Fat Paw is one of Utah's stock bands. They've been around for about four years, have toured and continue to tour all over the West and have quite an amazing following.

In fact, they have such an amazing following that when we went out to see them at the Holy Cow, most of the crowd knew every word. You can find them playing about one weekend a month, and they are definitely worth seeing at some point during your bar-hopping/band-following career.Now we'd each like to make a confession:

L: I confess that I like to fit in, not necessarily to conform but to fit in to any situation in which I might find myself. I loved going to Dead shows and being part of that crowd - going on the road with the band as it were. I felt a little left out when the entire crowd was singing along to Fat Paw's lyrics and I didn't know them.

J: Now my confession. I once had a really bad experience with the band Phish. I know it's unfair to compare bands, but let's face it: Fat Paw is really reminiscent of Phish's and the Dead's style.

Anyway, I was living upstairs from a couple of Phish fans last year. They decided to have a party and hired a band that plays nothing but Phish covers. The band showed up at about 4 p.m., set up, then decided to rehearse before the guests arrived. Their rehearsal lasted until the guests arrived, and continued until about 2 a.m. It was the worst few hours of my life. My roommates and I had to leave, but when we came back, it was still happening.

I guess I'm just confessing that I may not be the least biased judge of Fat Paw's music since I've had a really bad experience with something similar.

Wow. We were awfully verbose there for a while. Let's get down to business. Fat Paw is composed of three members: Tim Ray, lead guitar and vocals; Jeff Zordan, bass; and Jeff Redd, drums. Their influences range from Johnny Cash to Iron Maiden, although the country side shines through a bit more in their music.

Although Fat Paw has a strong following in Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Washington, their goal is to gain popularity in other states and start playing larger venues. We have faith that they'll hunker down and do exactly that, especially with the fans they had when we were there.

J: Although most people are thrilled with their music, I am not. I just don't like that style. It makes me want to curl up in a little ball in a closet and rock back and forth while singing soothing nursery rhymes to myself. However, I do think they have one of the most interesting stories surrounding their name. Timmy had a polydactyl cat; it actually had 12 claws, and its paws therefore looked fat. Pretty cool, huh?

L: OK, Jess. Have it your way. You go curl up in your little closet, and I'll go listen to Fat Paw, because I happen to like their stuff. I respect their musicianship, their staying power with their fans and, yes, their cat.

We'll just have to disagree on this one.

Fat Paw has two CDs on the market right now: "4/28 Live" and "Illusions of the West." They would like to release a CD of bootlegs, and there is even talk of trying to tour Australia. No matter how you slice it, Fat Paw is a band to follow. We wish them the best of luck.