Blue Cat Band
Blue Cat Band came together in September of 1996, combining 4 lifetimes of musical experience to bring a unique guitar-driven sound to the Motor City and the Midwest. With backgrounds in rock, country, and folk, the Blue Cat's now cover the blues classics from coast to coast and venues all across Michigan. This is a unique musical chemistry, whether its light and tasty or hard driving with an edge, the Blue Cat's get the job done!
Carmichael is the consummate musician. He began playing at the age of eleven, played his first gig at fifteen, began writing songs at sixteen, and started playing professionally at the age of twenty. One of the founding members of the southern rock band Radar in the 1960's, his touring experience includes the national folk circuit with Peter Bowen, and country/country-rock with Bliss, the Honkey-Tonk Angels, and Bustin' Loose.
His numerous industry achievements include 500 session hours at Holland-Dozier-Holland studios during the '70s and while under contract with Nashville's Shed house publishing he co-wrote the #1 national country hit "What kind of fool do you think I am" with Gary Griffin, plus songs for Davis Daniel, Dawn Sears, The Smokin' Armadillos and Johnny Rodriguez. With The Blue Cat Band, Carmichael handles lead guitar and vocals on the majority of the bands work, and authored 4 songs on their CD "Blueprints".
Billy Farris, a native Detroiter who played trumpet and sang throughout elementary and junior high school before picking up the guitar as an early teenager. Shortly thereafter, influenced by the popular music of the day, Billy was in his first working band playing covers of R&B, early Rock, Blues and Country songs. He has since gone on to perform and record with numerous local and regional bands as well as touring nationally and internationally with Johnny "Yard Dog" Jones, The Butler Twins, Bettye LaVette, Terrie Lea & The Mustangs and many others...
As Al Carmichael describes... “What Billy brings to the table is great chops, vocal power, and a deep magic bag of songs, musical styles, humor and passion for the music that the band is playing. When you listen to Billy, you will know you are listening to a man who has mastered his instrument. Billy never falters and always delivers.”
Frankie Lee is a native of Detroit as well who began playing bass and singing at a young age. Frankie has played with numerous bands, both locally and nationally utilizing his skills on the electric and upright basses. Frankie is credited with several studio recordings, appearances on various radio and television shows, as well as playing / touring with national acts and headliners such as Carey and Lurrie Bell, Leon Russell, Phil Guy, and Elmore James Jr. Thus proving his many years of hard work and dedication to the music were well worth the effort!
This quote taken from his long time friend and band mate Al Carmichael could not describe Frankie's abilities and musicianship any better... “Frankie Lee plays bass and supplies the bottom end grooves that the music is built upon. He is pure foundation and feel. Put simply, it could not be done any better. Frankie is the master of the feel.
A student of legendary drum instructor Ray “Pankau” Parker, Murphy started drumming at the age of 6, in conjunction with Larry Eagan his school band director from second thru twelfth grade his musical skills were honed and challenged daily. This would serve as the catalyst for a lifetime pursuit of music education and enjoyment.
Ken Murphy has played all over the country with many groups, but his roots are deep in the Detroit Music Scene. As a member of the Detroit Federation of Musicians Local #5 for over 30 years his professional career has allowed him to perform with and be mentored by the most amazing musicians to play in Detroit and around the world. The Blue Cat Band has become the culmination of Ken Murphy’s musical pursuit, with Al Carmichael, Billy Farris, as well as Ken's partner in groove since 1976, Frankie Lee on bass.
- Blueprints (1996)