CD REVIEW: Holiday In A Box! by Cats on Holiday

CD REVIEW: Holiday In A Box!
Cats on Holiday

Reviewed by Greg Cielec

Cats on Holiday in one form or another have been putting out good music and putting on great live shows around Northern Ohio for a very long time. Holiday in a Box! is their fifth effort, and it is another good one filled with their unique Cleveland-meets-New Orleans sound. This is the first CD that really features lead singer Denis DeVito’s button box playing, which can be heard on each track.

The disk features five DeVito originals, two reworkings of Cajun classics, and a great Cats on Holiday bouncy version of the Kinks’ “Apeman.” Probably the best track on the disk is a lively version of Andrus Espree’s “Just One Kiss,” complete with a spoken word poetry intro by percussionist Jeffrey Bowen.

We get a lot of CDs here at Cool Cleveland to review, many from local artists putting out their first serious work. Before you and your band think about putting out a disk, talk to the guys in Cats on Holiday about doing it right. Everything about this disk, from the sound and mixing to packaging and design, is first rate. Track down Rick Christyson or Denis DeVito and they will send you in the right direction. You won’t be sorry.

You can pick up a copy of Holiday in a Box! at any of the Cats’ shows this summer. They are playing everywhere between now and when autumn rolls in, including but not limited to the Flat Iron, the Sunset Grill, the Rush Inn, the Islands, Shaker Square, and numerous arts and street festivals. Amongst their May gigs are the Voice of Homeless Benefit at Brothers Lounge on Fri 5/11; the Kamm’s Corner Hooley on Sat 5/12; and the Hessler Street Festival on Sun 5/20.

For their complete summer schedule, or to hear samples of their music, go to

Greg Cielec is a local writer who covers mostly music and sports for a variety of publications and websites. He is also a full time English and creative writing teacher at Streetsboro High School; an adjunct professor at BGSU Firelands College and Lakeland Community College; and a football coach at John Carroll University.

He has published two books of fiction, My Cleveland Story (1998) and Home and Away Games (2006), and the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Michael Heaton has called him “the Mark Twain of Cleveland.” Check out his website and blog at




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