After getting a start in music at age four with a mandolin from his grandparents, Long Island singer-songwriter Bobcat credits a very specific encounter with setting his musical trajectory in his teens. He listened to, and digested the 1994 Beatles compilation, Live at the BBC, which featured the young band on mostly covers of the rockabilly, rock & roll and R&B songs they had cut their teeth on. Bobcat says, “…after I learned all of that album (rudimentary—I was no John or George or Paul on the guitar)…it was my first huge rockabilly kick, at the age of about 16…”
Although still drawn toward roots music and the swing revival of 90s, Bobcat found himself immersed in the alternative music world with his first band. The desire to simply play music with others was key: “It was fun playing with those cats,” he remembers.
Closer to his original musical direction, however, Bobcat began his songwriting journey with The Arkhams, around 1997. Within this psychobilly group he found collaborators that helped him develop his writing talents.
As of December 2022, he had three albums worth of collected material, two of which had been released. They include older stuff (“Written by a 15 year old with a broken heart.”), road-tested Arkhams tunes, and more recent, personal expressions (“Everyone had a deeply personal experience of the pandemic.”).
Right now, Bobcat is focused on honing his one-man-band concept. On stage, he sits ensconced with one of his electric guitars among a guitar amp, powered monitor, mixer, pedal board at arm’s reach, with a kick and snare drum at his feet. (Yes, we said “snare drum.”) The performer brings a unique kind of show, propelling his often raucous music with his entire body.
But Bobcat is looking once again toward a future involving collaboration. While Long Island is currently lacking in like-minded musicians, he sees a path forward. “I want to build the momentum… I want to make a one-man-band sound like a full band. And eventually expand…”
By Dan Walsh