Time Cat
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Time Cat

Akron, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Akron, Ohio, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Psychedelic




"Akron, Ohio's Booming DIY Scene Is Best Heard From Its Porches"

From the 1920s to the 1960s, Akron, Ohio was a boomtown. A lot of people were making a lot of money off of rubber, and the city's economy flourished. But by the end of the 1980s, Akron (and the rest of the Rust Belt) had experienced the worst manufacturing industry downturn in American history, most of the rubber factories were gone, and what stood in their place were some cool bands like The Pretenders, The Bizarros, 15-60-75 (The Numbers Band), and The Waitresses. The same DIY scene that helped produce these acts, with roots sprouting from the gadfly sanctuary neighbourhood of Highland Square, later fostered The Black Keys, and most recently, Time Cat. Akron's been down, but never out.

Time Cat headlined this year's PorchRokr Festival in Akron's Highland Square neighbourhood. What sets this annual music festival apart from the thousands of other annual music festivals is that the musicians play on residential verandas. You walk from porch to porch and see bands play. This year the porches were spread out over about 15 city blocks, and there were also a couple stages erected in the lovely Will Christie Park adjacent to the neighbourhood.

It was fun for the whole family. There was a five-piece jazz ensemble of insanely talented, mostly 12-year-old kids, called Moldy Figs. There were some local ambassadors of pop punk, Ghost Slime. There were dad bands (for dads by dads, also surf dads), and some funky mom bands too. There was Ginger Ackley, strumming an autoharp and singing serene Celtic folk; Floco Torres, a monster on the mic, with charisma to match his bars; and Soleo, a teenaged Middle Eastern prog rock band who shredded.

Then there was Time Cat, who got an intro from the Mayor of Akron. Their set was fun as hell, with fan favourites like "Boozled" and "Young Ones." Plus they covered "War Pigs." It was the biggest show the band ever played, for the biggest crowd PorchRokr ever hosted. Being at the festival felt like witnessing history – a milestone in the continuing renaissance of a once-doomed city.

I caught up with Jeri, Sam, and Corey from Time Cat before the show, for a chat out the back of their van.

Noisey: What has your experience been like in Akron? There are 130 bands here, 250 applied, so they had to turn them away. So there's this massive underground DIY indie scene here in Akron.
Corey Jenkins (Bass): It has been for a long time, like 50 years, really.
Jeri Sapronetti (Guitar/Vocals): I mean it definitely comes in waves. There have been times where there's like three decent bands to go see and it's at like Annabell's [Highland Square bar] or something. But I've been in one of those bands where you're just keeping it alive because there's nothing else you can do. Like, I quit college, because music is what I do. I've always felt that I couldn't stop until I could realise my vision. It's one that i've had since I was a little kid, playing in bands with my stuffed animals.

Can you talk about Highland Square, and all the time you've spent there, and how you've developed alongside that scene.
Sapronetti: I love Highland Square, dude. All the weirdos, from all corners of Akron are attracted to the Square like moths to a light. I don't know why. It's got the typical stuff, a coffee shop, a ridiculous amount of bars, a record store, some clothing stores, a Walgreens. The people are what makes it so cool to hang out there. I've met so many of my best friends just loitering in the Square. I've been hanging out there for the last thirteen years. When I was in college, I would skip school and my friends and I would get high, play guitars, wander around. It always felt like one of those epic, legendary neighbourhoods I've read about in music bio books where all the great musicians and artists all kick it. It's all kind of culminated in the Porch Rokr festival. I can't even believe they were able to put together something to this scale. I've been going to Highland Square festivals for the last 13 years and this is the biggest, best one yet. And we get to headline it. I'm so fucking happy. It's a love that runs deep. I don't know, I love these people, I love this town.

It seems like there was the rubber boom and then Akron kind of took a shit.
Sapronetti: Yeah, this was the fastest growing city in the 20's, like on the cover of all the big magazines of the day, like this was the place everyone was moving to, and then once all our industry just went overseas, went other places, we just experienced this huge depression that spanned for decades, so what the country has gone through with like 2008 with the housing burst and the recession, it's like, we already went through that, and we've come out on the other side, where it's not just the big industry, where it's just for money. It's like they've realised it's all about art and culture and community and music. Bringing people together instead of just like, I don't know.

Building strip malls.
Sapronetti: Yeah, just generic-ass shit. It's like there's a bunch of really unique people and if you come to this festival you see all these very unique bands. It seems like every genre's accounted for, every era's accounted for, it's bizarre. Like, I can't believe it.

I heard there's someone here playing jazz-infused shaman rock.
Sapronetti: Like, what? That sounds pretty badass.

How did you become a band and come up with the name Time Cat?
Jenkins: A book.
Sapronetti: It's a children's book, and it was buried amongst stuff in my parent's basement. I was unemployed and super depressed at the time and I figured, "fuck it, i'll just read this children's book". I ended up writing the lyrics to Boozled on the title page inside the book. So it was like right in front of my face. Just picked it and moved on. We used to be "Sun Dog", "The Yonge Ones", "No Shoes"…[interview interrupted]... I want it to be my band. I don't want to join people's bands, I didn't want to be in anyone's band. It's all I ever wanted to do, so.
Jenkins: What's always worked out the best for me is joining other people's bands as bass player. Like I got to play South By Southwest with a band called Ballroom Boxer, playing bass. Then I was in a band called 20GOTO10 playing bass where we played some festivals and we were signed to some synthpop label. If you play bass you've always got a job.

So what about after PorchRokr, what do you guys have coming up?
Sapronetti: Uh, well we're gonna go record at Sound City. We're gonna re-record our song "Boozled" at Sound City, where Nirvana did Nevermind, Fleetwood Mac did Rumours, Tom Petty did Damn the Torpedoes, fuckin whatshisface did "Jesse's Girl."
Jenkins: Rick Springfield. - Noisey

"Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders Enjoy An Akron Homecoming"

AKRON, Ohio - So the dilemma is this: Do you give a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer a pass because she's nervous - or at least appears to be - about playing in front of her family and friends?

Or do you say, "Now, wait a minute. Chrissie Hynde has been doing this for more than 40 years. Figure she's done maybe 10,000 concerts in that time. Restarts for songs really shouldn't be part of the gig at this stage.''

Guess what? I'm gonna go with the former, with just a teensy tease towards the latter. Yeah, Hynde and the Pretenders had to stop a couple of songs in their Saturday night set at E.J. Thomas Hall, and start over. And she did get off on the planned set list (I know because I saw a copy).

So. Bleepin'. What.

For 90 minutes, Akron wrapped its Rubber City arms around their favorite daughter, and for good reason. She hasn't lost a step, and that distinctive voice remains one of the most iconic in rock 'n' roll.

Look, it's never polite to mention a woman's age, or so my mama taught me. So let's just say that if Hynde still lived in Akron, she'd have had her Golden Buckeye card for five years already. You might expect a little fall-off, but you'd be wrong.

Still rail thin, but now sporting a frosted look to her trademark mop, Hynde looks like she could go 10 rounds with the UFC's Rhonda Rousey. Rockin' the skinniest of skinny jeans and a black, nearly sleeveless Elvis Presley T-shirt after discarding a short-waisted pink tuxedo jacket, Hynde and her current lineup of Pretenders turned the nearly sold-out concert hall into a memory to be cherished.

Of course, there won't be any cell phone pictures - no selfies, no bad recordings of "Alone,'' "Middle of the Road'' or "Down the Wrong Way'' - to trigger those memories. That's because Hynde, who feels they are a huge distraction for an artist trying to reach an audience, forbids the use of cell phones or cameras during her shows. Even professional photographers are limited to just the first two songs of the set, from far back at the sound board.

And to be honest, the cell phone ban is a great thing. Too often, it seems fans are missing really great shows because they're trying to focus on that tiny screen, or mugging for a photo of themselves with the artist in the background. Part of me gets it; you want a permanent memento of your night. But the bigger part of me wonders why people pay so much money to see an artist live . . . and then don't.

The bottom line is that fans at E.J. Thomas were treated to 90 minutes - yeah, with a few do-overs - of quality rock 'n' roll from Hynde, original Pretenders drummer Martin Chambers, and the new kids on the block, pedal steel player Eric Heywood, lightning lead guitarist James Walbourne and bassist Nick Wilkinson.

The concert opened with the title cut off the Pretenders' new album, "Alone,'' which was produced by fellow Akron native Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. In all, six of the 12 cuts on the album made it onto the set list, including "Gotta Wait,"'' "Death Is Not Enough,'' "Let's Get Lost,'' "Holy Commotion'' and "I Hate Myself.''

That last is a killer tune, co-written with Auerbach. Just what each brought to the writing table is something only they know, but it's clear that this is a pairing that works.

But it's the "old'' stuff that put Hynde and the Pretenders in the Rock Hall in 2005, and it sounds just as great today as it did back in the '80s. "Private Life,'' "Stop Your Sobbing,'' "Middle of the Road,'' "Brass in Pocket'' and of course "My City Was Gone'' are all just memories set to music for a generation.

Equally impressive was a nearly a cappella "Hymn to Her'' that proved that Hynde's vocal prowess has only improved. And one of the most fun songs is, as you might expect,'' Back on the Chain Gang,'' with its requisite "ooh-ah'' homage to Sam Cooke's "Chain Gang'' tune.

Akron's own Time Cat kept it an all-in-the-family night as the opening act. The three-piece group - vocalist and guitarist Jeri Sapronetti, drummer Sam Caler and bassist Colton Huffman - might have been a little worried about opening for a legend. But they shouldn't have been.

The musicianship of the trio, whose sound seems to include elements of emo, indie rock, blues and straight-ahead good ol' rock 'n' roll, is as good as any national touring band.

Vocally? There's a little indecision from Sapronetti, who handles all the microphone chores, and it led to some pitchiness, which an excess of echo couldn't hide. But heck, maybe she was just nervous, playing in front of her hometown family and friends.

It's happened to bigger names. - Plain Dealer

"Time Cat Lights Up Rialto Stage"

The Rialto Theater was home to the much-anticipated Oct. 9 Time Cat release party for their singles “Victory” and fan favorite, “Boozled.”

Opening for Time Cat was folk-flavored duo Saint Joan. Samantha Grace and Hannelore Berken’s voices combined to create beautiful, otherworldly harmonies. Saint Joan’s performance was a first for me, but I look forward to hearing a lot more from them.

As much as the crowd enjoyed Saint Joan, the packed house was there to see Time Cat, and from the moment they took the stage, the band gave their fans more than their money’s worth.

Lead singer/guitarist Jeri Sapronetti brought every bit of her rock star swagger and serious musical chops, using both to whip the crowd into perpetually frenzied state. Sapronetti exuded confidence and her own brand of badass charisma. Anyone who defines her with references to gender or genre really misses the mark, because Sapronetti’s talent is in a class of its own. She is not an imitation of anyone or anything. She is a true original who is willing to leave every bit of herself on the stage.

Bass player Colten Huffman, who joined the band this year, more than held his own, which was not an easy thing to do standing next to the likes of Sapronetti. He is a musical match for his band mates, but for me, the compelling thing about Huffman was that no matter how cool he tried to play it, he appeared to be having as much fun as we mere musical mortals imagine we would if we played in a rock band to an adoring crowd. He is the Time Cat equivalent of the guy next door – on the coolest street in town.

timecatboozledcoverartSam Caler, Time Cat’s drummer, was, for me, the biggest surprise of the evening. I had seen him perform a few times and there was never a doubt that he was a talented guy, but on the Rialto stage Caler showed great passion and power, as well as a level of showmanship that I didn’t expect. His drum solo, during which Sapronetti and Huffman left the stage, was an impressive high point in the show. His ability to deftly switch between keyboards and drums for their single “Victory” was nothing short of phenomenal.

Midway through their show, Sapronetti invited guitarist Donald Alan and keyboard player Chris Major to the stage for a special performance, covering The Doors’ “Back Door Man.” Free from the restraints of an instrument and confident in the knowledge that she was backed by four world class musicians, Sapronetti sang and moved about the stage in what could be described as excellent performance art. Ever the original, she didn’t give her version of a Jim Morrison vocal, rather she made the song her own.

When the show was over and the lights came up, there was a certain oneness among those of us who were in the audience. Glances between strangers seemed to say, “Together we just experienced an evening we will likely never forget.”

For those of you who were not there, fear not. For Sapronetti, Caler, and Huffman this is just the beginning. All three plan to take their feline magic straight to the top. If you want to experience them in an intimate show, however, don’t wait too long. - The Akronist

"Rialto Theater/Time Cat"

I made my first trip to Kenmore to see a show since ... well, perhaps ever, to check out the rockin’ local trio Time Cat’s Boozled CD single (available at timecat
music.bandcamp.com) release show at the cozy Rialto Theatre.
A packed house with good bands and an engaged audience is usually the best kind of show, and this was definitely one of those.
The trio is led by singer/guitarist Jeri Sapronetti along with drummer Sam Caler and newbie bassist Colten Huffmen, who lived the rock ’n’ roll fan’s dream and graduated from being a Time Cat fan to jamming with them to joining the band just a few short months ago.
The addition of dedicated bass frees up the talented, smoky-voiced Sapronetti to bash out bigger power chords, wailing solo work and her considerable finger-picking skills. The band has a couple of albums made as a duo act so hearing some of those older songs with some bass as melodic anchor adds a bit more of the classic rock power sound. Sapronetti is also a pretty dynamic performer, and Caler is essentially Animal from the Muppets in human form on the drums.
I’d seen Time Cat several times and I knew it would be a good show.
The evening’s pleasant surprise was visiting the Rialto Theatre on Kenmore Boulevard, just a few doors down from Kenmore Komics & Games.
From the outside it looks like any unassuming door to an accountant’s or a backroom nail salon. Even entering the lengthy hall that leads past the JADE small recording studio and the industrial-style bathrooms, it still resembles an office building.
But enter through the double doors at the end of the industrial office park hall, the actual venue is a cozy room that fits about 100 people and features high ceilings. It has a nice deep wood and tile bar, some cocktail tables (removed for the packed show) and very good clear sound.
Just A Dream Entertainment (JADE) is owned and operated by brothers and band mates Seth and Nate Vaill. They also own JADE Studio and the Rialto Theatre and are two-fifths of the folksy, funky indie pop rock group A Band Named Ashes. When the pair bought the place five years ago, it was pretty much a hollowed-out husk. With the help of friends, family and band mates, they turned the place around.
“Originally, the idea was to have a recording studio where artists could perform,” said Seth Vaill, 30, the keyboardist and the business guy of the operation.
“So we built the studio because that was a little more within our budget. The idea was you’d come record an album and release it in the same building,” chimed in Nate, 35, the operation’s engineer/producer and creative guy.
The Vaills looked at several buildings, but the Rialto’s high ceilings and solid infrastructure reminded them of some of the smaller venues they played in their tours to New York City. They decided to take the leap in November 2010 and moved in the building.
Building a small apartment and then moving in to continue the work of getting the studio up and running allowed Nate to offer 10 hours of studio time for $100. The studio’s rate has since risen to $100 for three hours and, through word-of-mouth, the studio’s business has been steady.
Nate has recorded all kinds of music, though hip hop has been an anchor, with 50 clients in the past three months and artists such as longtime local rap star Ampichino, and the late East Bay-area rapper Jacka, Killa Tay. Nate’s been name-checked by Houston rapper Paul Wall, among others.
“When you start a business you have upfront capital and stuff and Nate and I didn’t. Seriously, we were a hope and a dream. When we first moved to this place it had no heat … you’d walk in here and see your breath. The first two months of us living here, we lived in the control room. The dream was there but obviously financially we weren’t there, so every time we’d get a few hundred bucks, OK, ‘let’s get a sound panel,’ and when the studio prices went up we had a little more to budget with,” Nate said.
Through a combination of classic work clichés, the brothers Vaill applied plenty of elbow grease to their stick-to-itiveness. The collective effort has resulted in a welcoming venue with good sound in an area that is often maligned as a non-destination spot.
Nate said some bands even told him they simply did not want to play in Kenmore.
“Well, we are in Kenmore, but there are enough bands around. We just want to change that image because this could be a very unique area and relate that to arts and music and all that stuff,” Seth said.
“Once people get in here, they get that [stereotypical Kenmore] image out of their head and forget about all that stuff,” he said.
Eventually, the Vaill brothers plan to move out of the apartment they’re sharing (between working in bands and the theater, they’ve lived together as adults for the past dozen years) and make the expanded space available for visiting national touring bands, making the Rialto Theatre a sort of one-stop music shop.
“We get these traveling bands and say, ‘We can record you during the day.’ They lay down a track to put out on Facebook on the road and say we’re in the studio. They perform that night and there’s no need to get a hotel, you can crash right here,” Seth said.
The brothers have been holding shows since the summer, but the Time Cat event was the coming out party.
“In so many ways, the Time Cat was what we wanted. That was the very first one where we didn’t have to do much and it was just big band, a great band,” Nate said.
Our job is to make sure the band is comfortable and sounds good,” Seth added.
“What we wanted [was] to make sure that anyone who came in here would say. ‘I’d go see a show there any day.’ It’s not even about just getting money out of people. It’s people feeling comfortable enough to come back; that’s what ultimately is important. That’s how we have longevity,” Seth said.
The Rialto’s main show nights are on Fridays and Saturdays, with plans to expand into other areas such as slam poetry, open mikes and maybe some comedy on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
On Saturday, the Rialto Theatre will play host to an #Akron Music Scene showcase featuring several local bands including youngsters the Scenic Route, acoustic guitarist Atom Lax and others. Later in the month they’ll play host to funk band Infinite Soul’s Red Carpet Affair with equally funky guests Sabre Band and The D.O.C. Unit.
Go to therialtotheatre.com for more information. - Akron Beacon Journal

"Boozled: Time Cat Delivers"

Rock and roll, a name that has been stretched thinly across genres as if it were a one size fits all kind of thing, has found itself a new home. Tonight at The Rialto in Kenmore, the harmonious vocalization of the opening act Saint John gave way to something not many would-be fans would have expected. When Time Cat took the stage last night they owned it.
This little trio from Akron aptly describes itself as "a kitten's whisper or a lions roar." When they aren't cooing sweetly in your ear, they are tearing it apart.
There isn't anything polished or neat about the lead vocal's voice, even though you could easily imagine her singing gospel, jazz, or old world standards. If you believed word of mouth introductions you would have thought her only talent was in how she plays her guitar. You would have been wrong. Jeri Sapronetti doesn't just play the guitar. She doesn't just sing the songs. Jeri is, as simply as it can be stated, a born performer of the highest caliber. This may be a beginning for us, but she has been on this road a long time and her experience shows well.
When Jeri tells her audience that Time Cat has the best drummer possible, and that it took years to find him, she isn't kidding. Sam Caler is not only good at keeping the beat, he creates it within us. With the rapid quickening of his wrists he pulls us out of our personal spaces. He starts our toes tapping and our heads bopping. He doesn't play the drums, he makes them speak loud and clear: "follow me", "dance with me", "be with me".
The drums may tell us what to do, but the bass shows us how to do it. Colten Huffman surround us in a cloud of notes so thick we don't think, we only hear and feel. He gives sway to our shoulders and swing to our hips.
The bass is the heart pumping, the drums is the brain thinking, and the vocalist is the emotions that flow. There is only one Time Cat. They are in sync with each other, and attuned with their audience. To use an old cliché, they are perfect.
We are glad to be, as Jeri so aptly called us, slaves to the music. Of all the adjectives I could use to describe them the only one that can do them justice is "better." Time Cat is better than expected, better than they were before, better than their closest equals. They are defining what is iconically Akron, and there is no better time for that than now.
I have heard them described as the "next best thing." That is totally wrong because they aren't the next best thing. They are what the standard should be right now. No matter where they go from here, to this audience everyone else will be measured against them, and rightly so. - The New Akronite

"Time Cat Celebrates New Music Release Oct. 9th"

Band hosts singles release party Oct. 9 at Rialto Theater

— Time Cat, fronted by guitarist and lead singer Jeri Sapronetti, is a self-described “adventure rock trio,” and listening to Sapronetti’s sonic and bluesy handiwork is nothing short of an adventure. Sapronetti, along with band mates Sam Caler on drums and Colten Huffman on bass, will celebrate the release of their latest singles, “Boozled” and “Victory.” Oct. 9, at the Rialto Theater, 1000 Kenmore Blvd. in Akron.

Those of us fortunate enough to get out and enjoy Akron’s growing music scene has likely heard of Time Cat, which formed as a duo in 2011. Original members Caler and Sapronetti have released two albums to date, “Your City” and “Space and Time Cat.”

After adding bass player Huffman this year, the band rerecorded crowd favorites “Boozled” and “Victory.”

Listening to the original recordings side by side with the soon-to-be-released tracks, I came to a couple of conclusions: 1) bringing Huffman to the Time Cat scratching post was a really good decision; and, 2) Sapronetti and Caler, both strong musicians to begin with, have grown exponentially as artists.

Time Cat’s live shows are wildly popular, consistently drawing crowds at community events and filling local music venues with audiences ranging from die-hard, know-all-the-words-to-every-song fans to first-timers who are quickly won over by the band’s unique sound. It is difficult to talk to people about a musician and to describe a band’s style, without making comparisons, but I think comparisons often sell artists short and imply that what they are doing – at least in part — has already been done.

That said, what sets Time Cat’s music apart is its ability to be informed by and to join with a number of influences to create something truly original. Blues, rockabilly and trippy rock and roll are all part of the Time Cat sound. Their music also has a vibe that is undeniably Akron, which often draws comparisons to THAT superstar Akron band, The Black Keys.

I recently sat down with the band at Sapronetti’s home to talk about their music and themselves, and how each of those two informs the other.

Time Cat has become a staple at local music venues and festivals, like the recent Porch Rockr event in Highland Square. (Photo: Dale Dong)
Time Cat has become a staple at local music venues and festivals, like the recent Porch Rockr event in Highland Square. (Photo: Dale Dong)
I asked her to share her feelings about making music and about where she wants that to take her, and her response was refreshingly and unapologetically honest.

“I feel really lucky because I know exactly what I want to do and I’m doing it. I want to go straight to the top,” Sapronetti said.

I asked her what that looked like and she replied, “Well, my dad said, ‘You have to make them care,’ and that’s true. You play a sweet show and you want people to cheer for you. Making it is just a side effect of being that band that does that. We’ve talked about it as a band and we agree. We’re all in.”

I asked her about what inspires her to write about the things she does and Sapronetti thought a moment before answering, “I always felt like I was from another time. Real rock-n-roll is for the people, the anti-establishment. I want to sing about the government and about spiritual things. Music is inherently spiritual. Music is the vehicle of a message and that gets lost today.

“’Four Corners’ is partly about spirituality,” she added, and then recited couple of lines of the song from their first album: “All you see is not all that there is, so you should take your time…”.

At this point in the conversation, her band mates joined Sapronetti.

I turned to Caler and Huffman and asked if they ever felt overshadowed by the charismatic Sapronetti or by the attention her natural “rock star persona” receives.

Caler responded first by saying, “No, it doesn’t bother me. I never feel like that. It may not be directed at me but it makes me better.”

Huffman added, “She rocks harder than most dudes I know,” drawing attention to a subject I had not addressed previously: Sapronetti’s gender. I asked her about being a woman lead singer/lead guitar player in a field that is predominantly male.

Sapronetti commented, “Sometimes people see our show and ask, ‘Wow, how can a girl play like that?’ Whatever,” she shrugged, rolling her eyes.

We moved on, and I asked Huffman if he was having fun playing in Time Cat. “Oh, yeah,” he replied. “It’s what I really want to do.”

Sapronetti added, “He was a fan first so he knew all our songs, knew every chord to every song. He fit right in.”

We’d been talking for a while when Sapronetti looked at me and asked, “Do you want to come down to the basement where we rehearse and we can play a little for you?”

I tried to play it cool, but I’m fairly certain the ridiculous ear-to-ear grin on my face gave me away as we made our way down to the basement with a couple of their friends who had gathered for a private concert. I still can’t pull off playing it cool about that – I’m grinning as I write this.

Entering the basement was like walking into a classic Akron music venue. There were old sofas and floor lamps, a platform stage, and trippy colored lights swirling from the ceiling. As they started to play (a FULL SET!!), I managed to stay in the moment, and what a moment it was. When the band finished playing, I was exhausted from the energy expended in the room, but the three musicians of Time Cat looked like they could play all night.

As Sapronetti walked me to me car, she stopped me and pointed to the house across the street from hers. She said, “Do you see that house? The Black Keys used to live there. They recorded their first album there.”

I responded, “I wonder what young band will be pointing at your house someday and saying that?”

She looked at me with a confident grin and said, “I wonder…” - The Akronist

"Record Review: Your City"

Let’s get this out of the way. Time Cat is a rock duo consisting of singer/guitarist Jeri Sapronetti and drummer Sam Caler. They’re both from Akron but they are not disciples of fellow two-man outfit the Black Keys or the White Stripes for that matter.
Time Cat has been gigging around the area for a few years and recently released its second album, Your City, a svelte, eight-song 33-minute collection showing the duo’s mix of classic rock-infused moves within a raw indie rock aesthetic.
The band takes the now familiar guitar/drums/voice duo format and applies it to tunes that not only rock out in familiar ways but also manage to twist, turn, surprise and occasionally confound in interesting and tuneful ways.
Several of the duo’s songs are packed with parts. Songs start with one groove, stop, and transition into something else and back again, most in less than 4 minutes. While that kind of versatility in the band’s arrangements may make it difficult to find a spot on what remains of rock radio, it definitely makes them a more interesting band.
The duo certainly has chops. Sapronetti is a versatile guitarist and Caler’s active drumming matches her six-string flair. The album opener Yonge Ones begins with a slow groove before igniting into some punky bar chords and quick flashes of wah-wah drenched solo histrionics with a catchy chorus to boot.
Among the eight tracks are a few possible singles. Nothing’s How It Used to Be is a short, straight-forward catchy indie rock tune. Likewise, the peppy Could Not Say sports a cool, twangy, reverb-heavy riff and Sapronetti layering her raw, honeyed alto.
On Taste My Lightning, Sapronetti and Caler lean a bit into Black Keys territory with some big fuzzed-out riffs and a bluesy melody but still throw in some fancy finger-picking, punk-flavored, slashing chromatic chords and Caler throttling his entire kit.
Your City is available at Square Records, 824 W. Market St in Akron’s Highland Square. - Akron Beacon Journal

"Introducing Time Cat: The Akron Power Duo"

Jeri Sapronetti and Sam Caler make up the eccentric and talented Akron rock duo, Time Cat. Sapronetti sings and plays bluesy guitar with the occasional shredding, while Caler plays the drums, adding sophisticated rhythms and originality. The group draws on many classic rock influences such as Led Zeppelin and David Bowie to create a modern rock ‘n’ roll sound full of vibrant guitar work, heavy drum beats and wild vocals that come together to make a groovy combination not commonly found in today’s music.

The band started out late 2011 after the two met at a jam night hosted at Sapronetti’s house. About a year after they met, they began playing together and soon decided they would form a band.

“It was like late 2011 when we started playing together,” said Sapronetti, “and we’ve just been playing tons and tons of shows for the last two years.”

They went nameless for the first several months of playing shows, eventually deciding on the name, The Young Ones. After ill feedback from fans about the name, Sapronetti stumbled upon a children’s book, titled “Time Cat,” that she had written lyrics on for one of their songs. After pressure from their manager to choose a name they decided to go with something easy to remember and chose Time Cat. It seemed to have stuck and the band has been using that name since.

When asked about some of the challenges they face in todays music scene, Sapronetti mentioned the impossibility of trying to keep up with social media and the short amount of time it has taken to shift from promoting shows by hanging up flyers to the endless events created on Facebook and other social media sites.

“It’s continually so challenging, because with Facebook, it has completely dominated everything,” she said. “Social Media has changed everything. When I was 18, I would play a show and hang flyers everywhere, it was word of mouth. But now it’s like every other person is inviting me to all these events and I just skim down everything without even looking at it. I don’t even pay attention. So I’m like why would I be making all these events? I don’t pay attention to it, why would I expect other people to?”

“We just want to play music and play shows, but there is so much more to being in a band. You just have to promote yourself.” explained Caler.

“You have to be on Twitter, Bandcamp, Reverb Nation, and all these websites. It’s just like, does anyone have time? It’s not very rock ‘n’ roll, you know?” added Sapronetti.

The band members touched on other hardships they face when getting their music heard such as the cost of recording and the inability to get ahead. They explained some of the goals they had, like getting more recording finished and setting up another tour, but are held back because of their lack of funds.

“So the last two years have basically been us, ‘Alright I got this paycheck, it’s $180,’ and then manager Steve’s like, ‘Alright I need that for recording,’ and I’m like, ‘here you go.’ I just sign it over and not even bother to cash it,” said Sapronetti. “Being in a band makes you poor,” added Caler jokingly.

On a lighter note, they listed some advantages to being in a band that are unique to the area. A girl-boy duo isn’t commonly done and they receive many compliments on their ability to create the illusion of more than two people playing.

“People will be upstairs from some show we are playing and they’ll be like, ‘I thought there was like four people in your band,” exclaimed Sapronetti.

“Yeah people always think that there’s more of us when they don’t see us. We do a good job of filling out the sound for two people,” said Caler.

Their ability to change their sound to fit their crowd is another strength the Akron power duo possesses: they can play for metal heads and the elderly, easily adapting to the situation and their audience.

The next step for Time Cat is to finish their next album in a month or so and book a tour later this year along with playing some possible festivals over the summer.

“We are seeing things happen a little more now, than over the last two years,” said Caler. “It starts off really slow but once you play out there, people want you to come back, and we are seeing that.” - The Akronist

"Sound Check: Time Cat at the Tangier"

This is the first column I’ve written without smoking several cigarettes between gulps of coffee.
I apologize in advance if it strays.
An interesting combination will be at the Tangier in Akron on Friday — local acts Time Cat, the Help and host/singer Rebekah Jean — who seem to be from disparate genres on paper.
Time Cat, the duo of singer/guitarist Jeri Sapronetti and drummer Sam Caler, mix a familiar classic-rock feel with some indie-rock rawness and quirky energy, and, no, they’re not a Black Keys knockoff.
The duo has released two albums in two years — Space and Time Cat and Your City.
Released last summer, Your City is a rugged collection of eight tunes with Sapronetti’s deep raspy voice and fretboard-fondling phalanges banging out power chords and some hefty riffs in tunes such as Tase My Lightning, which does flirt with the BK’s fuzziness. But Sapronetti also mixes things up with some deft fingerpicking on the catchy Could Not Say and the dynamically varied Four Corners. - Akron Beacon Journal

"Akron Hour - Episode 5"

Episode 5 of Akron Hour includes guests Jeri Sapronetti, Sam Caler, and Cassandra Harner of Akron, OH band Time Cat! You can listen to their music on www.timecatmusic.bandcamp.com and follow them on Facebook. In this episode we talk about personal experiences as a band and our favorite time travel movies; amongst other things. We also play two songs off of their albums "Space and Time Cat" and "Your City Loves You." Thanks for listening and please subscribe to our podcast on iTunes! - Akron Hour


Time Cat - Set The World On Fire (Live - 2018)

1. New Way of Thinking

2. American Spirit Blues

3. Set The World On Fire 

4. Why Do I Do?

5. I Wanna Know

6. Don't Get Me Wrong

7. Taste My Lightning

8. Three Windows

9. Four Corners 

10. Boozled

11. Yonge Ones

12. We're Alive

Time Cat - Ticket to Fly EP (2017)

1. Ticket To Fly

2. If I Were Me

3. Guidance

4. I Wanna Know

5. Whole Wide World

Time Cat - Years Go By (2016)

1. Into The Ocean

2. Bad Scene

3. Years Go By

4. Country Man

5. Cinco De Mayo

6. Come Back Home

7. New Way Of Thinking

8. Lily Rose

9. We're Alive

10. Now I Believe In Magic

Boozled (Single) (2015)
Victory (Single) (2015)

Your City (2014)
1. Yonge Ones
2. Somethings Never Change
3. Nothing's How It Used To Be
4. Your City Loves You
5. Could Not Say
6. Taste My Lightning
7. I Went To The Desert

8. Four Corners

Space and Time Cat  (2013)

1. Get Close To You
2. Tomorrow, Tomorrow
3. Boozled
4. Into The Ocean
5. Cigarettes/The Window Song
6. Victory



Time Cat formed as a 2-piece rock band in 2011 by guitarist/singer Jeri Sapronetti and drummer Sam Caler after they met at the legendary "Jam Nite" hosted by Sapronetti in their mutual hometown, Akron, Ohio. They went on to record their first full-length album "Your City" and toured across the country multiple times on self-booked tours, having lots of crazy adventures with wild Americans.

Upon returning from a 30-city tour in 2014, luck would bring multi-instrumentalist Colten Huffman on bass, which brought much needed depth to the duo's raw sound. In late 2018, with no discussion whatsoever, guitarist Donald Alan (The Tenants, Blond Boy Grunt and The Groans) began jamming with the trio adding a new dynamic with incendiary licks and inter-weaving rhythms.

With an ever developing sound, Time Cat has become one of Northeast Ohio's premier rock bands. With influences like Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Jefferson Airplane, listeners are quickly immersed in a world that is familiar, yet completely new. In their time, they've had the incredible privilege of opening for the likes of Chrissie Hynde & The Pretenders, Juliette Lewis, Muse, AFI, and Fantastic Negrito. 

Right now, they are completing work on their 3rd studio album while releasing tracks over the summer from a previously unreleased EP. 

"I want to say thank you for keeping ’the thing' alive. I suspect there will be a new wave of bands coming along in these barren times, you at the forefront, and you have given me that hope."

-- Chrissie Hynde

Band Members