The Kattawar Brothers consist of Jerry Kattawar on piano and Mike Kattawar on drums. The Greenville-based duo plays a unique blend of boogie-woogie, blues, country, and classic rock & roll. The brothers grew up in Greenville, listening to blues late at night on WLAC from Nashville. They got interested in the music of B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and other Mississippi blues musicians through these programs and began trying to learn to play themselves.
Jerry began playing the piano when he was twelve. The family had an old upright piano that their father kept locked up to keep the children from “banging” on it and knocking it out of tune. In order to practice, Jerry would unscrew the small hasp lock on the piano while his father was gone at work and practice until right before it was time for him to come home. Jerry would then close up the piano and re-attach the lock.
Jerry and his brothers began working as musicians while they were still teenagers. They started in local bands, performing around Greenville at private parties and at American Legion Hall dances. When Jerry graduated from high school, he hooked up with some Arkansas-based musicians, including future country star Conway Twitty. For the next several years he traveled throughout the country, performing on package shows and dances with different groups. By his mid-20s, however, Jerry was married with a young son. They decided to return to live in Greenville where he became involved in the trucking industry.
Although no longer a full-time musician, Jerry still wanted to continue performing. His brother Mike, a drummer, hit upon the idea of he and Jerry putting together a two-piece drums and piano duo. The two now perform throughout the region at festivals, clubs, and private functions. While they focus on performing driving piano boogies (similar to early Jerry Lee Lewis), they also incorporate other types of music into their show, including blues, country, and older rock and roll. The brothers perform a high-energy show, with Jerry jumping, pounding, and walking on his electric piano.
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