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Catfish Journal
Issue #12, December 18, 2008



What the...?Howdy.  I hope life is great.  We're back home again after another whirlwind tour of the UK and France.  This tour was our 34th (!?!) and we went to some amazing places, some that we'd been to many times and there were some beautiful and surprising areas we'd never been to before. There were many highlights.  Penny and I were tickled to play lots of packed and sold out venues.  I often say I never expect anyone to show up but they sure did, and how!  We were very happy to see lots of old friends and fans that started coming to see us from the very first days when we started touring the UK way back in 1992.  Thanks You All!

After about a dozen gigs in a dozen days, we flew out from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Lyon, France.  I played there at the first annual Foyu Blues Festival.  This event was a blast, hosted by blues pianist Sylvie Nabet (aka "Littlecouinie," pronounced Little Queenie).  And, in typical French fashion, we were treated to lengthy meals of many courses, enjoyed the wine and conviviality and made many bumbling attempts to speak French.  

Lyon was a treat to the senses.  We stayed in the city center for a few days after the festival and walked all through the old city, crossing the rivers on footbridges, checking out the statues, cathedrals, trucking down narrow cobblestone streets filled with cafes, restaurants, flowershops, bookshops, through high fashion districts, fleamarkets and much more.  They called Lyon the Gastronomic Capital of France (or was it the world?), and the tradtional fare of the region featured lots of saurkraut, potatoes and various unmentionable body parts of various animals...yow!  Every day we just walked and walked and walked and looked through the city.  It's really fun when we actually have time to be tourists, and our trip to Lyon was very memorable.

Cornwall was an area we'd never been to before and it was fantastic.  Big thanks to John &  Annabelle Stephens for having us down there; we were part of the Roseland Festival in Portscatho, near Truro.  The gig was in their town hall, sold out to many fans that had never seen an American blues act there before...John put me and Penny up at a great seaside hotel in St. Mawes where we watched the tides roll in, listened to the seagulls and had a great little break.  Cornwall is the wild, southwestern tip of England and is unique with it's rolling hills, white rocky shores, narrow, precarious roads, great seafood, occasional, unexpected tropical plant life and cool, weird Cornish culture.

The whole tour was a blast.  Besides Lyon, we went all up and down Britain, with me driving nearly 4000 miles, from Scottish gigs in Glasgow and Edinburgh to Menai Bridge, Bangor and Harlech in North Wales through most all of England, north and south.  There were thirty-some gigs as well as Guitar Workshops and Blues in the Schools gigs. One of our final gigs was in Selby, in Yorkshire, at the sold out Selby Town Hall.  On the way, I couldn't help notice a bunch of those nutty, three-wheeled cars (see photo above), all in a row, which look like giant dog snouts on wheels.  I love those things.  That's a very distinctive piece of true British culture, there.  I think I need one of those...

LilyAfter 50 nights in a row in hotels, we're settling in at home.  It's great to relax a little and hang out with our dog, Lily (puppy pic, right). She didn't forget us and is as faithful and funny as ever. Special special thanks to our dear friends Barb & Craig Swift for taking great care of Lily while we're gone. (Their cats, however, will never be the same, sorry kids.)

It's turned into a real, freezing cold, snowy winter here, the novelty of which is starting to wear off just a bit.  We have to dress up like Nanook of the North to go out but everything looks real Christmasy with the lights and snow and icicles and all.

But, soon, in January we'll be going back to Puerto Escondido, Mexico for several weeks of sun and fun (and a few gigs thrown in).  It's usually 90 degrees and sunny every single day, and the surf is up.  Sounds perfect about now.

Thanks as always for tuning in.  Please do email or call us anytime.



Here's more of the latest news:

CATFISH IS INDUCTED IN THE IOWA BLUES HALL OF FAME!

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 46 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 in 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


NEW GUITAR FROM DAVID FLAMMANG

My favorite luthier and Iowa homey David Flammang has made me a new fabulous guitar.  This one is a Parlor guitar, and is beautiful!  It's got mahogany back and sides, a spruce top and a stunning sunburst finish with a fine rope binding and slotted headstock.  It's small size belies it's big, barking and deep, rich sound.  Look for it on tour.  Thanks again to David for another true handbuilt beauty!


THE WORLD TOUR CONTINUES

First, I play here in Iowa in mid January, then, it's off to Mexico for late January, all of February and early March. Spring and Summer 2009 takes us to concerts and festivals around the USA, this time including a trip to Western Colorado for the Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival. Then next fall we'll return again to the United Kingdom for another giant tour in October and November. There are many plans and possibilities yet to come, check out my Tour Dates page for full details.


New BUY YOUR CATFISH DOWNLOADS

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 MP3's of entire albums through CD Baby.





CATFISH IS AN OFFICIAL NATIONAL RESO-PHONIC GUITAR DEALER

I've always championed the mighty National guitar. Loved the sound since Day One. I've been helping players for years to purchase these great guitars, and now I've been honored with Official Dealer status. Thanks to National founders Don Young and McGregor Gaines for everything over these many years.  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 available. I'm still doing  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.


Hope to see you at the shows.  Please come say Howdy. Feel free to email or call, itís 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

Super Links

catfishkeith.com- String-Twanging Home of Catfish Keith