’ roll influence.

Redder will be playing some of his last shows at the Snake River Saloon Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 22, then Craig Erickson will replace Redder on guitar and vocals.



Drummer Butch O’Connell holds down Flat Cat’s backbeat with a funky, Latin and jazz influence, while Tom Dowd belts out soulful vocals. Bassist Bader brings a Big Easy and country-rock vibe to the mix, and keyboardist Tom Giblin’s years of touring with B.B. King, Lonnie Brooks, Bo Diddley and Otis Rush root his deep blues groove.

Together, the musicians have shared the stage with Lonnie Brooks, Joanna Conner, Merl Saunders, Chubby Carrier and America, among others.

Known for its fiery performances, Flat Cat plays long and hard, changing up arrangements and delivering a distinctive mix of rhythm-and-blues, soul, jazz and good old rock ‘n’ roll.

“People – especially in Summit – want to be entertained and relax and have some fun,” Bader said. “We make people smile, and that’s really important to us.”

Flat Cat stretches out Thursday, Feb. 20, through Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Snake River Saloon in Keystone.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.

Event: Flat Cat

When: Thursday, Feb. 20, Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22

Where: Snake River Saloon, Keystone


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