The Reel Channel Cats
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The Reel Channel Cats

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Forming in the fall of 2008 in Springfield, Illinois, The Reel Channel Cats have grown from a group of four guys just playing whatever songs they could follow each other on, to a fully functioning bluegrass alliance. With a large repertoire and a wide variety of genres mixed in with the traditional bluegrass instrumentation, The Reel Channel Cats display a very unique way of playing a very old style of music. With members whose roots cover a wide spectrum of musical genres, the Channel Cats use musicianship and showmanship to bring a very interesting stage performance to each show.
The roots of this band go back to two members who originally called themselves the Channel Cats. Wielding only two guitars, Kris “Jackie Treehorn” Lang and Randal “Flathead” Hall set out to find new members to bring some spice to the mix of covers and originals they had created together.
The search was long but finally brought them to “Drunkel” Danny Kerwin, a mandolin player and long-time listener of traditional music, in late August of 2008. Coming from the slamgrass band, “The Dharma Bums,” Danny had exactly the style that Randal and Kris had in mind for the Channel Cats. While Danny came to add to the sound of the musical endeavor, he also contributed greatly to the original songlist and creativity of the new band.
Playing small shows and open-mics, the Cats then stumbled across bass player, Ryan “Pulverizer” Pulver, who brought in the backbone. Ryan was raised in a small town in Southern Illinois, where several generations of bluegrass and country music run in his family. With over six years of experience playing with a variety of rock and jam bands in Springfield, the transition to bluegrass music was an easy one. Ryan has helped in marketing the Reel Channel Cats and just makin’ it funky.
With a now functioning band, the Channel Cats had decided to turn the name to “The Reel Channel Cats” and found banjo pickin’ Mindy Bumgarner, whose diverse musical background brings a very unique touch to the Cats’ sound. With experience on the ukulele and the steel drum, Mindy’s contribution to the band cannot be ignored. Her love for traditional music is really what brought the “grass” to the Cats. Shortly after a few open-mics and small shows in early September, the current lineup of The Reel Channel Cats hit the Springfield music scene.
Now, 5 months and several shows later, the Reel Channel Cats have progressed quite fast, playing with many popular regional acts such as 56 Hope Road, The Woodbox Gang, Creek Road Ramblers, Bourbon Bluegrass Band and many others. They have graced stage at theatres, clubs, pubs, bars, festivals and even numerous charity events. The Channel Cats have spread their music from Springfield to towns around Illinois and show no signs of slowing down. With a large repertoire and a wide variety of genres mixed in with the traditional bluegrass instrumentation, The Reel Channel Cats display a very unique way of playing a very old style of music. With members whose roots cover a wide spectrum of musical genres, the Channel Cats use musicianship and showmanship to bring a very interesting stage performance to each show. With a love for playing good music and just having fun, the Reel Channel Cats have a terrific live performance for all audiences to enjoy.