“Can’t Stop the World”
“Like many musicians out there, I miss playing shows, and like many fans i miss seeing bands! 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 & 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.”
Mac McCaughan, Superchunk
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers
“My first concert ever was at the Cat’s Cradle back in 2005. I had to come up with some sort of cover story or sneak out of the house to pull it off, I can’t remember which but I recall being completely caught up in the music and emotion of the crowd. Could not have had a better introduction to experiencing live music. The first time the Disarmers played the main room it was a long-time-comin’ dream come true for me, full circle. My story is only one story, a drop in the bucket, that voices how much and why our community needs venues and spaces like Cat’s Cradle. Live music unites us. ”
Hiss Golden Messenger and Jonathan WIlson
Jonathan and I both have deep connections to North Carolina–he as an NC native that now lives in Topanga Canyon, myself as a California transplant to Durham. This place has had a profound influence on the music that we both make. As one of our hometown venues, the Cradle has a special place in my heart. It’s no coincidence that our latest live record Forward, Children was recorded there. Jonathan and I are both fans of the music of Free, and this song felt like it was in our wheelhouse.
“I’m on an Island”
Peter: “We used to play this song live when I first joined The dB’s in autumn of 1978.”
Chris: “…and of course, we’ve all been stranded on our own separate islands for much of this year.”
Will: “The dB’s have played at four different Cat’s Cradle locations, beginning in 1979. We were going to shows there [Rosemary St.] by the mid-seventies—and still do, we hope. ¡Viva Cradle!”
Steep Canyon Rangers
The Cradle! One of the greatest live music clubs in the nation a club that hosted some of the greatest acts throughout our time in Chapel Hill – it has been an honor over the years to perform in such a legendary hall!
Skylar Gudasz & Eric Bachmann
“The Cradle was one of the first rock clubs I ever went to as a teenager and the site of so many legendary memories of shows, bands and community experiences – too many to count! So grateful to the stewards and staff of this venerable institution that make it an inspirational home for so many music makers. ”
“The Cats Cradle is the venue where the Archers of Loaf started. Our first goal as a band was to get a show there. Frank Heath was so kind and helpful to us. I’m still grateful to him for asking the Archers to open for The Verlaines back in ~1992. ”
“We chose “All I Have To Do Is Dream” because it’s a great, eloquent song about missing someone you love. This COVID quarantine has me missing a lot of people I love.”
“Keep Your Distance”
Over the roughly thirty-six years since the first time walking on stage at “The Cradle” to open for Southern Culture on the Skids in 1984, until their most recent show there last December, the Cat’s Cradle has been and remains the one venue that feels like “coming home” to the guys in The Connells. It bears noting that some of the current members have an even longer history with The Cradle, either playing with or running sound for other bands including The Pressure Boys and Light In August, going as far back as 1981.
Beyond the impact that Frank Heath and The Cradle have had on so many bands and on the broader music scene, he has volunteered the club as a platform to benefit many worthy causes such as Be Loud Sophie.
The minor contribution of The Connells to this project and to this cause is an opportunity to honor and acknowledge an enormous debt of gratitude for the good fortune to know Frank and all the folks associated with The Cradle and to have been given the chance to play so many shows there.
All of the band have been big fans of Richard Thompson’s songwriting and lyricism for years, so when David suggested Keep Your Distance, it was a no-brainer for us. It was a blast to record, and the lyrics work on a level that speaks brilliantly to the current situation.
“Boots of Spanish Leather”
Boots of Spanish Leather is a song we’ve been singing together since our earliest days of longing to play at the Cat’s Cradle. We’re lucky to have celebrated so many milestones at the Cradle and can’t wait to gather with our community there again one day.
The Love Language
“I reached out to Eddie, Jordan and Tom to do this track. This was the same crew that did the Teenage Fanclub tour last year so covering our favorite song of theirs made the most sense. The Cradle has been such a huge part of my relationship with music. From coming here in highschool and getting my mind completely blown, to playing on the same stage years later. I have countless great memories from this space. In addition to providing a spot in NC for touring bands to come through, it’s also been so integral to the local music scene and community. We’re all so honored and excited to be a part of this album.”
Dex Romweber (feat. Jennifer Curtis)
“A Face in the Crowd”
I’ve been singing this song for years but never recorded it….as it’s Andy Griffith who went to UNC. Also it’s from movie ”A Face in the Crowd,” where Andy plays the scariest rockabilly singer ever! The producer said he’d get Andy drunk before some scenes as Andy Griffith drunk. He could get really scary!
The Cat’s Cradle has helped me out more times than I can count! Giving me shows…..also when i was REALLY low on dough Frank would put me to work there…….also Derek has been really helpful to me at times.
“Help Me Make It Through the Night”
I’ve always loved how this song is so simple and gets at so big an ache. The quarantine and all we took for granted about each other — it still holds the ache.
Over the past months, we’ve all been sideswiped with what we have taken for granted about our community and each person in it, and confronted with how important it is that we show up every day for the things we care about. Frank Health has been doing that very thing for decades. How many nights has the Cat’s Cradle helped us through, gathered us and changed our lives ? Thank you, Frank. May we all have jubilant reunions at the Cradle.
The Old Ceremony
“Alone Again Or”
The Cradle has been our home since the band started in 2004. Frank and the gang have always been supportive and open to any weird ideas we might have. They didn’t flinch when we had a bill with a sitar duo or an improv comedy act or an action painter. We truly couldn’t imagine the Triangle without the Cradle.
The Mayflies USA
“There is a Light that Never Goes Out”
We chose “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” because it seemed to suit the mood of this moment: the darkness and pain it expresses, yes, but also the absurdity and humor, and the hopeful, redemptive power of art and music.
“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.
The Mountain Goats
“The Longest Winter”
When I was asked to contribute something for this project I immediately thought of this song by Halifax doom pioneers Paradise Lost. It doesn’t need saying, but when an artist’s level of writing reaches this height, people respond to it. I certainly did. Here’s hoping a healthy, happy spring comes sooner than later.
“For What It’s Worth”
I’m so excited to be a part of this album, which comes at such a critical time for everyone in the world. The lyrics for “For What It’s Worth” have never been more prevalent, especially with the addition of a quote by longtime activist Angela Davis: “I’m not longer accepting the things I cannot change, I’m changing the things I cannot accept.” Cat’s Cradle was essential to my time at UNC. From amazing concerts to WXYC dance parties, it has housed so many great memories of fun, friends, music, and joy. To have been able to perform there last summer was a dream, and now my new dream is that we’ll all be able to gather there again in the future and keep making more of those great memories.
“Long Distance Love”
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. 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.
We’ve been listening to this Little Feat tune in the van for years. “Long-Distance Love” is a fact of life for us touring musicians, but during the pandemic, we felt it was poignant all over again.
Terry Anderson & the Olympic Ass-Kickin Team
This song mirrors our pandemic isolation from family, friends, and the musical community that Sir Paul experienced when he wrote and recorded “Every Night.” Separated from his band and self exiled with his new family, he crafted an honest song of loss and love. “But tonite I just want to stay in, and be with you…”
We have been so fortunate to have the Cat’s Cradle all these years. Terry and I have played all of the Cat’s Cradle stages save the first one–first as The Fabulous Knobs on Rosemary and then many, many shows as The Woods. The rest of the team has played many a Cradle show as well: Dave has been on the stage with Sometimes, Why? Accelerators, VibeKillers, Snuzz, Nickel Slots, Bleeding Hearts, Caitlin Cary, and Tres Chicas. We are so thankful to both Dave Robert and Frank Heath for all of the years of support. We are lucky to be able to play there and to see so many fantastic artists. Long live Frank and the Cradle!
“Somewhere Down the Line”
I learned what a club with a soul is from the Rat in Boston, my home venue when I was in my twenties. The Cradle is that for Chapel Hill-Carrboro, and I don’t even want to think about not being able to play there when this is behind us. We recorded “Somewhere Down the Line” not really knowing why– because it made a new kind of sense. I couldn’t be happier that it led to this project. Among the many things I look forward to “somewhere down the line” is playing at the Cradle.
Southern Culture on the Skids
“Let’s Work Together”
I never heard a version of “Let’s Work Together” I didn’t like. Canned Heat’s version is most popular, but the song was written by Wilbert Harrison. Wilbert was a North Carolina native and is a member of the NC Music Hall Of Fame. “Let’s Work Together” is the perfect sentiment for the times we are living in right now! Dave, Mary and I all live in Chapel Hill/Carrboro and the Cradle is a big reason why. The Cat’s Cradle is a community asset. It makes sense that our community assists the Cradle to get it through this shutdown.
Some of the bands favorite memories from the Cradle were from the Carrboro Elementary “Back to School Bash” that the band along with the PTA and The Cat’s Cradle would put on every fall for the kids and their parents. We did it for about 5 years while my son was a student at CES. We always had the “Back to School Bash” on a Saturday in early September. That afternoon the Cradle filled up with local K-5 kids and their parents to throw down to five local rock bands, most bands had at least one member who kid or kids went to CES. All the kids got in free, parents had to pay (unless you were with the band). Frank always made sure the bar was open for the parents- so it was a full service good time and memories for all ages. What a blast to watch the kids go crazy over some rock and roll – best dancers ever! I remember thinking that some of these kids might be up here on this same hometown stage playing their music in 10 years or so just like we are now.
Iron & Wine
The first time I ever set foot in the Cat’s Cradle, or Chapel Hill for that matter, was opening a show for Isaac Brock and hometown heroes the Kingsbury Manx (who wrote “Piss Diary”) in the summer of 2002. This song has always reminded me of that time, touring the country for the first time and making new friends- powerful stuff! Hopefully this finds everyone safe. Best wishes.
“Don’t Let It Bring You Down”
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more iconic music venue in North Carolina than the Cat’s Cradle; performing there is like a rite of passage for regional musicians. Frank Heath’s vision for the Cradle and commitment to establishing a vibrant legacy for central North Carolina’s music scene has been well-documented over the years, but his giant heart, gentle demeanor, and unpretentious attitude move me the most.
Mount Moriah has had this cover tucked away for years, waiting for the right time to release. In the middle of a worldwide pandemic that has abruptly and inarguably changed the way music is presented and consumed, the title of this track personally and literally suggests hope — something I’ve looked for recently to quell disheartening unknowns of the music industry’s future.
Sam Melo of Rainbow Kitten Surprise
It’s a timeless song. That being said it just felt like the right time. That’s the only song that felt right singing into the last live microphone after plans fell through and the band couldn’t get together.
The folks from the Cradle taught us live music. Hats off to Andy Young and Vinton Fountain. Those guys taught us how to wrap cables, how to hold a microphone, what a high pass is on vocals and why you do it. The Cradle is a home to many a North Carolina band.
Marti Jones & Don Dixon
Last year, Marti and I were asked if we could go out to Los Angeles to sing a song called “Respoken” at the 2020 Wild Honey Foundation concert. There’s a theme each year and this concert was a tribute to The Lovin’ Spoonful. We sang a John Sebastian tune written for their appearance in the movie What’s Up Tiger Lily which we hope you enjoy. Frank Heath is in a long line of special people. I’ve been friends with every owner of Cat’s Cradle since its inception and It takes a person with a special combination of integrity, ingenuity and passion to keep a place with that much soul going all these years. Long Live the Cradle.
Chatham County Line
“Think I’m in Love”
There are two North Carolina institutions that Chatham County Line would not exist without, one being Merlefest and the other being the Cat’s Cradle. When we were getting our legs under us in those early years it was crucial to have a legendary venue that would host us on their stage. The Cradle was that home and not only boasted a legendary stage but one of the most amazing crowds one could ask for. Even though we hail from Raleigh, we call the Cradle home.
Beck is one of those insanely entertaining songwriters and a true band favorite. The breadth of his work is such a great touchstone for a young songwriter to see. He can go from the dance floor to the opium den in the skip of a track. With our recent addition of drums we’ve been having a blast stretching ourselves in a similar fashion.
“Dress You Up”
I skateboarded in the Cradle as a teenager while seeing bands from Athens and Hoboken on weeknights, only to later be in bands that learned there how to be good bands when stepping on any stage. Just The Pressure Boys, Superchunk, The Connells, Southern Culture on the Skids, and The Veldt feel like 1000 shows. . . The Cradle is a loving home to musicians that inspires artists because it’s owned and managed with care and honesty.