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Izzy and the Catastrophics in Boone

Article Published: Jul. 5, 2012 | Modified: Jul. 8, 2012
Izzy and the Catastrophics in Boone

Izzy and the Catastrophics will perform Saturday, July 7, at Boone Saloon.

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In the midst of resurrected alternative music, swing and honky-tonk have both seen a bit of neglect, though both were termed as early as the 1920s and 1940s.

In their prime, the two genres rattled clubs from New York and New Orleans to underground venues. With the flare of rock ’n’ roll, the two joined the current but gave up a little of their original intolerant vibe.

Izzy and the Catastrophics, however, has fused the two with bits of rock, surf and bebop. “These are all the things that I like to do the most, all hodge-podged together,” Izzy Zaidman, the band’s founder, said.

Zaidman and company will do as they like Saturday, July 7, at Boone Saloon.

The Catastrophics’ only regular member is Zaidman, who plays lead guitar and sings vocals.

“We’ve got this revolving door of a halfway band and a halfway traveling music school,” he said.
“There’s a pool of 10 to 15 people who play, depending upon traveling availability and the vibe where we’re going. That really keeps the music fresh.”

At the Saloon will be Evan Levine (bass, vocals), Chad Brown (drums), Ted Hefko (sax) and Chapman Sowash (trombone).

The group’s individual players each play with the accent of the music that they love.

Zaidman grew up in New York, where he was nurtured by a skyline of music genres. He played in punk, hardcore, jazz and reggae bands, before he moved to Austin, Texas, to be the guitarist for Wayne Hancock’s band.

After years with the band, he quit.

“I got to the point in my life that I’ve learned so much from amazing teachers that I’ve worked with,” he said. “I figured it was my time to put my stamp on the world, build a ground-up permanent music project.”

In 2009, he said, “I saw what could be done on the road, so I called up some buddies and started booking gigs.”

They have since toured throughout the United States, Italy, Germany, Holland and Belgium and have plans to play in Switzerland, Denmark and France.

“We’re pretty well received just about everywhere,” Zaidman said. “It’s pocket to pocket in the United States, but I think we have a philosophy that gets people.”

He calls their music ceremonial rather than recitative.

“Art, and our art, is absolutely free expression,” he said. “It is a personal exchange between the people that are playing and the people that are listening. We are there to make people happy and both improve and melt into the environment wherever we go.”

The band mocks the static or confusion that could come with its automatic assimilation and allowance for many influences.

“This is way more an organic mesh of music than it is calculated,” Zaidman said. “We want this, and all of its sound, to become a fixture in world culture. And we’re really excited to come back to Boone.”

Izzy and the Carastrophics will be playing at the Boone Saloon on July 7 at 10:30 p.m., along with area favorite Possum Jenkins. Tickets are $7. Boone Saloon is located at 489 W. King St. in downtown Boone.

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