Members of long-lost Boston college-radio favorites Scruffy the Cat — part of the so-called late-’80s cowpunk scene that helped spawn the alt-country movement — have reunited around cancer-stricken frontman Charlie Chesterman after two decades apart and will play two headlining shows in their hometown this October.
The band is slated to perform Oct. 21 and 22 at old haunt T.T. the Bear’s Place in Cambridge, Mass. The concerts follow a benefit concert for Chesterman this past June that saw the singer/guitarist reunite with Scruffy bandmates Stephen Fredette (guitar), Burns Stanfield (piano) and Randall Lee Gibson (drums) on stage (see video below).
While bassist Mac Paul Stanfield (Burns’s brother) and banjo player Stona Fitch couldn’t make the June performance, Gibson — posting on the band’s Facebook group — reports Fitch will play at the first of the two October shows. Gibson also noted that both performances will be recorded.
Speaking to the Boston Globe prior to the June benefit, Chesterman said health issues — including Fredette’s now-in-remission lymphoma — had kept the band from reuniting.
Until now, he said:
“Out of all of us, I think I’m the one that has been the biggest foot-dragger about getting back together. But between the health situation that Stephen has and I have, it’s kind of changed my perspective a little bit. If everybody really wants to do this and I’m the only holdout, then I just need to shut up and get with the program.
It’s time for me to just say yes.’’
Between 1987 and 1989, Scruffy the Cat released two albums and two EPs — the image above is a Relativity Records ad for debut Tiny Days that appeared in the April 1987 issue of Spin — and received college-radio and even some MTV airplay with its single “My Baby, She’s Alright.”
Scruffy the Cat, “My Baby, She’s Alright,” 6/12/11
Scruffy the Cat, “Moons of Jupiter,” 6/12/11