John Cate & the van Gogh Brothers
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John Cate & the van Gogh Brothers


Band Americana Pop


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John Cate Band - Never Lookin' Back: "One Last Mile" gives a loud kick as the third album from John Cate, Never Lookin' Back, opens with Searchers riffs and Ventures-style guitars, the image of the four men coming down what looks like church steps on the front and back covers of the CD making for a mysterious movie-type photo. Cate does his best Dylan on "This Isn't Goodbye," the prolific songwriter playing with styles and sounds that make him happy. Going through the music on Cate's first four albums, there are no revelations; the John Cate Band creatively package things they like and present those things to the world with their own stamp, but their mission is not to reinvent rock & roll. The title track is compact and precise, and there's no nonsense whatsoever. For those who feel Neil Young can get too cutesy, or that John Cougar Mellencamp is spending too much time in front of the mirror, the John Cate Band attack the material with the drive of perfectionists looking for an intangible refined sound like the surfers in The Endless Summer were seeking the perfect wave. "Never Lookin' Back" has that exciting, explosive guitar work generated from slamming the tunes out night after night in bar after bar. "Never Love Again" opens up with more anger; it seems someone never told Cate to never say never, as the word starts off three of the 11 titles ? and there are more negative contractions like "won't" and "can't" in other song titles. "Never Love Again" has the thumping authority of Bob Seger's "Fire Down Below," but what's needed is Bette Midler to jump on-stage and teach something to these guys. As the aforementioned rock stars Cougar and Young do get indulgent, Cate and his group need to lighten up. They are as serious as a judge, where a little touch of sly humor would really bring this material home. "Can't Let Go" comes across as perhaps the album's strongest track, and it is up there with the best of the Swinging Steaks; it's remarkable how much the John Cate Band resemble this other group that Cate has worked closely with. "Down in the Hole" and "Never Was Enough" are also in that pop vein with a country twang. This is almost like Boston's version of the Eagles and J.D. Souther, with the Swinging Steaks being the Eagles and Cate being Souther. Not a bad formula to emulate, and a series of fine albums by both groups adds a dimension to New England's vibrant music scene, a dimension that deserves more attention. "Everything Is Love" and "You Won't See Me" are more driving pop/original music from the pen of Gian S. Caterine and his John Cate Band, essential songs that make Never Lookin' Back the album you need as the introduction if you've yet to encounter this ensemble.
Joe Viglione AMG
- Joe Viglione

"Miles Of Music"

John Cate Band - V:
V - for victory. V - for the Roman numeral 5. V is John Cate's fifth album and it's a rather victorious work. John Cate and his band kick things off with a winning "Let You Run", which epitomizes Cate's ability to craft twangy bar rockers. On tunes like "Television" and "Still In Love With Her", you can almost hear the clink of beer bottles and smell the cigarette smoke. But Cate proves adept at shifting gears as the mandolin-laced "I Will Be Ready" and the quiet closer "Longer Way" demonstrate. (American Music Partners)
- Miles of Music
- Miles Of Music

"Boston Globe"

Amid mainstream acts, talent shines through
By Steve Morse, Globe Staff, 8/20/2003
Record producer Anthony J. Resta has worked on eight gold and platinum albums by international acts such as Duran Duran and Collective Soul.

He is also trying to spice up the Boston scene with his Chelmsford-based Studio Bopnique Musique, embracing a variety of local musicians who might otherwise fall through the cracks. Some might be talented, some might be vanity acts, and some might be Top 40 cover bands looking to do original material to get to the next level. It's a motley but fascinating stable.
Seven of Resta's acts were on display Monday at the House of Blues. It was a decidedly mixed evening, though there were flashes of talent, suggesting that Resta's work has not been in vain. Most acts, though, had a mainstream-style sound that may make it hard to penetrate the Boston scene, with its love of alternative pop music.

The standout was John Cate, whose sound is influenced by the Eagles and Bob Dylan.
Cate's "Learn to Love Someone" cooked like a track off Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" album. The melodies were substantial, and the band rode a groove throughout. Cate also helped set up the showcase, so it was fitting that he played so well.

Tony Roberts, who has been in the local band Mindflow, performed a solo acoustic set and had moments with his gravelly voice and humorous spin on life. Carla Ryder (formerly of the Mudhens) had great wordplay in her songs of female survival but was better on uptempo rock such as "High Tide in Tucson" than on her more softly nuanced adult pop, which was sometimes strained.
Brian Alex (formerly of Entrain) scored with a solo acoustic Latin tune. And Chad LaMarsh, known for doing cover-song gigs at the Rack and other clubs around town, was a nice surprise with lively tracks from his fine new original album, "Anytime/
Anywhere." Singer Andrea Surova, playing with a band for the first time, was slow to find her groove, though she loosened up on "Halo." And Central Basement, which has also played the Rack, offered pop that was still trying to find an individual edge. No superstars may come of this night, but it is to Resta's credit that he helped bring them this far.
© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.

- Steve Morse


Set Free- 1996
American Night- 1998
Never Lookin Back- 1999
John Cate Band- 2001
V- 2002 (Blue Rose Records)
Two Brothers- 2003(Blue Rose Records)
Livin in the Moment- 2004
Wild Way (release date-November, 2007)



"Shades of John Lennon and Roy Orbison"

"Lurks around the semi-gritty territory of Tom Petty and Mellencamp"
-Bloomington Independent

"You can almost hear the clink of beer bottles
and smell the cigarette smoke"
-Miles of Music

Born in Liverpool, England to American ex-pats who settled in the Boston area. John's musical career began as bass player with Zamcheck, who toured with Gary Burton & Pat Metheny, played the Newport Jazz Festival and were managed by the notorious Steve Sesnick (Velvet Underground). Jazz/Fusion ambition gave way to classic American folk-rock singing & songwriting which marks John's style today.

John's first solo record, Set Free, was released in 1996, and was heard by producer Anthony Resta (Shawn Mullins, Collective Soul, Duran Duran) who introduced him to Heavy Hitters Publishing. Heavy Hitters keeps John's six record catalog active in Network Television shows like Touched by an Angel, Jack & Jill, All My Children, The Young & the Restless and many others.

The van Gogh Brothers perform weekly in Massachusetts in Worcester, Cambridge and Northampton, and regularly in Nashville and Los Angeles. John has also co-ventured with Billy Block's Western Beat Entertainment, which includes weekly showcases in Nashville and Los Angeles to co-host a Boston-based Western Beat which ran regularly for 8 years at the original House of Blues in Cambridge, MA. Western Beat performers have included Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Buddy & Julie Miller & many others.

The van Gogh Brothers are currently completing their 8th full-length CD, "Wild Way" with John and David Minehan (The Neighborhoods) producing. The Band's last release, Livin in the Moment, was produced by Anthony J. Resta and released in 2004. John & the vGBs completed their sixth record with Rob Fraboni (Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Rolling Stones) co-producing. This was the second record produced under the Band's deal with Germany's Blue Rose Records.