I’ve known about Cataldo for a few years now- my best friend and roommate for nearly two years found him on the internet once, a random Myspace find I think (he was always good for accidentally happening across wonderful bands on the internet, but I digress) and to be frank I wasn’t really that into it. There were two songs that were alright: I liked Wedding Cake, off the self-titled first album because it told a pretty story about a man accepting the love of his life marrying someone else, and Black and Milds off of the second album, Signal Flare, because it’s catchy as all hell. Seriously, listen to that song once, you’ll be singing the chorus for the rest of the day. Other than those two songs though, I just didn’t see it. Just another generic folk band who kind of wanted to be Bright Eyes and kind of wanted to be Iron and Wine.
Cataldo released their newest album, Prison Boxing, in late September of last year and I was fully prepared to feel mostly unimpressed when my old roommate called me to tell me about how amazing it was. I checked it out though, and I was hooked. I listened to it, and then I listened to it again to make sure it really was as good as it seemed that first listen. Then I listened to it again. And again. This went on for over a week. I’ve probably listened to Prison Boxing three hundred times since it was released and honestly it just keeps getting better. I’m actually listening to it right now and I really should stop because it keeps distracting me and at this rate this article will never be finished. It’s the perfect folk album, telling tales of heartbreak and separation and the worst parts of a man’s life through a lens of cheerful sounding, uplifting music. It’s an interesting dichotomy and it works out beautifully.
A little about Cataldo, now. Cataldo is the stage name of singer-songwriter Eric Anderson and the ever revolving group of musicians that play with him sometimes. Anderson started recording back in 2005 with the self titled album that I mentioned earlier, and a few years later he released Signal Flare, which sounds a little more well produced and is a little higher quality in terms of material. Then last year Prison Boxing came out, and it’s like they’ve transcended into some higher plane of musical ability. I’m not sure what terrible heartbreak Eric Anderson went through in order to create such beautiful music, but I can only hope it happens to every other musician out there.
None of the youtube videos are particularly good quality, so here is a link to his bandcamp page- you gotta listen to Prison Boxing, it’ll change your life I swear. And in retrospect, the older stuff isn’t half bad, either.
Written by Logan Scott Ford
-Logan, Cody & jeff
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