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CAUTION CAT: ETC

Retired: Album of the Month

December Album of the Month: The Caution Cat record Heavy Light Years from 2016. A new twelve song record released on March 8th of this year. Each week we will add more songs from the record so by Christmas all the tunes will be streaming for free. As of 12-16-16 all the songs are now streaming along with the Lucky Number Eight album. The link below is for Heavy Light Years Amazon page.

November Album of the Month: LUCKY NUMBER EIGHT named so because it is Caution Cat's eighth album of original home recorded musical ditties and it has a photo of a whole rabbit and not just a "lucky rabbit's foot" This photo of the animal was taken outside of the band's demo studio during some recording sessions of songs in the Autumn of 2013. All ten tunes from the record are streaming on our player in an alternate song order from the original release song order. The link below is for the download on Amazon.

        ROCKTOBER Album of the Month: Caution Cat's FORTUNE FIRE FLY was originally a twelve song album but the band decided to add three of the outtakes as a bonus for a grand total of fifteen. The three bonus songs are Emergency, Once upon a Life and Dirty Windows which is one the tunes streaming now. All the songs were recorded in the band's demo studio on a Korg 32 track. Lots of different guitars played including Gibson, Fender, Paul Reed Smith, Univox, Vantage, Ibanez, Danelectro, Epiphone, Guitar Works, First Act and Cordoba with a Fender amp and a Line 6 amp. Bass was recorded direct into the multitrack. Other instrument features:  trumpet and trombone played by Karen on Annie Moon, My dancing days are over and Dirty Windows. She also plays guitar and sings harmony vocals on Let me fly, Dirty Windows and Give it up for the Dreamers. VJ plays distorted acoustic guitar and slide guitar on I got my reasons, synthesizers on Once upon a life, Sideshow and a bit of ukulele on Blue Jean Junkie. Chris takes care of acoustic drums and acoustic percussion. This may be the first record in a while that does not have Melodica. Lance Koehler at Minimum Wage Recording did further eq and effect tweeking directly on our multi-track and we sent the music into his studio system for mastering. The band did some additional recording at Minimum Wage: guitar solo, piano and back up vocals on Dirty Windows. Bass guitar on Sideshow. Maybe some other back up vocals here and there but its hard to remember every detail. Two of the songs from the record are in two different tv shows. Dirty Windows is on The League (FX network) and Let Me Fly is on Julia Zemiro's Home Delivery (ABC 1 Australia) The art and cd manufacturing was put together by Revolve in Richmond VA. The link below is for the album on iTunes.   

          September Album of the Month: Show Business Donkey from 2010 is the second Caution Cat record to feature several music friends on various instruments & vocals for all the songs: Chris Williams on acoustic drums/percussion and Karen Shealy plays guitars, bass, trumpet/trombone and vocals. VJ sings lead and plays guitars, bass & keyboards. This is the first Caution Cat record to be recorded entirely in the bands 12 x 24 foot demo studio nestled deep within a commercial building in Richmond VA. We started with Chris' drums in one corner of the room but then moved the kit to the middle side of the studio midway through recording. Both locations offered different sounds and ambience. This record is also the first time we started using a click track for the foundation recording. About 8 of the tunes were tracked with the band playing together live. I Got Maria and Gift of Gab for example. The other 6 tunes were tracked using a click such as Spirits Away and Birdhouse as two more examples. The Empire State features Karen on lead guitar and VJ on Uke. This version is an alternate mix. Revolve features Karen and VJ on vocals/percussion and some sound FX of crowded party sounds and cat purrs. Uke solo by VJ and a sampler was used to sample the band's handclaps that could then be placed anywhere needed. Lean On Somebody contains Karen's bass & Tele and Strat guitars with vocals by VJ & Karen. Ragdoll Dust has classical guitar, synth and melodica by VJ with additional drums by Lance Koehler. Spirits Away is a slight play on the words "spirited away" and has some fake cello playing created using a bow on the lower strings of an acoustic guitar played by VJ. Chris plays numerous percussion instruments with Karen singing harmonies. Instruments include Guitar Works and Alvarez acoustics, Yamaha and Ibanez Classical guitars, Fender, Epiphone and Paul Reed Smith electrics, a vintage Univox hollow body guitar, a Yamaha Piano/Synth keyboard, a Casio synth and a Cordoba uke. The record was signed to a publishing deal with a company in New York and has song placements in the movies Wet Behind The Ears and Undocumented, on the television shows LA INK, HUGE and PLAIN JANE and with Macys corporate. All are now available on DVD and streaming. Mixing and mastering on the complete record by Lance Koehler at Minimum Wage Studios straight from our Korg multi-track. Art work and CD manufacturing was done by Disc Makers in New Jersey. Click on the title Amazon link below to purchase the album. 

           August Album of the Month: bombs away! from 2009 is the first Caution Cat record to feature two new friends on various instruments & vocals for all the songs. The first four records were basically one man band projects with this record made as a trio. Also the first to be recorded on a Korg 32 multi-track recorder after making the first four records on an 8-track and a Zoom 16-track. Originally the idea was to make a modern folk album with all acoustic instruments but that fell by the wayside as the songs were forming. We started the songs in a rented house in historic Church Hill VA but finished the record at a new demo studio space in a commercial building a few miles up the road. This record has several new sounds on it including a mouth harp, melodica, a middle eastern spike fiddle and horns. Chris Williams plays acoustic drums and percussion. We were inexperienced with recording drums but overall the kit sounds good because we had Lance Koehler from the No BS Brass band help with eq and mixing. We placed a total of six mics on the set. Kick/Snare/Low Tom/Hi Tom and two overhead mics about 10 feet away for a stereo room sound. Karen Shealy sings back up harmony vocals, plays bass, percussion, trumpet & trombone. VJ sings lead and plays guitars, bass & keyboards. Instruments include a 2007 Guitar Works acoustic guitar, a 1984 Alvarez acoustic, a 2004 Mexican made Fender Telecaster, a Fluke Uke, two PRS electric guitars, a 1974 Univox hollow body guitar through a Carvin amp, a Korg mini synth and a Yamaha piano. The record cover is a photo of a vintage kitchen table top. The white on red design looks a bit like rain drop “bombs” coming down. Back cover is a photo of vocal mics against the back wall of the new demo studio where Chris William's drums were set up for the first year. Midway between sessions for Show Business Donkey we placed the drums more in the middle of the 12' x 24' room. The record was signed to a publishing deal and has song placements on two television shows, the MTV show “I Just Want My Pants Back” and NBCs "LIFE" Both are now available on DVD and streaming. Additional mixing and mastering by Lance Koehler on 12 of the 13 songs at Minimum Wage Studios straight from our multi-track. Final mix of I'm like a Kite by Caution Cat. Songs streaming: Shiny Black Shoes, Super Girrl, Buy A Llima, Sleeping in the Sun, Soldier Boy, Head of a Horse, I'm like a Kite, End of my Rope and Pop through the Window. Click on the title link below to purchase the album.

           JULY Album of the month: BETWEEN SONGS from January 2008 is a collection of songs that were written but never finished/recorded for the first three records so it is considered an outtakes album of sorts. It is also the first record to include four additional musicians on some of the songs and to be written, for the most part, on piano. Streaming are all 12 tunes: Spear, No Chorus Tonight, Kim OK, Street Valentine, Go Submarine, Summer Weeds, Head on your Shoulders, Let Me Down Easy, Full of Smoke, I Dream of Bigger Days, Find Yourself & Wood Stove. Recorded in a rented house in the historic neighborhood of Church Hill in Richmond Virginia this record is a real genre oddball. Electro, folk, synth rock, adult alternative, pop and rock are just some of the styles in this mixed bag. Tracking started in September of 2007 and ran until December 2007. The multi-track used is a digital Zoom 16 track recorder. Instruments: three different Paul Reed Smith electric guitars, various classical & acoustic guitars, electric bass, acoustic drums, Casio, Yamaha, Alesis and Korg keyboards, two different Zoom drum machines, a Magic Fluke ukulele, banjo, harmonica, a Fender mandolin, kazoo, Hohner melodica, mountain dulcimer and assorted acoustic /electro percussion (shakers, tambourine, sampler) Friends who played on the record: Chris Williams plays acoustic percussion & drums on "Head on your Shoulders". Karen Shealy, Scott Gordon and Mackie Blaylock play Uke, mandolin and banjo on the experimental "Wood Stove" and are also co-writers. Scott Gordon also plays dulcimer & mandolin on the folk ballad "Summer Weeds" and VJ plays acoustic snare & various percussion. The music was mixed down from the Zoom multi-track to a Philips CD burner. The front cover art was made by printing small copies of album cover art of Caution Cat's first three records and cutting them up into parts for the ground graphics and then drawing a sparse tree with an ink pen on a white square of cardboard and taking a photo of the art. A Sony digital camera was used to take pictures of the piece and the text and sun graphic were added in Microsoft Word. The project was then shipped off to Georgia for manufacturing with a slim line case and a 2 sided cover insert. The record was signed to a publishing deal in the Spring of 2008 and many of the songs were later placed on TV show, DVD releases, a web series and cable networks. Credits: Songs written & produced by VJ Jones/Foo Bear Music (BMI) unless otherwise noted above. Other outtakes from 2008 include Crowded Basement Bar on Everwood (CW network) Rollin' on The Mentalist (CBS) and Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC) and Landslide on How to make it in America (HBO) This is the last Caution Cat record to be recorded on an 8 track or a 16 track multi recorder. The next five records are recorded on a Korg 32 track and are no longer one man band releases. The more electro pop songs are now done by Viva Bird and the guitar heavy songs are done by CCat. The underlined link below is for the CD and the download on Amazon for Between Songs. CDBaby has the download for $4.99 as a special offer for a limited time.

          JUNE Album of the month: EIGHTEEN from 2007 is named after the total number of tracks on the record and is the last of the "one man band" albums. Streaming are 9 tunes: Blacktop, The Sidewinder comes Calling, Matchbook History, The Insect, Cowboy Astronaut, Get out of the Sticks, Living on Rocks, Ed Says Hi and Number Two. Recorded in a rented house in the historic neighborhood of Church Hill in Richmond VA. Plenty space for all the instruments and recording stuff upstairs and downstairs. Demos and tracking started in April of 2007 and ran until early August. The multi-track used is a digital Zoom 16 track recorder that was closer to a 12 track by the way it was laid out. By bouncing tracks it made some room for overdubbing more instruments. Songs are saved to a recordable CD from the hard drive. Lots of cool instruments among the normal guitar, bass, drums, keyboards: ukulele, banjo, mandolin, kazoo, mouth harp and melodica. Many of the songs from these sessions ended up being placed on the Between Songs record after being finished and mixed. The record was signed to a publishing deal in the Fall of 2007 and six of the songs were later placed on TV show, DVD releases, a web series & played in a chain of movie theatres via Cineasounds; a pre-show digital "radio station" that plays before the movies. The front & back cover art features items from the local craft store: a Chinese food take-out container, colorful decorative stars, plastic insects along with various connectors used in recording. A Sony digital camera was used to take pictures of the items and the cd art/text was done in Microsoft Word. The project was then shipped off to Georgia for manufacturing. Credits: Songs written, played & produced by VJ Jones/Foo Bear Music (BMI) mixed down from the Zoom multi-track to a Philips CD burner. The outtakes Crowded Basement Bar on Everwood (CW network) Rollin' on The Mentalist (CBS) and Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC) and Landslide on How to make it in America (HBO) are also from these sessions and may be included on an outtake record for release in the future: 2017? probably/maybe....Stay Tuned!

EIGHTEEN - Album of the Month (Jun 20, 2016)

 MAY Album of the month: COLLECTING CLOUDS (2007) Seven tunes streaming on our player: Slack-Jaw, Heat & Groupies, Cool Stars, Salt City, Broken Records, The Party's Over Now & Luna. The music & songwriting began on September 28th 2006 for the fourteen song second album. Recorded in two different locations on a Zoom 16-track: The bands commercial building demo studio better known as an empty office suite and at home in the living room and dining room. A total of 30 plus songs were recorded across 445 hours and the project was completed on January 29th 2007. List of instruments played at the time: a full size keys Yamaha synth, an upright acoustic piano, a MIM Fender Telecaster, a PRS Santana SE electric guitar, a 1970's Univox electric guitar, Alvarez and Silvertone acoustic guitars, Casio mini synth, a Granny style organ, shakers/maracas, an Alesis drum machine, a Zoom Beat Box and a Boss sampler. Many of the bass parts are provided from a guitar with a bass effect on it to lower the notes. In retrospect not the greatest idea. Some bass tracks are provided from the Yamaha synth and a Yamaha electric bass. Electric guitars were plugged in direct to the multi-track and the onboard effects were incorporated. A MXL 990 mic and a SM58 were plugged in for vocals, percussion, upright piano and acoustic guitars. Cover photo model is Mom with the photo credit going to Dad taken in 1970 Florida while on vacation. Back photo of the sky was taken in a grocery store parking lot in January 2007 by VJ. The cd art was done in Microsoft Word and then it was all shipped off to Georgia for manufacturing. Most of the songs from the record were signed to various publishers in 2007-2008 for placement in web ads and six of the songs were featured on Lonelygirl15. Credits: Written, Played & Produced by VJ Jones/Foo Bear Music (BMI) mixed down from the Zoom multi-track to a Philips CD burner. Additional music/voices/ebow/beer and tracking on Heat & Groupies, Cool Stars and The Party's Over Now from friends Karen Shealy, Scott Gordon, Barry Vanderhoof & Buster. Some of the outtakes were honed & finished for the Between Songs record released in early 2008 but there are many more to be found in the CCat unreleased music vault so stay tuned!

COLLECTING CLOUDS - Album of the Month

        APRIL Album of the month: PUT ON YOUR HEADPHONES (2006) The music & songwriting began on May 1st 2006 for the eleven track debut all done in a 10 foot by 12 foot makeshift studio. Threw down some carpet brought in furniture, books, cds, musical instruments, mood lighting and made it quite cozy. Great creative atmosphere. The music was tracked on a Boss digital 8 track with zip discs for storage. To get around the limits of only eight tracks the basic music was recorded filling up all eight channels. The foundation of the song was then mixed down to cd and resent back into two channels of the 8-track, leaving six more free tracks to fill up. List of instruments played at that time: a full size Yamaha keyboard piano (model #?) purchased from Best Buy. A pair of Mexican Fender Telecasters, a PRS electric guitar, a 1970's Univox electric guitar, an Alvarez acoustic guitar and a Yamaha bass guitar. Korg and Casio mini synths, a Granny style organ, egg shakers and a Zoom drum machine. Each song was written as it was recorded with several versions tracked and improved by the second or even third version. Examples include Who Are You? (3 versions) Them Boxing Gloves (2 versions) Finished recording by the end of August and took the mix downs on CD to my friend Greg Garner for mastering at his home studio BlueGoo. He did some computer editing to flesh out and improve a few endings on some of the tracks. The cd art was done in Microsoft Word and then it was all shipped off to Georgia for manufacturing. The record was signed to a publishing deal by 5 Alarm publishing and Rescue Records in March of 2007. Since then six of the eleven songs have been placed on television shows, DVD releases, web ads & entertainment networks all over the world. It is still the band's best selling record to date and a new deluxe edition will be out this year with outtakes alt versions & demos along with the original 11 recordings that made up the debut. Credits: Written Played & Produced by VJ Jones/Foo Bear Music (BMI) Mastering & Editing by Greg Garner/BlueGoo Studios. Album Art & Photography by VJ Jones (2006)

PUT ON YOUR HEADPHONES - Album of the Month