Baltimore’s Fractal Cat writes and performs music influenced by the classic decades of rock ‘n’ roll. As a six-piece psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll band, the band combines multipart harmonies with lyrical themes combining social commentary and mysticism. The band released The Tower, its third album of all-original material, live in studio at WTMD Radio, Baltimore in early 2017—the station’s first ever album release party. In July, the album debuted at #14 on the Relix/Jambands.com radio chart. In 2016, Fractal Cat was featured in the “Maryland Music” documentary presented by Maryland Public Television. The group and its side projects perform at dozens of clubs and festivals in the Baltimore region and beyond, sharing the stage with acts of all stripes, including Matisyahu, Trevor Hall, Dan Deacon, The Mantras, People’s Blues of Richmond, and the Rumpke Mountain Boys.
Miles Gannett: vocals, electric guitar, songwriting, production
Keith Jones: vocals, acoustic guitar, songwriting
Jason Baker: drums, percussion
Kevin Morris: bass
Joshua Lilly: keyboards, guitar, vocals
Sean P. Finn: French horn, violin, cornet
James Von Lenz: banjo
Mike Franklin: sound engineering
The Eye in the Dawn
On the eve of Halloween 2012, the band released its first album, The Eye in the Dawn, a collection of songs that Baltimore singer/songwriter Miles Gannett had been accumulating since his teens. According to Miles, the album was “inspired by the psychedelic experience and a journey of spiritual awakening.” Featuring the jazz/Afro beat–influenced drumming of Jason Baker, the electronic sound–wizardry of Joe Clark, the acoustic rhythm guitar of Keith Jones, the dubbed-out bass of Andy Myatt, and Miles’s lysergic lead guitar and production, Eye revealed a band paying its debts to the psychedelic rock canon while envisioning a new path forward.
Several Baltimore musicians also contributed their talents, including Chris Mandra of Telesma, Tiffany DeFoe of The Bellevederes, and Sean Finn of Great Mutant Skywheel and Sahffi.
Inside World Music hailed the debut album, describing the single “Some Angel” as “one of the best songs composed in any genre or era—bar none.” What Weekly magazine added that “if you enjoy fearlessness, tunefulness, and joy, this is the record for you.”
In July 2014, Fractal Cat released Lovingkind, the epic follow-up to The Eye in the Dawn. The album represents a leap forward in songwriting and production, blending elements of folk-rock and electronica with the band’s positive, playful lyrics.
Guest musicians abound. Subtle Hustle’s Kim Gravatt contributed ethereal flute, Rufus Roundtree and the B-More Brass Factory added a soulful, “Balti-Gras” vibe, and Joe Clark overlaid synths and samples.
The video for the first single, “As You Fly,” turned heads with its remote-controlled drone camera, and the album track “Tryptide” became a favorite of WTMD Radio, receiving steady play in the Baltimore area. The Frederick News-Post called Lovingkind a “fantastic showcase for a fantastic band” and Appalachian Jamwich applauded the “distinctly late Beatles-esque flavor with [its] very own twist of psychedelic juice.
The band recently completed The Tower, its third album of all-original material. Inspired by the Tarot card of the same name, this collection of songs speaks to such urgent matters as political oppression, police-community relations, and religious tolerance. Baltimore Magazine praised the “urgent calls to trust your intuition, spread love, and give peace a chance” and the Baltimore Sun likened the album to “the old, like the Beatles and other British Invaders from the 1960s, and the new, like My Morning Jacket.” Fractal Cat continues to expand its fan base, sharing its catchy tunes and universal lyrics with people of all ages.
The Cats' Stripes
Miles Gannett began playing guitar and writing songs at the age of seven. He crafted his early tunes in the style and spirit of 1950’s rock 'n’ roll, initially inspired by the movies La Bamba and The Buddy Holly Story. As a teenager, Miles produced strange electronic music and started writing psychedelic songs with mystical themes. In his early twenties he played electric egg slicer, shortwave radio, and spoon-guitar in the Krautrock-influenced experimental band Zeug, and was also the original lead guitarist for Baltimore world fusion powerhouse Telesma. Feeling called to pursue his own songwriting, Miles formed Fractal Cat in late 2011 while recording The Eye in the Dawn on his own in a home studio. The songwriter had released several singles before rounding up “a group of friends” to finish the album and form a band that could reproduce the rich studio sounds onstage.
Keith Jones, a not-too-distant relative of Patsy Cline, seemed destined to sing. His musical journey began in coffee shops during the late nineties, most notably on the streets of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He released one acoustic album of original songs with Charlotte, NC musician Bert Wray, formerly of Selah Dubb, then went on to cofound experimental rock band Pläns Pläns in rural Eastern Maryland. The band released two albums during its seven-year career. Keith has found his inner cat sharing lead vocal duties with Miles and continuing to write songs when the spirit moves him. He is heavily influenced by blue skies and golden oldies, and his favorite color is green.
Jason Armstrong Baker has been drumming for over 30 years. As a performing artist, composer, and board-certified music therapist, he draws inspiration from numerous world music and healing traditions: African rhythmic harmony, Chinese Five Elements, American improvisation, and yogic breath work.
Kevin Morris is a bass player and digital engineer. Classically trained, he plays electric as well as upright bass, which he began learning in first grade. He studied under such notable classical bass teachers as George Vance, Francois Rabbath, and Hal Robinson. As an orchestral double bassist, Kevin was first chair, All-County, and All-State for six consecutive years as well as guest soloist for Peabody Conservatory Orchestra. Growing up on the same street as Miles, the two began playing music together as early as third grade, when they toured local elementary schools performing the Isley Brothers’s "Twist and Shout.” As a digital engineer, Kevin has toured with big names such as Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Tool. A reunion with Miles has brought Kevin full circle in his life as a musician
Joshua Lilly is still on the fence about writing a bio, but will think about it. He also doesn’t like there being much info about himself out in the world. He doesn't do it for any of his other bands, even the ones he formed—prefers to just let the music do all the talking. He is sorry to be weird.
Sean P. Finn is a Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC–based performer and recording engineer. His musical beginnings involved a debut violin performance at on Chicago’s Orchestra Hall stage at age 4. Later branching out to French horn, cornet, keyboards, concertina, ukulele, and bass, Sean received multiple degrees from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Influences include Peter Gabriel, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Jaco Pastorius, Tony Levin, Igor Stravinski, Homer, Quentin Tarantino, Hugh Hefner, and Plato. His cat personality most resembles the ocelot: nocturnal, solitary, and territorial.