Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

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The Sassagoula Sentinel
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Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by The Sassagoula Sentinel » March 25th, 2015, 5:00 pm

Lounge entertainer Tom Casey will be finishing his run at Scat Cat's Club at Port Orleans French Quarter at the end of March.

According to his Facebook page, evening entertainer Tom Casey will be finishing his contracted run at Scat Cat's Club at Port Orleans French Quarter at the end of March. Thanks for all the fun and live music at Scat Cat's over the past couple of years Tom, and good luck for your future projects.

There has been no announcement as yet as to who will be replacing Tom.

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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by MardiGroggy » March 26th, 2015, 10:35 am

Interesting. KInd of strange that he is leaving in just a few days and they haven't announced a replacement. I hope they will continue the entertainment at the club. It is one of the great perks of Port Orleans (along with Bob, of course). I also hope that they find another venue for Tom Casey to continue at WDW. He is an excellent musician and it is sad that he was not able to draw more of an audience at FQ. However, as I have said in the past, I don't think he was the best "fit" for Scat Cat's. The Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Saratoga Springs, or the Yacht Club would suit him better, I would think. Anyway, I suppose it is too much to hope that Elliot will return. The last I heard, he was enjoying his "retirement" and spending more time with his grand kids. It will be great if they can at least get someone like him, both as a musician and an entertainer, who brings back that New Orleans Jazz feel to Scat Cat's. I, for one, am anxiously awaiting the news.
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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by Amos45 » March 31st, 2015, 3:26 am

Great information! Thanks for sharing with us! I have visited this Scat Cat's Club. There services are always nice. I am sad that Tom Casey will be finishing his contracted run at Scat Cat's Club. Now I will have to find some other [spam link removed] live music bar nyc for my birthday party.

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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by Admin » March 31st, 2015, 4:23 am

Amos45 wrote:Great information! Thanks for sharing with us! I have visited this Scat Cat's Club. There services are always nice. I am sad that Tom Casey will be finishing his contracted run at Scat Cat's Club. Now I will have to find some other [spam link removed] live music bar nyc for my birthday party.
I must admit, the spammers are getting more inventive, that message could almost be a real post. Almost...

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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by MardiGroggy » March 31st, 2015, 9:00 am

As always, Andre, thanks for manning the battlements!!!
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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by MardiGroggy » April 13th, 2015, 1:12 pm

Sooo...any news on a replacement? Is there anyone who has been there in the last couple of weeks who can let us know what is happening? Any new info is much appreciated.
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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by andyburr » July 12th, 2015, 12:30 am

Bon jour / bon soir, mes amis! My name is Andy Burr -- I'm a musician who has been performing regularly Sunday and Monday evenings (8-11pm) at Scat Cat's since May. (there's a DJ there at least some other nights.) I can't claim to be the musician or entertainer Tom is (nor certainly the one Elliot is!), but so far management seems to like what I do, which is primarily Louisiana-theme music (Cajun, zydeco, New Orleans pop classics, and some other songs of the south) on guitar, harmonica, and vocal. I met Steve at Scat Cat's one evening not long ago, and he told me about Andre and this site, so here I am to say howdy.

My band, The Porchdogs, has been specializing in Louisiana Cajun and zydeco since 1992. The trio (me with my squeezebox-playing fellow-Porchdog Greg Taillon and Fiddlin' Al Eisenman) was called in to play one evening at Scat Cat's shortly after Tom left. As it turns out, a trio was a bit too expensive for steady work. So I'm doing a solo there -- my first time playing as a soloist in many years. It's a bit of a challenge, but I'm having a great time! It's a comfortable environment, and one of the few places in Central Florida where I can play the Louisiana music I love.

The Scat Cat trio show we did also has led to other work: As a duo, we were asked to perform at the recent Memorial Day and Independence Day mini-festivals at Riverside. Good fun! And the trio is doing some mid-week work at Downtown Disney. I'm really grateful to have these opportunities... especially when sizzling Florida summers can be very slow times for freelance musicians like me.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to meeting you on the banks of the Sassagoula!

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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by Admin » July 12th, 2015, 4:22 am

Thanks so much for taking the time to post here Andy. Steve (swd) has been letting us know about your evenings at Scat Cats and I know he really enjoyed your sets, and in particular the style of music that you've been playing which he felt was a great fit for the resort's theme (see his trip report post www.portorleans.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1570).

I've heard both Elliot and Tom playing at Scat Cat's over the years, and I do feel that more traditional New Orleans inspired music works best in this venue, and Elliot certainly built up a very loyal following over many years which perhaps Tom was never given the chance to do.

It would be great if you could have your band with you as that sounds a great opportunity, but I guess Disney only allocates a certain weekly budget per resort, and if they exceed it for one location they'd have to do it for others too (and I'm sure the bean-counters would be the first to point out that French Quarter is the smallest of the Moderate resorts anyway).

I hope it works out well and this can become a permanent gig for you, as the idea of DJ-based music at Scat Cat's really doesn't inspire me very much! Or at all, if I'm honest - might as well just install a radio and play Top 40 music!

Good luck for the future, and I hope it works out well. If you're playing there in August when I'm next over there, I'll be sure to drop by one evening.

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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by MardiGroggy » July 12th, 2015, 8:25 am

Welcome, Andy! Great to see that you found your way to Andre's excellent site for all things Port Orleans. He was kind enough to add some photos to my trip report (I'm a bit cyber-challenged when it comes to photos), and two of them are ones I took with my iPhone the same night we met at Scat Cat's. Hopefully some exposure here will help build your audience at FQ, as well as the other venues that you play around WDW. I'm sorry I missed the July 4th festivities at Riverside, it would be nice to meet your other band members, but I think some of our members here were in attendance. In addition to what I posted in my trip report, I also sent some comments to WDW Guest Communications regarding your music at Scat Cat's, so I sincerely hope that it will help. Please keep in touch and let us know how it is going.
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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by andyburr » July 12th, 2015, 10:41 am

Thank you, Andre and Steve, and best wishes to all!
https://www.facebook.com/ThePorchdogs

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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by Admin » July 12th, 2015, 6:27 pm

Thank you Andy. I'm going to add some details on the Scat Cat's page, as your Sunday/Monday sets appear to be a regular fixture at present. I hope it continues to be successful for you, and I get to see you there in August.

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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by rob100 » August 2nd, 2015, 4:33 pm

Bring back ELLIOT DYSON

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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by MardiGroggy » August 4th, 2015, 4:14 pm

I think we would all like for that to happen, but it seems like a pretty unlikely. If you haven't already, be sure to send a message to WDW Guest Communications and let them know how you feel. You never know what may tip the balance, but from what I hear, Elliot is enjoying his retirement and doing a few gigs at Universal Citywalk and other locales. He may not want to take on that hectic of a schedule again.

That said, I am hoping to see Andy Burr on Sunday evening, if he is still there.
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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by MardiGroggy » August 6th, 2015, 3:02 pm

Well, I guess I won't be seeing Andy this week. I sent him an email to check his schedule, and this is the reply I received:
Hi Steve!
For August I am only scheduled (as of today, anyway -- things often change last-minute) Aug 2-3 and 16-17. I know that a friend of mine, Randy Morris (a great piano and accordion player) is booked there sometime this month, but when I saw him last night he wasn't sure which nights. I'll see whether he knows today. I'm sorry I probably won't be there to meet you again! But who knows who will be at Scat Cat's.
Randy and I and a rubboard player have been playing zydeco at Downtown Disney a few nights a month. Last night, then upcoming Aug 11-12 and 18.
Best regards,
Andy
Andy did get back to me to report that Randy Morris is currently scheduled for August 10th and 24th. He doesn't know about any other evenings.

Apparently the entertainment at Scat Cat's is still hit and miss! That is a great disappointment, at least as far as I'm concerned.
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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by MardiGroggy » August 11th, 2015, 10:02 am

And now, for another chapter in the Scat Cat's saga... When we arrived last Saturday, I checked with a group of smiling CMs in the lobby at FQ about any entertainment during the weekend. It is interesting to watch the looks on the CM's faces, as Disney does not allow them to say "I don't know," but they clearly didn't. There were fleeting looks of "OMG, what do we do now!" on their faces, but they recovered nicely. One started looking through the entertainment calendar brochure, but that doesn't ever say anything specific about SC. One more enterprising lad began surfing their computer and reported that there was nothing on Saturday evening (he did suggest YeHaa Bob at POR, but we were doing that anyway) and that Mark King was scheduled for Sunday evening, 8-11pm. I did not know Mark King, and they didn't seem to either, but I let them off the hook at that point and went back to Riverside. While at Riverside, at the River Roost lounge, I asked one of the CMs about Mark King and was told that he is a long time Disney CM and is highly regarded for his shows, including filling in for Bob at RR when he is not available. That sounded promising!

Sunday evening we stopped at Scat Cat's on the way back from DTD and Mark was just setting things up. We chatted for a bit and I learned that he has been working with Disney for many years, performing at various venues, including Chip N' Dales Campfire Sing-Along at the campground. He started as a Big Band singer over 30 years ago, so has some serious experience to his credit. Mark played both piano and guitar, depending on the song, and is very talented with both. He was quick to establish a connection with the small but enthusiastic audience and took requests immediately. There was also a woman guest there who had a great voice, and after singing along with Mark from her table, he invited her on stage to do some other songs she liked. As a result, we were treated to her outstanding renditions of "Summertime" and "Crazy." Mark took a bunch of requests from others and even had a little girl dancing around to his mix of pop standards, rock, blues and jazz tunes. He has a wide range of music in his head, and throughout the show people drifted in and out as one song or another caught their attention as they passed by in the lobby or on the way to the food court. Unfortunately, the Club itself was only about half full at the most, but as I said, it was an enthusiastic group. It reminded me of the Elliot nights, but less people. The 3 hours just flew by and Mark only took one short break. It was a really great show and his years of experience with working the audience was clearly evident. Unfortunately, he is not scheduled again at Scat Cat's until 8/23, although he may fill in at RR while Bob is recuperating. I'll also mention again that in addition to long-time CM/Bartender Mark they also still had CM/Table Server Laura on duty. They both kept the refreshments flowing smoothly throughout the night. As much as I enjoy visiting a bit with Mark at the bar, it is nice to have the table service while the show is going on.

Now, for my soapbox: It seems clear to me that Disney has access to at least two excellent entertainers, Andy Burr and Mark King, who could, if given the chance, build up a following at the Club. Since it appears that Elliot will not ever be returning, the powers that be need to make a commitment to get some consistency in the SC entertainment schedule and get things back on track. Right now it is evident that the lack of support/direction is hurting the Club patronage, which hurts the bottom line, which is needed to pay for the entertainment. Both Andy and Mark clearly expressed interest in a regular gig at the Club, so it is not for lack of talent that the stage is empty. With that in mind, I spoke to a "Manager" at FQ and tried to encourage them to make a commitment to having a regular schedule of entertainment and doing a decent job of promoting the shows. I pointed out the difficulty the CMs had with answers to such a basic question as, "What is scheduled for the weekend?" I also pointed out that there are no billboards, posters or schedule listing for the entertainment at SC anywhere, including at the Club itself. (There is more promotion of Scat Cat's on this website than there is on any Disney site.) Having no publicity does not seem to me to be a good strategy for a company that sees itself as the epitome of the entertainment and hospitality industry. I have no idea if my conversation with the "Manager" will do any good, as the only response I received was that my concerns will be "forwarded to the appropriate people." I will, of course, send my customary email to WDW Guest Communications, but so far that really hasn't changed anything either. But I will keep campaigning, as I really enjoy and support live music. I think Scat Cat's is one of the hidden gems of WDW, at least when it is groovin' at its best. If you agree, please make your feelings known to the WDW people, either during your visits or through WDW Guest Communications.

Ok, rant off! Thanks for listening. If you are at PO, check for the shows and keep any eye out for Mark and Andy. You'll have great time, guaranteed!
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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by MardiGroggy » December 22nd, 2015, 8:51 am

Well, it has been a while now. Do any of you folks that have visited FQ in the past six months have any updates on the entertainment at Scat Cat's? We were there last at the end of the summer and the situation had not improved. We did get a chance to hear some of the DJ they had at the time, but it was not worth even hanging around for. I have nothing against DJs in general, but not at this venue. Apparently we were not alone in that thinking, as there were five or six tables of people when the music started, and all of them left within about 20 minutes. We stayed long enough to finish our drinks. Again, just not the right fit for the French Quarter theme. Since Disney is all about theme, I can't for the life of me figure why they can't get this worked out....other than perhaps the money angle.

Anyway, does anyone have any current info about what is going on? The reopening of the sit-down restaurant as Scat Cart's Cafe (temporary though it may be) is encouraging, but I would love to hear that they have done something positive about the entertainment also.

Anyone???
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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by Admin » December 23rd, 2015, 3:49 am

I was going to post a quick update, as yesterday someone told me that two members of Off Kilter, the band which used to play in Canada in Epcot until Disney brought in that stupid Lumberjack show, have been filling in at Scat Cat's recently, and Jason and Billy were excellent and everyone seemed to be enjoying their show. let's keep our fingers crossed!

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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by Admin » December 23rd, 2015, 8:42 am

Here's a video shot a few days ago:

https://www.facebook.com/marilyn.garfin ... 1/?theater

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Re: Tom Casey to leave Scat Cat's Club at end of March

Unread post by MardiGroggy » December 24th, 2015, 9:13 am

Excellent! Very promising indeed. Maybe having the restaurant open again will help with "exposure" and keep this going.
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