Cat and the Moon fuses Celtic and bluegrass rhythms

(Cat and the Moon’s Celtic and bluegrass harmonies filled the Heineman Ecumenical Center during a midday preformance. Darian O’Donnell.)

Cat and the Moon filled the Heineman Ecumenical Center with traditional bluegrass and Celtic rhythms on Monday, Sep 12. FSU students listened intently to the country-folk-like sound and banjo beats.

The group was high in energy, dancing as they played and stomping their feet to the beat. It had the audience joining along and tapping in time. Through the roar of applause and cheering to their pieces, it was clear that the Cat and the Moon held FSU audience’s attention.

The band consists of four members, each playing something different. Charles Berthoud played the bass guitar. Ethan Hawkins played the acoustic guitar. JD Williams played the mandolin. And lastly, band leader and award-winning banjo virtuoso Ricky Mier was on the banjo. 

Mier took on lead vocals, but each member joined in to harmonize.

Mier and Berthoud, the two founding members from the original Cat and the Moon, have joined with Hawkins and Williams and continue to play under the name. Looking to the future, the four are aiming toward making this the official group and changing the band’s name to Rick Fire and the Ricktones.

The set consisted of a various different sounding tunes. There were some that held lyrics, some with harmonizing, some with just instrumentals and many banjo solos. There were moments where they took on a sort of “jam band” feel, where there were only instrumentals. Mier performed many banjo solos within their songs, which impressed the FSU audience. They clapped and cheered after every solo.

They also performed “face offs”, in which two of the members would face each other and battle between their musical skills. The banjo dueled the bass guitar, while the acoustic battled the mandolin. Each “face off” consisted of multiple solos going back and forth amongst the players, allowing them to show off their musical talents.

FSU students enjoyed the performance and agreed that Cat and the Moon is a skillful group.

Senior Scott Carucci said,” I really enjoyed it. It was different music than what I normally listen to. They were very entertaining.”

Sophomore Matt Rixon said, “I thought it was cool. They jammed out a lot. They had good chemistry together. I think I have a new appreciation for the banjo.”

Sophomore Danielle Lewis said, “I thought the performance was great. I loved how enthusiastic the lead singer was. I also liked the solos and how they played against each other. Overall, I had a wonderful time.”

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