Rebecca Caraveo aka Cattie Ness is the charismatic leader of a four-piece band, The Revenge from Fresno, California, who also promotes shows and have a monthly series (every third Saturday) at the Tokyo Garden (a local Japanese restaurant) called the Cattie Ness Café. So for a first album she decided to record a live at «her» Garden. And the result is a 12 pieces of raw and energic rockabilly not in a «Happy Days» style but more in a «Perkins» way ! It’s only natural for a girl that choose her nom de plume when she was photographer and writer with a local magazine in dedication to the country-punk rebel Mike Ness.
That girl is a purring kitty that was taught rock’n’roll listening her dad’s collection of 50’s records as she spent her formative years in Europe. She sang in choirs as child and learned how to play guitar just to prove she could do it ! Revenge ? Maybe but one thing is sure : that gal, she can rock !

by Dave "Long Tall" Phisel


So, how long have you been doing music ?
This year will be the 10th anniversary for Cattie Ness and the Revenge.

How did you get started ?
I had a guitar but didn’t know how to play, the drummer had a drum set and didn’t know how to play, so we railroaded another guy at work to teach us.

Did you grow up in a musical family ?
Although my parents didn’t play, they listened to a lot of records in those days. My dad was in the service, and I grew up in Germany, so most of my music was my dad’s rock and roll records.

Do you remember the first record you bought and/or the one that made you think «Woahhh, that’s what I want to do !»
LOL, actually I can’t remember when I didn’t sing. I was always in the choir at church as a little girl, and always a music afficianado as a teen, but I was shy and couldn’t bear the thought of being on the stage. As I got older, all my friends and boyfriends were musicians, and music was a way of life. It wasn’t too long before I joined them.

What are your influences as a singer and a songwriter ?
Definitely, and in tribute, my favorite singer/songwriter is Mike Ness. Therefore, the name of my band. His style is very unique, not that carbon copy American Idol crap. He gave me a lot of inspiration to get out there and do it.

What about your band, where do they come from, were they in other bands before ?
The current members of my band are John Bruce, my husband of one year, on lead guitar. (We played and got married last year at Viva.) John played with Aces & Eights and Shot to Hell before joining me. On the big old bass, Fabiola Gomez, who is 24 years old and in her first band. (Boy, was she excited when we played Viva last year.) Our drummer, Jose Sanchez, we stole from The Spahn Ranch Boys when they broke up. Fabi and Jose live in Orange County, about 4 hours from where John and I live. So we commute to practice and mostly play in LA, although I have set up shows up here. We just had Big Sandy with The Lonely Blue Boys, and in May we’re having my annual birthday show with Deadbolt.

Do you remember the first show you played ?
Definitely one of those things you never forget, we kind of knew 6 songs, it was my birthday show and the guitar players amp, started going out, making a lot of noise, which fortunately let us exit the stage gracefully.

Does it change something being a woman on the rockabilly scene, is it harder ?
Since I can’t say how it is for men, I will say being in the spotlight sure gives everyone an opportunity to come up and say whatever they damn well please. I always have men coming up to give me advice. ALWAYS. Never has a woman come up to give me advice. Since I’m Cattie, I can usually put them in their place before they know what happened and walk away. Then there are the promoters and other band guys who call me ‘babe’ and want to hustle me somehow, thinking I am a pushover, which I definitely am not, this usually pisses them off, then I get attitude as well. Needless to say, I am a strong woman, and I play by my own rules. In a man world’s, in sometimes works against you, but I really try to stay away from people with self-esteem problems anyway.

Don’t you think that things change, that we see more and more rockabilly women (Marti Brom, Josie Kreuzer, Kim Lenz, Carrie Lee…) than 15 years ago ?
The main woman I see you are missing on the list is Rosie Flores. When Rose brought Wanda Jackson and Janis Martin out of retirement, that really kicked off the once dying scene in California. She really was a driving force for me, plus when I first was hanging out in LA, she was running with the big dogs like Dave Alvin, and James Intveld (The Blasters), had appeared in movies, and was signed to a international record company. These days in LA there are so many more women fronted rockabilly bands. It is truly wonderful to see.

About your albums, how many are they ?
Years ago there was an EP called «Fresno Rockabilly» recorded at Wolfe Studios, here in Fresno. And then the full length «Live at Tokyo Garden». Tokyo Garden is home base for me, and I used to put a monthly show there called «The Cattie Ness Cafe». We’ve just recorded a single for a compilation on Split Seven Records, and have plans to go into the studio later this year.

Do you remember the most memorable gigs you played and/or went to ?
The very first show I ever saw was called «Monsters of Pomp» in San Jose, CA. It was an all day show, and featured Big Sandy, Pearl Harbor, Hayride to Hell, and so many others. Being from a small city out in the middle of nowhere, I had no idea there were people out there that actually liked the same kind of music that I did. I’d go up to the Bay area and see shows a lot by myself after that. Monsters of Pomp eventually turned into the Greaseball in San Francisco, and we were fortunate to play the very last one. This, of course, was way before anyone else was putting shows like this out west.

When can we expect a new release ?
It’s hard to say when something new will be out. I do not care for recording, I find it very tedious and boring, although a necessary evil, and since we had such a painless time recording recently, I think it will be much sooner than later.

A last word ?
I love to travel and I love France, so one day I hope we can come play there. If not that, I’d at least to go to a good rockin show there, so I can see how you guys do it! Hopefully that will be this year.

Thanks for the answers.
No, thank you !