Wildcat O

Wildcat O'Halloran Band
Drinkin’ With the Harp Girls


By Lady K
August 2011

The title alone is enough to make the average, curious blues lover want to listen to this CD and find out what’s what. AND – good news: the music is as much fun as the title. Wildcat O’Halloran is out of New England – the Boston area, to be precise, and has been “keeping the blues flame burning in the UMASS 5 College area” for twenty-plus years. Wildcat (vocals and guitar) collaborated with many folks (all with nicknames), to get this music done: Nate “Lightning Boy” Dana (guitar), Matt “Loverboy” McManamon (bass), Gilbert May (drums), Joe “Jopey” Fitzpatrick (drums on tracks 2 and 8), Johnny “Magic” Marino (harp on tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8), and Matt “The Fixer” Ingellis (harp on tracks 1 and 4). Oh, and there actually ARE Harp Girls, contributing vocals: Caitlin “Harp Sister #1” Squires, Sara “Sister Wildkitten” O’Halloran, Emma Lynn “Sister One-take Wonder,” and evidently one Harp Boy (Mark Snow on track 10 vocals).

There are 10 tracks on Drinkin’ with the Harp Girls (did Lady K mention that she loves the disc title?): 8 are Wildcat originals, with 2 covers: “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” by William Bell; “Hound Dog,” by Leiber and Stoller. Yep, THAT “Hound Dog”; this time it’s mostly a duet featuring Wildcat and Harp Sister #1; but HS#1 has the lead-in, and seriously? The tune makes much more sense when sung by a woman (sorry, Elvis).

“Crunch Time” is quick-tempo rockin’ blues number, and is an eye-opener – we get to hear some of what those father-son chats are really all about! Papa tells son, when it comes to crunch time: “Never walk away from a party or a fight” and to “Hit on that girl – don’t hang out on the wall.”

“If God Can Make That (No Wonder He’s in Charge)” is a very bluesy rock number, with some terrific guitar going on. Boy singing to girl: “When God created you, he must have bragged for days!!!!” And “Love on the Telephone” – that’s right; phone sex for pay. Poor boy: only time he can chat with his lady is while she’s at work on the Fantasy Line. He figures he’s “gotta get a raise or win the lottery before she finds out how much more money she could make on the Internet!!” Too funny. “Slumberland Stomp” is an up-tempo instrumental – not going to send anyone to slumberland (there’s too much great guitar and harp going on – no sleeping allowed).

Seriously, Drinkin’ with the Harp Girls – great title, good rockin’ blues, crazy-fun lyrics.

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