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The third annual Black Cat cover show: Halloween Lo-down

The Appalachian Online

Anticipated by its organizers as the most successful yet, the third annual Black Cat Halloween Cover Show is set to take place this Halloween Friday at Black Cat Burrito.

Local bands and artists dress up and perform as their favorite famous acts for charity. Guests are encouraged to dress up in costume for a photo booth and $50 cash prize. Admission for those 18 and up is three non-perishable food items or $5.

The Appalachian spoke with organizer and booking agent Devon Tuttle, as well as each participating band.

The Appalachian: What’s going to be different this year with the cover show? How do you plan to accommodate for all the new little aspects of it?

Devon Tuttle: “The biggest difference this year is that there seems to be an entirely new crowd of perpetrators of truly heinous acts of musical tribute. I’m pleased as a pumpkin to be hosting bands that include members of From Bears, The Nude Party, The DoG Particle, JC Graves, Space Canoe, HARM, Earth Mover, Drippy Inputs and more. There are so many new victims… er- students and music fans in town that we are promoting to, and I think this will probably be the biggest and weirdest Halloween cover show to date.”

TA: How much money did you end up raising last year for charity? Do you have a goal for this year?

DT: “Each year we collect (literally) about a ton of non-perishable food items, plus, on average, something like $400 cash at the door for the Watauga Hunger and Health Coalition. This year I hope to quintuple that goal at the very least. I will settle for no less than every ounce of enthusiasm and ‘do-goodyness’ from everybody in attendance because it is really easy to have a great time and support a great cause, especially when we are all in on it together, and especially especially because Halloween is the raddest time of year, and why not have a ton of fun and support a good cause?”

TA: Any expectations with this being actually on Halloween this year?

DT: “There is no denying that Halloween shows are completely off the chain. The spirit of the season certainly brings out the strangest and most entertaining tendencies of the general public. I expect to witness all the darkness that dwells in the hearts of us all manifested in outlandish costumery, erratic dancing, and shameless expenditure.”

TA: How did you recruit the bands? Was it a lot of word of mouth?

DT: “It was pretty much entirely word of mouth. I spend most of the year working with local bands on various occasions, and I keep my ear to the ground for anybody who appears to generally be killing it musically – then I simply pitch the idea to them, and more often than not everybody is incredibly stoked to be involved. Sometimes I’ll even plant seeds in people’s brains here and there to collaborate, and sometimes those Halloween collaborations even become full-time bands. The cover show is just an awesome opportunity to bring folks from various scenes together in one place to collaborate on something different and fun.”

TA: Anything else you want to say?

DT: “On a more serious note, this time next year when it comes time to put on the 4th annual Boone Halloween Cover Show there may not be many all-ages event spaces left in this town. Inclusivity and diversity is something that we are really passionate about, and DIY music events of that nature are becoming increasingly difficult to champion in this town. If you [readers] are passionate about diverse all-ages live music events like we are, and you want to get involved or feel like you can help make those kinds of events happen in any way, then please do it.”

Visit or to find out more about local events like this.

Meet the bands:

Joy Division

–       Not a Boone band, got together for the show.

–       Members: Jay Salton and John Russell from Earth Mover, Sean Bos from Harm, River Allen from Vitamin Pets and Devon Tuttle

–       Why this band?: “It’s a band that’s generally amenable to our playing styles. Joy Division was also a formative band for most of us,” Bos said.

–       What’s your angle?: “We are playing stripped down versions of these songs that are inclined towards Joy Division’s punkier side as Warsaw,” Bos said.

Tame Impala

–       Boone band name: From Bears

–       Members: Ben Taylor, Matthew Nemeth, Trent Mason and Doug Little.

–       Why play this show?: “We agreed to play at the cover show because it sounded like so much fun,” Little said. “It’s a unique opportunity for our little unit to take on a completely different role. Plus, the other bands playing are incredible and we’re eager to hear how they handle their covers.”

–       Why this band?: “Tame Impala was a natural choice for us- their music is influential to ours, all our members enjoy them,” Little said. “When we write songs, their presence informs the process for sure.”

–       What’s your angle?: “Our own identity as a band will shine through in the orchestration of these covers, we’ll set things up a little differently despite masquerading as the real deal,” Little said. “We couldn’t be more excited for a show with such great friends at one of our favorite venues in Boone.”


–       Boone band name: Space Canoe

–       Members: Everett Thomas, Jacob Crigler, Chris Capozzoli, and Timon Griffin.

–       Why this band?: “Ween has been incredibly influential to my music and I they’re songs are a lot of fun to play,” Griffin said. “But most of all it’s Hallo-WEEN.”

–       What’s your angle?: “We are going to be playing our own takes on some classics and some b sides with some space twang involved,” Griffin said.

Merle Haggard

–       Boone band name: The Billy Smith Post.

–       Members: Clint Frost vocals, Joey Frost bass, Russell Bomer drums, Colin Moore keys, Timon Griffin pedal steel.

–       Why this band?: “We chose Merle because we thought it’d be real cool to show the versatility of his songwriting,” Clint Frost said.

–       What’s your angle?: “We will be performing as Unknown Bone, doing Merle Haggard covers with a punkish twist, I suppose,” Clint Frost said.

Guided By Voices

–       Not a Boone band, got together for the show.

–       Members: David Cate, John Russell and Jay Salton.

–       Why play this show?: “I’ve been to all of the cover shows, it’s one of my favorite annual events and I signed up because covering a favorite band is a lot of fun and playing in the show itself is always awesome,” Carte said.

–       Why this band?: “I chose guided by voices because I love their sloppy, short punk pop songs and their songs mean a lot to me,” Carte said. “They’re a nineties band, I’m a nineties kid.”

–       What’s your angle?: “Not a whole lot of twist we’re bringing to the songs because we love them the way they are,” Carte said. “We’re speeding them up some but that’s all.”

The Violent Femmes

–       Boone band name: JC Graves

–       Members: Kyle Donahue on guitar/vocals, Ella Pullman on synthesizer, Olivia Buck on guitar, Austin Brose on drums/sampler and John Stych on bass.

–       Why this band?: “We chose the Violent Femmes because there are four major steps in life: becoming sexually frustrated, listening to the Violent Femmes self-titled album, figuring out the Violent Femmes are sexually frustrated, and passing on the Violent Femmes to your children,” Donahue said. “We feel everyone in the audience can relate to at least one of these.”

The Animals

–       Boone band name: The Nude Party.

–       Members: Alec Castillo on bass, Austin Brose on percussion, Connor Mikita on drums, Patton Magee on vocals, Shaun Couture on electric guitar and Zachary Merrill on keyboard.

–       Why play this show?: “We heard people talking about the cover show last Halloween, and it sounded like a rowdy good time,” Castillo said. “So we hit up Devon a few months in advance to make sure we got on the line-up for this one.”

–       Why this band?: “We chose that band because they’ve got a similar sound and instrumental set up to us, and The Animals are badass and we wanted to learn to play some of their songs,” Castillo said. “Partly so we could emulate their songwriting style that is very unique and stylish – and also just so we know some of their songs to play at shows down the road.”

–       What’s your angle?: “The twist is just that we’re playing it,” Castillo said. “We’re totally unable to cover a song exactly the way it was written – it’s impossible for us not to put our own flourishes on it.”

 Story: Lovey Cooper, Senior A&E Reporter

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