Perfect Storm

By Pat Sherman

?Rocking San Diego blues twosome Little Hurricane has returned from their first tour, which began in November. The duo hit the road shortly after scoring a coup at the San Diego Music Awards, where they nabbed Best New Band honors-having formed just months before.

Listening to Little Hurricane's forthcoming debut album, Homewrecker, its easy see why their tight, powerful sound is breaching barriers to success. But don't take our word for it.

The band, including guitarist and vocalist Anthony "Tone" Catalano and drummer and mandolin player Celeste "CC" Spina, will unleash their new CD April 2, during a release party at The Casbah.

"We're still a really new band," says 27-year-old CC, who hadn't pounded the skins since she was in high school jazz and marching bands. "We haven't even been playing shows for a full year," she says. "When we won the San Diego Music Award, we ?were just so excited that we felt like it was time to maybe take it on the road and see how we fared."

They fared well, using offstage time during their West Coast tour to create much of the new disc.

"We recorded the album in San Diego, Carlsbad, Santa Cruz, Portland and Seattle," CC says. "We tried to take a little piece of every city we went to and put it on the album. We kind of had to do it that way because we wanted to do the tour and finish the album at the same time. It was challenging and a lot of work, but I think we have a better product in the end because we kind of grew as a band as we were traveling."

Though CC is hard-pressed to name a drummer who has influenced her, the Category 5 storm of reliable rhythm, who prefers performing in chic dresses, says Karen Carpenter made a definite impression.

"She was an awesome drummer," CC says. "I saw some videos of her right when I was getting back into it, and she looked like she was just having so much fun playing the drums. It kind of inspired me that you could be happy and, you know, a girl playing the drums and maintain your femininity."

As for the inevitable comparison between Little Hurricane and the White Stripes-another bluesy duo with a female drummer-CC says she takes it in stride.

"I think we're more similar in sound to the Black Keys than the White Stripes," she says. "People like to make the comparison, I think, because I'm a brunette drummer and we're a two-piece, but when it comes to my drumming style, I think I'm very different than Meg White."

Upon their return home to San Diego, Little Hurricane is hoping to further dissuade that comparison and increase the depth of their sound by auditioning a possible third member to play keyboards (a duty formerly performed by Tone).

Though Tone and CC first connected in North Park via a Craigslist ad, now they're unsure as to where they'll park their Volkswagen Touareg and equipment trailer.

"We're technically homeless right now," says CC, "but San Diego is so awesome and supportive to us. It will always be our hometown."

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