More about Katvanger
photo by Maryse Loranger
Katvanger is a blues-tinged trio that crosses borders – both literally and figuratively – with a mix of original compositions that cannot be easily pigeonholed or labeled. Some might call it roots or Americana, but in fact, Katvanger’s idiosyncratic eclecticism defies easy description, and with a conspiratorial wink, they’ve often described it as dubious blues, twisted roots, counterfeit country & western, and improbable jazz. With songs and stories that may recall the classic blues themes of pain, betrayal and abandonment, or may offer ironic commentary on the political and social issues of the day. And then, just for a change, they throw in a blues standard or an obscure cover.
Bass player Ruud Fransen has been playing rock ’n’ roll and blues since the sixties. He grew up in The Hague, co-founded the iconic Dutch blues band Livin’ Blues in 1966, and has played in numerous blues and rock bands over the years. And now, well into his eighth decade, he’s still at it. Katvanger’s Belgian-born lead guitar player Jan Vereçki seems to effortlessly invent elegant guitar riffs to fit the moment and the mood. In his spare time, he can’t seem to resist adding off-brand guitars to an already extensive collection. Ruud and Jan accompany – and try to impose order on – the American-born singer and guitar player Jim Wake, whose whisky-tinged voice belies claims of a comfortable middle-class upbringing.
Together – with Ruud and Jan providing instrumental accompaniment and backing vocals – they make music that swings and elicits irresistible foot-tapping and a smile. Music that is slightly subversive and highly infectious.
*From Wikipedia: A katvanger is a person who acts on behalf of the owner of a vehicle, business, bank account or similar holding in order conceal the identity of the the actual owner from the authorities. The individuals who use katvangers are usually criminals and the katvangers themselves are often addicts, homeless people, people with debts, or people who don’t realize the risks they are taking by acting as katvangers.