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Local band -- the Fat Cats -- finds success on MySpace

DETROIT LAKES -- Over the years, the Fat Cats have changed a few group members here and there, taken a break from touring and only continued to grow successfully. Now they are using the Internet to claw their way to the top of cyberspace as well.

Using the social network MySpace, The Fat Cats became the No. 1 classic rock band in Minnesota and in the top two in the Blues category, competing with Fargo artist Shannon Curfman and Minneapolis artist Peter Lang. They have also hit No. 11 in the Rock category.

The Fat Cats -- made up of Steve Ingberg, drums, Wes Horn, bass, Doug Newman, lead vocals, and Kerry Boyd, guitar and keyboards -- are using the site to promote music and upcoming venues for their shows.

"It goes by the number of hits on the Web site. They have songs on there that people can download and listen to. It's how much activity their site gets. It seems to be really taking off with the younger crowd," Kent Disse said. Disse has served as manager of the band for the last three months.

But The Fat Cats' success isn't just in Minnesota. (Newman and Boyd live in Detroit Lakes, Ingberg is in Fargo and Horn resides in Dilworth.) Nationally, they continue to climb the charts there, ranking as high as No. 76 in the classic rock category and in the top 100 in the blues section.

MySpace offers a special section on the site for musicians, which enables bands to invite "friends" to upcoming shows and let them know about upcoming CDs as well.

With over 4,000 friends on the site, for upcoming shows, The Fat Cats can "pick a 50 miles radius of Fargo (or wherever the venue is located) and they can invite anybody in that radius from MySpace and it really makes a difference at the clubs or events they are at as far as people showing up that have been invited from the MySpace site."

The band has been playing together for 18 years. They have seen their fair share of venues -- street dances, nightclubs, corporate events -- nationally and internationally, playing each year at Dragfest in Ontario, Canada, and in San Pedro, Belize, Central America.

"Yeah, we've been together eight years longer than the Beatles, with 20 less hits," jokes Horn.

Not only have they played the venues, they have met the legends also playing those venues and more. The band has shared the stage with Boston, ZZ Top, REO Speedwagon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Byrds to name a few.

After years of playing cover tunes, in 1995, the band completed its first CD project, "Fat Cats RUB." Thirteen years later, they are planning the release of their second CD later this spring.

The CD will include tracks from local area songwriters like Nita Velo.

"They started out as a cover band. Now they are currently working on a second CD, and most of their music has been written by themselves or local artists or musicians," Disse said.

"This MySpace thing has really fired the guys up. It's kind of exploded on them. They didn't have any idea ... It just kind of took off on them and they're pretty excited about it."

Visit The Fat Cats' MySpace site at or check out their personal Web site

For booking information, contact All Access Talent Agency at 847-7424 or 320-360-3748.