Review from Living Blues
December, 2013 by Mark Uricheck
- Honey Hole
Tail Records - FTRCD0014
has spent some serious time in the woodshed. Keith's latest disc, Honey Hole,
his 15th and latest disc since 1991's Pepper In My
Shoe! debut, is further evidence that the Iowa-based
guitarist understands the Delta blues geneology from which he culls his
persuasive guitar style. The liner notes are dotted with testimonials
to the artists who either inspired or first covered the tunes on this
album, with notes as to which of his impressive guitars he has used on
each track -- some beauties including a National M1 Baritone Tricone
and Flammang Parlor guitar.
All of the albums 14 tracks were recorded live - just a man,
a voice and his guitar. Keith's fingerstyle precision is honed to the
bone on cuts such as Best Jelly In
the Neighborhood, while his inventiveness and slide chops
ring true on early 20th century Hawaiian duo Kanui and Lula's Tomi Tomi.
Elsewhere Keith digs deep for a cover of Kid Bailey's 1929 Rowdy Blues,
replete with colorful rambling vocals. He goes the opposite way with a
cover of Sister Rosetta Tharpe's 1939 Decca single, God Don't Like It, a precursor to
John lee Hooker's foot-flapping brand of talking blues that urges the
listener to "stop that drinkin' moonshine."
A one-man roots exposition able to command his audience at
the mere snap of a string and a tall tale, Catfish Keith
continues his exploration of 21st century acoustic blues.