Tweety and the Tom-Cats


Rockin’ out … Last night M and I took a couple of friends to hear Tweety and the Tom-Cats at Alexa’s Café in Bothell. George Michael (on the left) teaches guitar as a sideline and has his hands full trying to break me of 50 years worth of bad habits. Good luck with that!

I’ve written before about how astonished I am at the creativity, artistry and talent that never gets much further than its own neighborhood. Every week I go to book readings, art galleries, theater and music venues where the talent is local, the quality exceptional, and the artists virtually unknown – artists whose work is creative and whose execution is polished and professional. The best blues harmonica player I’ve ever heard is a guy named Paul Green. When you hear him blow you ask yourself why he isn’t on the stage with Dave Matthews or the Rolling Stones. He’s that good, but he’s never made the big time. These days you might catch him at a dive bar on Aurora Avenue, but he should be on a big stage with a great band. The world of art and music is fickle and strange. The Brothers Four made a fortune with absolutely no talent and 50 years later the remnant is still milking it. Paul Green and Tweety put them to shame.

I first went to hear George (and Tweety) out of curiosity. He was my teacher and I wanted to know what he sounded like playing with a group. Now we go because they’re so much fun to hang with. Tweety and the boys are essentially a cover band and their playlist is huge – everything from Fleetwood Mac to Otis Redding, Joni Mitchell and Jason Mraz. But they also write and play their own music. George has a program and a following on a website called Second Life, complete with an avatar, studio setting, and a live audience.

You can listen to Tweety and the Tom-Cats do their rendition of Blues in the Night on YouTube at They’re better in person but close your eyes and listen.

As you might suspect, Tweety and the boys have day jobs to support their music. Tweety, whose real name is Gina,  is a senior manager at a major bank though you’d never believe it when she’s blowing her bluesy tenor sax. George teaches guitar on the side but during the day delivers mail at UW Bothell, and Tom oversees the installation for a large fence company.

I took this picture last night.

Tweety 2

As you might have guessed I’m a big advocate for getting out – stretching beyond your comfort zone – to see what’s going on locally.  Get out there. It’s always interesting and you might just see or hear something pleasantly surprising.

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