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Catfish Journal
Issue #4, September 6, 2005



Honeyboy Edwards and Catfish KeithHowdy, and welcome. Summer has been flying by and we have had a fantastic one. Lots of sun and fun, swimming at the local swimming pool every day that we’re at home, riding my bike all over the county. Today, Labor Day, will be the last day the pool is open, which will hinder my lifestyle . . . catfishes got to swim!

There have been many good gigs and workshops recently, and we have had a few of our celebrity blues friends over for the “nickel tour” of our house, including Roy Book Binder and Peter Madcat Ruth.

I got to perform once again with Honeyboy Edwards, the legendary, now 90-year-old Mississippi bluesman (photo to left). He’s amazing, and has always been inspirational for me. His youthful spirit, depth of expression, and sharp mind recall all of his experiences of his over 70 years of playing, knowing first-hand all of the blues legends from Peetie Wheatstraw, Big Boy Crudup, Robert Johnson and Big Joe Williams. My hero! Honey’s manager Michael Frank was accompanying him on harmonica, and myself and the super-talented Patrick Hazell sat in on piano and harp for the last half of the show.

Roy Book Binder is the famous “Travelin’ Man” and he parked his house-on-wheels in our driveway for a couple of days and we got to enjoy each other’s gigs, fooled around with the guitars, cooked summertime blowout meals, and listened to Roy’s stories. He’s been a friend since I was an eager teenager and this time, he was on his way from Omaha, going to Indiana and did a very cool gig at the Blue Shop in Burlington, Iowa.

Marty Christensen Provides Big BottomPeter Madcat Ruth is also a longtime buddy, he stopped in on his way from a harmonica convention in Kansas City, on his way back to his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Madcat and I played together in the 1980’s with Johnny Shines and Madcat’s on my “Pepper in My Shoe!” album. He tours the world and has made his mark solo and with Dave and Chris Brubeck, Shari Kane and many many others.

Madcat had a young French harmonica player with him that we first met years ago in Cognac, France at the Cognac Blues Festival. I got to be on the bill there with Ray Charles, Robert Junior Lockwood, Guy Davis and Chris Thomas King.

My new record (it’s a CD, but I still call them records) is now done, and off to the manufacturer. It’s called “Sweet Pea” and is my tenth solo album, to be released in early October on our own Fish Tail Records label.

It was a blast to be back in the studio again. I had the honor of working again in Iowa City with the great Patrick Brickel, who recorded, engineered, and mastered the album, and the talented Justin Kennedy, who gave us a lively, energetic mix. The stand-up bass of Marty Christensen (photo to right) adds a beautiful depth of sound on about half of the tunes. You all may remember Marty adding his “big bottom” way back on my “Twist It, Babe!” album.

“Sweet Pea” turned out better than I expected. I recorded on seven different guitars, including five of my modern National Reso-Phonic Guitars and two acoustics. Two fantastic Baritone Nationals are featured as well as the 12-string National and my Delphi and Radio Tone Nationals. It was exciting to record with the 12-string and all the other “git-fiddles.” The Tony Revell parlor guitar is in there as well as my new Collings.

The tunes this time were inspired by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Leadbelly, Son House, Gus Cannon and others as well as original pieces, like the title track, “Little Sweet Pea,” written for my partner and true love girl, Penny.

If you’d like to get a copy, as always, order direct from us here, through our website. Other new items include the DVD version of my Homespun Tapes video, now retitled “Dynamic Country Blues Guitar,” the reissue of my first recording now on CD, “Tadpole Blues,” a live in concert DVD and Catfish Keith Model Bottleneck Slides. We try our hardest to ship everything as soon as possible, often on the same day we get the orders, if at all possible. We use first class and airmail, and orders, no matter how many items, have always had one low shipping charge.

I’m also still happy to help anyone that wants to purchase a new National guitar, drop me a line, I am tickled to help, I love these amazing machines.

The UK Tour is coming up real soon and we’re getting ready; it’s a favorite trip of the year and will be the biggest ever, with loads of concerts and some guitar workshops too. This will be our 31st UK journey since 1992 and is always exciting for us. The audiences have always been so supportive and kind, and folks there have a long tradition of going out to enjoy live music, expressing great love and appreciation for blues and roots music. The tour starts on the 14th of October and goes through all of November. There may be a handful of dates still open, just contact us here if you’d like to set something up. Ten thousand roundabouts later . . .

Thanks, Enjoy!        yours truly, Catfish & Penny

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

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