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Catfish Journal
Issue #15,  September 24, 2009

Lily and Catfish at the PoolHowdy. Thanks for tuning in. Summer is winding down, but so much is on the horizon. The shadows are stretching longer, and it's the heart of harvest time here. Last week, they drained the water from the local swimming pool, one of my favorite summer hangouts. 

On the very last day the pool was open, Penny and I took our dog, Lily (pictured here) to the annual Dog Paddle. She's not really a "water dog," but she went in with me and Penny, while fifty or sixty other dogs ran around, splashing and barking and sniffing each other... She stuck pretty close, not entirely sure about this swimming business...

It's been a fantastic summer; with lots of great gigs all over the USA.  At home, we've enjoyed a teriffic spring and summer with thousands of flowers and tasty vegetables in the garden. My work here is not done; hundreds of spring bulbs are showing will be like a mini Keukenhoff around here next spring. I better get to digging!

Meanwhile, here's the latest news:


My 12th album is due for release in early October. It's called “Live at the Half Moon,” recorded at the Half Moon in Putney, on the south side of London during our UK tour last November. The album contains nearly the whole concert, as much as could fit onto one CD, anyway. Our old buddy Danny Edwardson showed up that night with his DAT recorder and captured a magic night. The Half Moon has always been a great venue and all the ingredients for a fantastic live album were there that evening: a packed house of true blue fans and friends, and wonderful sound run by Doon Graham. Doon ran sound there the first time I played there in the early 1990's and continues at the soundboard, and he made everything sound sweet. He is well known for his work both at the Half Moon and his work with the great Ralph McTell.

We had lots of great people helping to make this CD happen. Our buddy Patrick Hazell in Washington, Iowa kindly did a CD dub from DAT format for us, which let us know we were onto something... Then, Luke Tweedy at Flat Black Studios in Iowa City edited it into a seamless whole. Carl Saff at Saff Mastering in Chicago made it sound golden. Jason Hieronymous at Hospers and Brother in Iowa City did an ultra-cool job with the vintage outer space themed graphic design of the CD (replete with flying saucers, aliens, "Lost in Space" style robots and a snarky Mr. Moon), then Oasis on the East Coast is manufacturing them..thanks there go to Ben Plappert, Shanna Zell, Eilleen Joiner and Oasis Pres. Micah Solomon. 

Featured on the CD will be me singing with plenty of slide on my National Baritone Tricone, fingerpicking on my David Flammang Parlor Guitar, along with stomping foot. Thirteen songs from the treasure trove and some of the stories about the strange and weird musicians where the music came from, I hope you enjoy!

My “Live at the Half Moon” CD will be available at all concerts and directly from Penny and I here at Fish Tail RecordsOrder Now!


Penny and I are winding up to fly overseas yet again for our 36th tour of the UK and Europe! The tour will start October 15 and go through all of November and will include gigs through most all of England, parts of Wales, Scotland, a jaunt to the Netherlands in the middle of it and a trip to the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands. Take a look at my Tour Dates page for full details.

Penny and Catfish on Zicatela BeachIn December, we'll return home to Iowa for the Holidays, then in January through April we will go south to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico (Penny and myself pictured right, on the beach) to “rough out” the winter, playing some cool gigs, but also swimming, surfing, laying around, drinking Coronas, etc...check out my Tour Dates page.


Don Young, Eric Smith and the gang at National Reso-Phonic Guitars have outdone themselves yet again. I am the very proud owner of a brand new guitar model from National. It's an El Trovador 12 String. I was honored to be the first musician to have one of these amazing guitars. It's the standard El Trovador guitar, but with a great 12 string neck. I think it may well be the best resophonic ever made for 12 string guitar. It has the sleek-shaped all-mahogany body, single cone and tasty binding, and the Highlander pickup really amplifies the guitar beautifully onstage. It's got easy action and has a giant, orchestra-in-a-guitar sound that really knocks me out. I tune it real low like guitars (especially 12 strings) should be, and it's bendy and twangy and deep and dark and bright and sparkly too. Man, I love this thing!


I've always championed the mighty National guitar. Loved the sound since Day One. I've been helping players all over the world to purchase these great guitars, and now I've been honored for the last few years to be an Official National Dealer.

Thanks to National founders Don Young and McGregor Gaines for everything over these many years. Also, big thanks to National Vice President Eric Smith, shop foreman Jason Workman, and the office staff of  Robynne TorresShanon Smith, and the whole gang at National.  Thank you!

As always, I'm happy to help if you want to buy a new National, just email or call 319-338-3614 anytime. We have their amazing 2-CD-and-trading-cards Catalogues still available. I occasionally do  lessons and workshops too, please do get in touch for more info. Look at my Why I Love National Guitars page to see what I have in stock and you can order any model and make custom orders too.


My wonderful partner and wife Penny Cahill has instigated the creation of my new MySpace website, she's been working away on it. She has made a very impressive impact, and best of all, we've gotten reaquainted with many dear friends and heroes including Eric Clapton, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Steve Earle, Ravi Shankar and many many others.  

I had put up a MySpace page years ago and did nothing with it; my only MySpace friend was that guy Tom. Now, one day Penny decided take the bull by the horns and is making MySpace a vital part of what we're doing.  Thanks again, Penny!

So, stop by and say hello, come and be my friend on my MySpace page.

Here's more news:


I was very surprised and honored to find out that I've been chosen to be an inductee for the 2008 Iowa Blues Hall of Fame.  The good folks of the Central Iowa Blues Society, with cooperation from all the Iowa blues societies, honor veteran blues musicians once a year.

To be considered for this, you have to have what I call "grizzled veteran" status; that is, to have been based in Iowa and gigging for 30 years or more.  I still feel like a kid at 47 years old, but blues music has been my passion and living since I was a teenager.  Man, that went quick.  Here's to the next 30 years...

The ceremony and celebration for the 2008 Iowa Blues Hall of Fame Awards was last September at Blues on Grand in Des Moines, Iowa.  Some other inductees include the super-talented hipster guitar wizard Dennis "Daddy-O" McMurrin, KCCK-FM blues DJ Bob DeForrest and more.  A big thanks goes to T-Bone and the gang at the Central Iowa Blues Society.  I am tickled!

Read full article from the Washington Evening Journal 10-1-08


Music from all of my albums is available to purchase for downloading on all of the major download sites, including ITunes, Napster, and over 40 other companies.  Of course, we encourage you to buy CDs the "old fashioned" way direct from me and Penny right here at this website, or from CD Baby or Amazon.  You can now also download MP3s of entire albums through CD Baby, and download MP3s of individual songs on my MySpace page...access all of this right here on our Fish Tail Records Catalog Page.

Hope to see you at the shows.  Please come say hello. Feel free to email or call, it’s always great to hear from you.

yours truly, Catfish Keith

Catfish Journal Archive:
This is Catfish Keith's personal newsletter first published in February 2005.
Fish Tail Newsletter Archive:
This is a magazine-style newsletter started when this website was first lauched in 1998.

Home Page

Catfish Journal

Bio & Press

Real Audio Soundbites

Tour Dates

Order Online from Catalog

Pickin' with Catfish

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