I had the chance to interview the Psychafunkadelic band from Louisville, KY, Blind Feline a couple days ago. We talked a little bit about how the band got together, their new album, working with Ron Whitehead, musical inspirations, and the stories behind their songs. Here’s what they had to say.
JDCIV Blind Feline! Tell me a little about the band. Names, how y’all met, how you would describe your music, that sort of thing.
I’m Oliver Sayani , I moved away from home in the TN mountains to Louisville and before long had jammed with a lot of people including Matt griffin the current drummer of Blind Feline. His lifelong friend and band mate Kurt Spoelker our bass player came on board shortly after.
The first song I showed them was “one for the road” a jazz standard-like song I wrote about a drunken mascarade in Spain. I came in with a lot of songs already, and wrote a bunch from experiences in the past 4-5 years as well as tapping into memories about people and places back home, all the shady characters, and stories people hear but never know is true or not.
The name Blind Feline came from a blind baby wildcat stolen from its nest in the east TN mountains by a bootlegger that refused to get busted and lived off the land until he died, growing wildwood flower and making wine. I was in a class with his niece.
Every song has a different story. Some of them go together.
JDCIV Awesome, nice to get to know little about y’all and the band’s background. Killer choice for a name! I dig the story behind that. Your sound is similar to Grateful Dead’s psychedelic jam style with a folk/bluegrass twang. Who are some of the band’s influences/favorite musicians?
BF I appreciate that! To name a few I’d our biggest influences , Hank Williams, Rush, Primus, JJ Cale, Blind Melon, Doc Watson, Grateful Dead, John Scofield, ZZ Top, Les Paul, Devin the dude, snoop dogg.
Artists today we like : Sturgull Simpson, Billy Strings, Nathan Smith, Foo fighters, tame impala, Mac demarco, Trey Anastasio band
JDCIV Right on, all excellent artists. Tell me about any current or future projects that are in the works.
BF Music video and new single “Big Soup” just came out it’s available on YouTube, song on Spotify, iTunes etc.
Self produced psychedelic nature-themed concept album “Lost in the Moss Remastered” is set to be released 4/20
JDCIV I just saw the YouTube video for “Big Soup” yesterday, I dig it. Kick ass date for a release, too!
I know there’s always been a bridge between poetry and music, but how did y’all come to work with the infamous Kentucky Outlaw Poet, Ron Whitehead? He’s truly a living legend. Recently he emailed me the link to Rock N Roll Poems Vol. 2, and it is fantastic!
BF The neck of the woods I grew up in has drawn a lot of artists of all different sorts. I met and heard stories from a lot of Appalachian folk poets growing up, and one of the names I would hear a lot was Ron Whitehead. Through this network of artists Blind Feline was put on a bill as the house band of a small pub in eastern KY, where he would be headlining. I thought of him as a mystical and mythical figure, which he is, but was blown away by his humility and respect upon meeting him, and his reverence for our music after hearing us was heartwarming. Later in that same show he had us improvise a jam in the background while he delivered his poetry, which is essentially what we did in the studio for our latest collaboration with him, rocknroll poems vol 2.
JDCIV Such an amazing collaboration, my favorite is The Fortune Teller; what a story!!! It’s as if y’all were meant to meet up, brought together by the hand of fate to pair music with poetry. I dig it.
So, tell me, where did the inspiration for Lost in the Moss Remastered come from? What can we expect from this album?
BF A re-recorded, remastered, and re -invented version of the nature-themed debut EP embodying the spirit of our “genre” psychadaleyeah. A variety album that goes from swampy funk, to electric bluegrass to country blues and jazz to tell stories about people, places and experiences from Red River gorge to the Cumberland Gap to coastal Spain.
JDCIV Nice! Can you give us an example of one of the stories? I’m intrigued.
BF The Meadow is about a place in my hometown up the side of a vine covered cliff that me and my friends discovered and used to hang out at. Once you climbed 200 feet at almost a 90 degree angle, it flattened out in a mess of trees and kudzu vines forming little huts, underneath which we’d congregate, having discussions which led to discoveries, experiences and unfoldings. Strange visions took place there. I documented these to the best of my recollection in the lyrics of the song.
JDCIV Wow, that’s far more profound than I expected it to be. Extremely cool. Can’t wait to hear the album. Are y’all throwing a release party or holding an event on 4/20 that you’d like to let people know about? Where will the album be available once it’s been released?
BF Thanks, it’s been nice sharing some stories with you, and we’re grateful for you to give us this platform. The album will be available everywhere online: YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music etc, a release party is in the works.
JDCIV Excellent, thank you for letting me pick your brain a little. Before we wrap it up, is anything you’d like to add or anyone else you’d like to thank?
BF No problem. Just want to say thanks for putting us out there to your audience, I encourage everyone to check out our website BlindFelineband.com and follow our social media’s for show announcements. Bangers coming soon.
Well, y’all, there you have it. I’ll thell you what, I dig this band. It comes highly recommended. I’d also like to thank my friend, Ron Whitehead, for putting them on my radar. Trust me, check these guys out.
“Blind Feline is one of the best new bands on the planet! Their second original EP “Cicadas” is a gem.” —Ron Whitehead
James D. Casey IV is the author of seven books, founder and editor-in-chief of Cajun Mutt Press, and extensively published online/in print by small press venues and literary magazines internationally. He is a poet with roots in Colorado, Louisiana & Mississippi, currently residing in Illinois with his Beautiful Muse and their fat black cat, Chico.