This Saturday night, Scruffy The Cat will have the distinction of being the last band to ever play T.T. The Bear’s Place, headlining the Cambridge rock club’s final night of rock and roll with O Positive, Randy Black & The Heathcroppers, Willie Alexander, and others.
But since the Boston roots band has only played a handful of gigs since breaking up in 1990 — including a few reunion shows in 2011, and none since frontman Charlie Chesterman passed away in 2013 — they’ll need to shake off some rust.
And they will do that Wednesday night, July 22, at Cuisine En Locale in Somerville.
“Call it an open rehearsal,” the band wrote online yesterday. “Call it a bonus gig. Call it a ‘for fans only’ secret gig. Whatever it is, we’ll be doing it at Cuisine En Locale (156 Highland Ave) in Somerville this Wednesday night at about 9. It’s free. It’s loud. And it’s the first chance to hear us in many years. See you there.”
With the T.T.’s finale sold out, this could be a good chance to get reacquainted with one of the first ever alt-country/cowpunk bands. The current lineup of Scruffy the Cat features founder and guitarist Stephen Fredette, drummer Randall Lee Gibson IV, and multi-instrumentalist Stona Fitch. According to a release on the T.T.’s show they’ll be joined by long-time friends and collaborators Pete Weiss (guitar), Randall Creasi (bass), and David Charles (pedal steel guitar).
In addition to helping send off T.T.’s, the band has reformed as a way to pay respects to Chesterman, who died of cancer in 2013. “I put together this show to honor Charlie, a great musician and songwriter, irrepressible front man, and our friend,” says Fredette. “We’ll be playing some of his songs, with the help of a lot of guest singers, to say goodbye to the club where we played so many times, and to remember Charlie, who left us way too soon.”
[h/t Bradley’s Almanac]