NEW! "Sweet Pea" CD (FTRCD009) 2005
Catfish is back with a brand new disc, his tenth, right here at home on Fish Tail Records. This is one of his most fully-realized recordings to date. Tracks were laid down pure and live and nearly naked on three hot summer nights this August. Catfish sings, stomps, and plays seven different guitars; two acoustics and five new Nationals, including his two baritones and his exciting first appearance with the 12-string tricone. This album features Keith solo, and powerful duos with the "big bottom" stand-up bass of Marty Christensen on half the cuts. Songs come from deep down in the treasure trove, and include originals as well as songs re-invented from Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Leadbelly, Cannon's Jug Stompers, The Otis Brothers, Dock Boggs, Blind Willie Johnson, Skip James and much more.
SWEET PEA REVIEWS:
"No country bluesman paints from a wider sonic palette than Catfish Keith. Incorporating copious string snaps, bent harmonics, rhythmic gymnastics, and other surprises into his interpretations of prewar blues, Keith creates something new while not losing sight of the groove that is so vital to this music. On Sweet Pea, his tenth solo CD, he adds 12-string National Tricone to his arsenal of acoustic and resonator guitars, and you can practically feel his giddiness in exploring it's tonal and dynamic qualities on Leadbelly's 'When I Was a Cowboy' and Gus Cannon's 'Going to Germany.' Keith - unaccompanied except for Marty Christensen's stand-up bass on a few tracks - also seems to enjoy teasing out the rumbling, primordial-sounding bottom end on several baritone Nationals: his slow, simmering rendition of Sister Rosetta Tharpe's "Lightning Flash, Thunder Roll" is particularly haunting..."
Acoustic Guitar (April 2006)
"...the effect is magical, a rollicking delight of outstanding quality. If you want your acoustic blues with infectious rhythm, excellent singing, virtuoso picking, and a real groove, this is for you."
Blues & Rhythm (UK)
"For more than 25 years, this W.C. Handy Award-nominated Iowa blues singer, songwriter and bottleneck guitarist has traveled the world preserving gritty Delta blues with as much authenticity and enthusiasm as any acoustic bluesman out there. And though he honors the traditions of his heros like Sister Rosetta Tharpe ('Lightning Flash, Thunder Roll'), Leadbelly ('When I Was a Cowboy') and Skip James ('Put Your Bucket in Your Basket') with conviction on his stellar new album, Sweet Pea, equally impressive is the revisionist approach he takes to creating songs that stand up to the standards he champions. Original tunes, such as the ramblin' 'Goin' Up North, Gonna Get My Hambone Boiled,' the sanctified 'A True Friend is Hard to Find,' and the dreamy Hawaiian instrumental 'Deep Sea Moan,' further establish him as one of the most accomplished post-war country players of our time."
Dirty Linen (April-May 2006)
"On Catfish Keith's latest batch of simply and sweetly self-produced acoustic material, selections range from the gospel sounds of Sister Rosetta Tharpe (to whom Keith claims to have listened nonstop for a year straight) to songs recorded by Leadbelly. Beginning with 'Gonna Get My Hambone Boiled' and concluding with Gus Cannon's mournful 'I'm Going to German,' Keith hard-driving guitar is relentless. He's joined by Marty Christensen on standup bass on about half the tracks, creating an infectious and affecting acoustic groove.
"His penchant for raunch is evidenced by 'Salty Thang,' a ribald ditty he learned 20 years ago from the Otis Brothers at the Philly Folk Fest, and by Skip James' 'Put Your Bucket in Your Basket,' which Keith sings in a convincing falsetto. There's also a dark side to Sweet Pea, demonstrated best by the oft-recorded 'Blotted Out My Mind.' But Keith seems to be at home on emotionally lighter, harmonically brighter fare such as 'Baby I'm a Fine Artiste,' first recorded in the early 1970's by R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders. Also irresistable is 'Little Sweet Pea,' where Keith sings, 'She's my daily thought and my nightly dream / I'd walk ten thousand miles just to see what she's doin'.' The disc's most powerful track is the M.K. Moke-inspired 'Deep Sea Moan,' played on a baritone Tricone National. His playing and song selection are always dead-on."
Blues Revue (Feb-Mar 2006)
"This album is best described with a series of facial expressions; something like that squinting, head-shaking bliss experienced after a bite of the best meal of your life. Catfish Keith appeals straight to the senses, especially going for those little tendons and ligaments which connect your spine to the rest of your body. It's certainly not every day that a blues album of this quality comes through our doors and even less common that after the end of the day, the album gets played again and again for deeper listening. But Catfish Keith isn't your usual dude. His 13-track gem, Sweet Pea, indulges the juiciest blues licks, giving in fully to the ache, the grind, that sensation which feels so good, it hurts. Heads up to the blues fans."
CD Baby (Featured CD)
A BRIEF CATFISH KEITH BIOGRAPHY:
Blues singer, songwriter and bottleneck slide guitarist Catfish Keith has established himself as one of the most exciting country blues performers of our time. Catfish's innovative style of foot-stomping, deep delta blues and American roots music has spellbound audiences the world over.
A two-time W. C. Handy Award nominee for BEST ACOUSTIC BLUES ALBUM, Catfish has ten NUMBER ONE independent radio chart-topping albums to his credit, and packs houses from coast-to-coast with his dynamic stage show. The 25-year veteran has toured the U.K. and Europe dozens of times to wide acclaim, headlining major music festivals, and appearing with legends John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Robert Cray, Koko Taylor, Taj Mahal , Leo Kottke, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Johnny Shines and many, many others.
A FEW PRESS QUOTES:
"Known to work his audiences to the bone, Catfish Keith is the real acoustic blues king!" -Rock 'n' Reel
"Breaking New Ground for Blues, Catfish Keith is a solo revelation." -The Guardian
"Pulling Blues Out of The Sky, Catfish lays down a foot-stomping groove. One of the most exciting guitarists of any genre." -Acoustic Guitar
"One of the finest acoustic bluesmen in America. Every fan of acoustic blues should have all of his discs in their collection. Every record label in America should be engaged
in a bidding war. This man is flat-out spectacular!" -Big City Blues
"Catfish bends entire chords as well as the neck and body of his guitar to wrench emotion from his songs. Knock yourself out!" -Guitar Player