Home of Catfish Keith
Catfish Inducted into Iowa Blues
Hall of Fame
Keith, a lifelong blues musician and Washington resident, was
honored with a spot in the Iowa Blues Association Hall of Fame
Keith Kozacik was a child, he searched for that one magical
thing. He tried artwork. He tried acting. He even tried performing
stage magic, but in his heart he knew it was only an illusion. Today,
Catfish Keith spreads the magic of music to fans all over the world.
Sept. 22, Catfish was inducted into the Iowa Blues
Society Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Des Moines. His trophy sits
next to other Washingtonians such as Pat Hazell and the late Rick
music and soak up as much as you can,"
Catfish said, of his 30-year love affair with the blues. " Music is
really my passion. I think it's where I found magic. That singular
devotion to whatever your passion is - that's what makes life worth it."
first album he recorded in 1984 was called "Catfish
Blues," Keith said the nickname "Catfish" really started when he was
living in the Virgin Islands. He remembers one of his fishing buddies
used to say to him, "You ain't nothin' but a catfish mon." He said the
also stuck earlier in his life was his
love for acoustic guitar. When Catfish was about 12 years old growing
up in Davenport, he remembers listening to some of the LPs his parents
had, including Johnny Cash, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. As he studied the
music, he discovered all the artists he listened to had gotten their
roots from blues music. He said that he started listening to blues.
struck me hard and deep," Catfish said, of the music
based on one person playing guitar and singing. It was from that he
based his style.
guitar was a Christmas gift from
his parents. He remembers the guitar strings were so loose he could
almost slide his fingers between them and the fret board. Still, he
said, it was his guitar and he set out to learn to play the music he
loved so much.
said when he really found the magic
was the first time he performed in front of an audience. When he was
about 16 years old, he began doing gigs in coffee houses, local
colleges and bars. The excitement, he said, happened when people came
to listen to him.
As a performance
artist, Catfish has toured all over the world, bringing the musical
style to the people. He has traveled in all the countries of
Europe, Mexico, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, as well as all the states
in the United States. He plans to leave for the United
"I feel like an ambassador in a lot of
ways," he said. "Not only am I bringing music that's
but I'm bringing with it the culture of the times it was
created. When people hear it, even though English might not
be their first language, they really respond to it."
Catfish credits his nomination to the
Iowa Blues Hall of Fame to the late Mayor Rick Cicalo. Also a
career musician, Catfish said Cicalo was inducted last year and
believes he told judges that Catfish should be nominated. The
rules say the carreer musician must be based in Iowa for at least 30
It's the first award he's ever won.
Catfish said he was overjoyed and honored when he learned he
won. He beamed when he said half the audience at the
induction was people from Washington.
"I got to hang out with all my friends."
he said of the ceremony.