Various Artists – Rescue Me! A Cause for Paws

Various Artists – Rescue Me! A Cause for Paws 


This collection of songs was assembled to raise money for animal shelters. That’s a good cause. Much of the music here is based in folk music traditions. Doing good through causes is a big part of that sort of tradition. That makes it all fit together well. The music here is diverse and effective. Let’s look at the various contributions in more depth.  

“Barn Cat” from Mary Ann Kennedy starts this set. The story-telling and mental pictures conveyed by the music really work well. This is set in classic folk traditions. The lyrics are told from the point of view of a proud barn cat. 

The intimate traditional country folk sound that opens Kathy Chiavola’s “Possum and Pearl” is classic. After the first verse this turns more into an energized bluegrass piece of music. The lyrics are very much the kind of thing that this style traditional centers upon. It would be easy to imagine this cut as coming from the 1930s or 40s. 

Speaking of traditional music, “Our Cats” (Cindy Mangsen) is just finger popping and vocals. That’s as stripped back and traditional as you can get. I love the real life lyrics. 

Annie Lalley seems to be working out some frustration from a failed relationship on “Get a Dog.” Either that or she’s genuinely concerned about the rest of the women in the world by recommending that her ex “Get a Dog.” It is an empowering and humorous ditty. 

We’re back into traditional folk music styled sounds on Heidi Muller’s “My Old Cat.” The lyrics that relate a story of love for a cat really fits those time worn traditions. This is the kind of gentle, carefree folk song that was such a part of the 1960s. 

Showing a different side of the folk music tradition, “My Best Friend” (listed as by Mark Weems, but from an album by Mark and Julie Weems) is based upon a piano melody, rather than the guitar that guided everything to this point. The lyrics are poignant and thought provoking. 

Another cut written from the point of view of a cat, “Kitty Kitty” (Ashley Jo Farmer is also another with a real traditional musical style. This time, though, it’s more of an old time jazz swing. This is such a great song. 

Next up is “Why, Why, Why” by Friction Farm. We’re back into the folk music traditions on the song. The lyrics are rather funny. The cut is one of the most traditional with hints of country and world music. 

A different type of tradition is represented on “Cattitude.” It’s another post-relationship song. It has a singer-songwriter sound and attitude to it. What Effron White lacks in traditional vocal sounds, he more than makes up for with his sense of humor and genuine nature. 

There seems to be a pattern to a number of these songs about animal companions and broken relationships. I love the traditional country sounds of Jamie Anderson’s “I Miss the Dog.” The lyrics are funny, and there is a bouncy feel to it. 

A song that has a more modern folk feeling to it, “The Best Dog” (Amy White) has a lot of emotion built into it. The lyrics are probably the best of the whole album, but they really stir at the heart strings. 

More traditional sounds are heard on Joel Mabus’ “The Kitty Ditty.” It is a country blue grass kind of thing that is a nice closing song. 

In the final analysis, this is a great album for a great cause. You don’t get much better than that.  

Mary Angela Tobin