The Katz

The Katz band includes lead vocalist Linda Castellano, lead guitarist Doug Kisner, drummer Sharon “Sheesh” Dykes, and bassist Tasha Fawcett.

NORTH PORT — The Katz, a local band that traces its roots back to the 1960s, will play a “virtually live” benefit from 6 to 8 p.m., today from Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, 1037 Sumter Blvd., North Port.

The show will benefit the hospitality workers who have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

The restaurant will be open for curbside pickup and The Katz will be playing on the lanai. Guests will not be allowed to congregate, but can catch the music from vehicles and hear a glimpse of live music while picking up food curbside.

“When you get home, you can catch the rest of the show Facebook Live from The Katz page, which will be recorded in its entirety,” said David Garofalo, their manager and former North Port city commissioner. “This is an outside of the box idea which fully complies with the Center for Disease Control’s social distancing recommendation and at the same time helps a local business stay afloat.”

It was the late 1960s in Tampa and teenager Linda Castellano taught herself how to play guitar as a teenager in the 1960s, and started singing as a solo act at Tampa night clubs and bars throughout the 1970s. In the 80s, she formed Linda and Frenz. Sharon “Sheesh” Dykes joined her band in the early 1980s as the drummer, and Doug “Dudley” Kisner followed a little later on as the guitarist.

Over the years, the band has gone through some changes. In the 2000s the band changed its name to 3 Cats and a Hat. North Port resident Tasha Fawcett was only a teenager in the 80s when she would play keyboards for her “Aunt Linda” part time, making it a family affair. She joined as fulltime bassist in 2013, and the band changed its name to The Katz.

Through the years, their style has always been “cover band” with a gentle mix of originals but the common theme of the band has always been about charity. “There are so many other benefits that The Katz have been a part of over the years,” Fawcett said. The band plays almost every weekend, sometimes two nights in a row, but since the COVID-19 Pandemic, all of their shows have been canceled, including their big St. Patrick’s Day show at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s.

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