catfishkeith.com - String-Twanging Home of Catfish Keith

Home Page

New! Catfish Journal

Bio & Press

Real Audio Soundbites

Tour Dates

Order Online from Catalog

Pickin' with Catfish

Super Links


Live Concert Review
by Andy Tate

"...utterly stunned with mouth open and chin dragging on the floor."

Catfish Keith -- 23 October, 2010 -- The Public -- West Bromwich, England

Catfish Keith at The Public, Photo by John WormaldFirst a few words about The Public Arts Centre in West Bromwich, this was the first time I had actually been to West Brom ever! (It being supposedly enemy territory and all) I found the staff there welcoming and very friendly and most importantly the sound in the theatre is absolutely unparalleled and the intimate atmosphere only enhanced what was an excellent performance.

I shall certainly visit The Public again in the future the people of West Bromí should be justifiably proud of this wonderful building.

Iíve seen Catfish Keith now quite a few times now, in fact I saw him the very first gig he played in this country at Colne in Lancashire he was supporting James Cotton and that was quite a few years ago way back in the 80ís, and he seems to get better every time I see him.

There are virtuoso guitarists that stand out in different musical styles; Segovia, John Williams, Reinhardt, Robert Johnson, and without a doubt Catfish Keith can stand proudly alongside them, I honestly hand on heart, think he is that good.

Why? Well for one he is never predictable, some players you can actually set your watch by when they will play a certain song that youíve heard a few hundred times before, with Keith that is not the case, some of the songs he chooses to play are so very obscure but they are still very fresh and have such weird titles they would make even Tom Waits balk!

The songs he plays all fall into the Delta style blues category and played with bottleneck slide.

Some of these songs were originally performed as Keith puts it Ďeven before they had a word or thought of a name for this music called Blues.í

Catfish wears his influences on his sleeve, such as Blind Willie Johnson, The Reverend Gary Davis, Joseph Spence (a bit of an oddball by all accounts), Bukka White, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Mississippi Fred McDowell and many others including a smattering of his own originals, and you can tell by the way he sings these songs that he truly loves them and it is that passion in his thunderous voice, that the audience responds to.

You can actually feel hypnotised by the way Keith plays and the way he slaps and bends his strings is something to behold while he stomps out time, another thing I find amazing about Keithís playing is the way he performs harmonics. These things seem to go through you like a light sabre through butter and they do leave you utterly stunned with mouth open and chin dragging on the floor.

The stand out songs Eagle Bird, a trance-inducing Jessie Mae Hemphill number, and I liked the two idiosyncratic Joseph Spence songs, a high point for me was also the duet Satisfied, Tickled Too, with Keith and his wife Penny Cahill (also his manager and president of Fish Tail Records). I really enjoyed this and I made a point of complimenting Penny on her sweet voice after the gig.

If you have never seen him next time he tours get out and see him and Iím sure you will agree with what I say this man is a phenomenal guitar player and deserves some recognition.



Home Page

New! Catfish Journal

Bio & Press

Real Audio Soundbites

Tour Dates

Order Online from Catalog

Pickin' with Catfish

Super Links

catfishkeith.com - String-Twanging Home of Catfish Keith