Cat’s Cradle, located in the Triangle section of Carrboro, North Carolina, is a ‘must play’ venue for independent artists routing their tours across the country. And like many beloved clubs, it is facing tough times, with mounting bills and little to no income generated since March. When, and if, live music returns, reduced capacity and social distancing rules will drastically reduce revenue.
As we similarly reported with Asbury Park, NJ’s The Saint nightclub, fans and musicians staged a successful fundraiser to keep that club afloat. Now, some of North Carolina’s most notable artists across multiple genres have come together to support Cat’s Cradle.
Released exclusively via Bandcamp today, Cover Charge: NC Artists Go Under Cover To Benefit Cat’s Cradle is a 25-track compilation of cover songs from the scene’s favorites and more, with all proceeds from the sale benefiting the Cat’s Cradle, to ensure it can restore its rightful place for generations to come.
Each artist performs a cover version of a favorite song, with many recorded during the pandemic.
There’s some choice, inspired cuts and prominent artist appearances throughout. Hiss Golden Messenger and Jonathan Wilson tackle Free’s “Travelin’ In Style,” Mandolin Orange interpret Dylan’s “Boots Of Spanish Leather,” Tift Merritt offers a faithfully somber version of the Kris Kristofferson classic “Help Me Make It Through The Night.” The db’s, Steep Canyon Rangers, Iron and Wine and Superchunk also appear. North Carolina patriarch and songwriter Andy Griffith even receives a nod with Dex Romweber and Jennifer Curtis performing Griffith’s harrowing blues “A Face in the Crowd.”
“I, and the rest of the Cat’s Cradle family, have been bowled over by the concern being shown for music venues both here and around the country,” says Frank Heath, owner of Cat’s Cradle. “Learning about this effort to assist the Cradle, has just reinforced another wonderful thing that we really already knew, that so many of the Triangle’s great artists and musicians are also amazing and caring people, who value and want to help protect Cat’s Cradle, and who also genuinely care about all of the other artists and the entire music community.”
Several artists chimed in with their support of the venue.
“Like many musicians out there, I miss playing shows, and like many fans I miss seeing bands,” said Mac McCaughan of Superchunk. “When it is safe to get together to watch live music again, it will be a disaster for all of us if our favorite venues aren’t around to host the artists we love. I literally grew up seeing bands at the Cat’s Cradle and playing there with all my bands, going back to high school. Superchunk is excited to be part of this album, playing one of our favorite songs to support our favorite venue.”
“I grew up making the journey to the Cradle from Greensboro to see shows, not understanding the decades of care in booking that made it a place bands wanted to play, said Libby Rodenbough of Mipso. “Now that I travel around to venues all over, I’ve learned most places don’t have a Cat’s Cradle. Without it, the Triangle is a step closer to being just anywhere and living somewhere that’s somewhere is worth fighting to keep”.
Matt McMichaels of Mayflies USA discussed his reasons for covering a Smiths song and how it speaks of his love for the Cradle. “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” literally conveys our feelings about the Cradle. It’s been a light in NC for fifty years—on a personal level, a huge part of our band’s history—and we fervently hope that it never goes out. Chapel Hill/Carrboro without the Cat’s Cradle is unthinkable.”
Cover Charge Track Listing:
1. Superchunk – “Can’t Stop the World” (The Go-Go’s)
2. Sarah Shook & the Disarmers – “Apocalypse” (Cigarettes After Sex)
3. Hiss Golden Messenger and Jonathan Wilson – “Travellin’ in Style” (Free)
4. The dB’s – “I’m on an Island” (The Kinks)
5. Steep Canyon Rangers – “Unknown Legend” (Neil Young)
6. Eric Bachmann & Skylar Gudasz – “All I Have to Do is Dream” (The Everly Brothers)
7. The Connells – “Keep Your Distance” (Richard Thompson)
8. Mandolin Orange – “Boots of Spanish Leather” (Bob Dylan)
9. The Love Language – “Everything Flows” (Teenage Fanclub)
10. Dex Romweber (feat. Jennifer Curtis) – “A Face in the Crowd” (Andy Griffith)
11.Tift Merritt – “Help Me Make It Through The Night” (Kris Kristofferson)
12. The Old Ceremony – “Alone Again Or” (Love)
13. Mayflies USA – “There is a Light that Never Goes Out” (The Smiths)
14. The Mountain Goats – “The Longest Winter” (Paradise Lost)
15. Faith Jones – “For What It’s Worth” (Buffalo Springfield)
16. Mipso – “Long Distance Love” (Little Feat)
17. Terry Anderson and The Olympic-Ass Kickin Team – “Every Night” (Paul McCartney)
18. Florence Dore – “Somewhere Down the Line” (Marshall Crenshaw)
19. Southern Culture on the Skids – “Let’s Work Together” (Wilbert Harrison)
20. Iron & Wine – “Piss Diary” (Kingsbury Manx)
21. Mount Moriah – “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” (Neil Young)
22. Sam Melo of Rainbow Kitten Surprise – “Stars” (Janis Ian)
23. Don Dixon & Marti Jones – “Respoken” (The Lovin Spoonful)
24. Chatham County Line – “Think I’m in Love” (Beck)
25. The Veldt – “Dress You Up” (Madonna)