Catfish Keith, Leeds New Roscoe, 17.11.11

Catfish KeithNot for the first time, Catfish Keith graced the stage of The New Roscoe with his mixture of self-penned and covers acoustic blues. The frightening thing for me regarding his playing of other people’s songs is that not only do I not recognise the song title, but I don’t recognise the name of the composer!  (Leadbelly apart maybe).

Now it’s not unusual for someone to start out by announcing that he has a new cd out and he’s going to start with a song from it. It IS unusual for someone to have TWO new cds out and the second song is from the other cd. (Unless you’re Bruce Springsteen).  He alternated between his steel-bodied guitar, a small 6-string and a new 12-string which he described in glowing terms at great length. Ironically, he broke a string after about 5 seconds!  But he never missed a beat, a bit reminiscent of when Keef unstrapped his Telecaster and brayed a stage invader with it.

He played 2 x 50 minute sets to an appreciative audience and didn’t seem perturbed that there were maybe only 40 or 50 there. It really annoys me when talent like this who has been recording since 1984 can make the trip across the pond and attract only a handful , and The Jamm (or any of the other leeches, sorry, tribute acts, ) will have 200 in there at the same ticket price.

He and his wife Penny are pretty much a cottage industry and are obviously surviving though. I remember putting ‘If I could holler’ on my car player and assuming he was a 70 year old black man. He isn’t !!

He still has some UK dates left , so why not have a themed Mississippi Delta Blues night? Pay your £9, get your denims on, order some bottles of Bud, sit down and close your eyes. You are in a bar in New Orleans! At a fraction of the price!



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