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Catl plays the midnight headlining set at the Horseshoe Tavern Saturday. (Alyssa Katherine Faoro/Handout)
Catl plays the midnight headlining set at the Horseshoe Tavern Saturday. (Alyssa Katherine Faoro/Handout)

Blues band’s hiatus is no sad affair Add to ...

It’s round-up time for Catl, the vivacious juke-blues trio known for danceable uproars and ragged, hypnotic boogies. After five years, three albums and a particularly intense touring schedule in 2012, the group is taking a hiatus. In advance of a farewell concert at the Horseshoe Tavern on Saturday, Catl founder and frontman Jamie Fleming talks about new chapters and old blues.

Catl is known for its upbeat energy. But what’s the vibe going to be like for this farewell concert?

Catl started out as a rock-and-roll dance band, and that’s what people can still expect from us. The chapter is ending with this lineup, but essentially I’m Catl. I write the songs, and I’ll still record under that moniker, moving forward. Sarah [Kirkpatrick] and I are a couple, so we’ll have to figure out what we want to do. I say it will be a new direction, but we’re not going to be a reggae band or anything.

The Toronto Blues Society is having its Blues Summit this weekend, and there’s also the Maple Blues Awards gala on Monday. It seems to me that Catl has never really been embraced by the traditional blues crowd.

I hear what you’re saying. To be honest, I’ve never been interested in plugging myself into any scene. I grew up as a punk rocker, but I’ve always considered what we play as traditional. It comes from a faraway place and a faraway time. I know those records. I know that music. I do my best to do service to it. Perhaps we’re noisier than the traditional blues audience is used to. But that’s the way it was back in the day. The blues guys of the twenties and thirties were the punk rockers of their time.

Do you take satisfaction in exposing blues to younger audiences?

When I first set out to do this, I was surprised people liked it. But I’m not a teacher. Ultimately, this is about my good time. If it is somebody else’s good time, then all the better. If it isn’t, I’m still going to be sitting around my living room or my front porch playing this type of music.

Blues Summit, to Jan. 21, $69 to $119. Delta Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard W., 416-645-9090, torontobluessociety.com.

Maple Blues Awards, Jan. 21, 7 p.m., $28 to $45. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., 416-408-0208.

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