Cutting-edge Blues singer, songwriter and bottleneck slide guitarist, Catfish Keith, has established himself as one of the most exciting Country Blues performers of our time. Catfish’s innovative style of foot-stomping, deep Delta Blues and American Roots music has spellbound audiences the world over.
A two-time Blues Music Award (formerly W. C. Handy Blues Award) nominee for Best Acoustic Blues Album, Catfish has ten number one independent radio chart-topping albums to his credit. The 30-year veteran has toured the USA, UK and Europe dozens of times to wide acclaim, headlining major music festivals, and appearing with legends John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Robert Cray, Koko Taylor, Taj Mahal, Leo Kottke, and many others.
Catfish Keith was born in East Chicago, Indiana in 1962. He first heard Blues as a child while living in “The Harbor,” a working-class, steel mill town. When he picked up the guitar as a teenager, he was inspired to pursue the deep Delta blues after being converted by Son House.
Following high school in Davenport, Iowa, Catfish hit the road, embarking on a lifelong quest as a solo performer of American Roots music. His travels took him to the Virgin Islands where he crewed briefly on a sailboat, soaking up a wealth of island sounds. Though he grew up on the Mississippi River, Catfish earned his moniker from a West Indian lobster diving partner who, after seeing him swim, dubbed him “Catfish-Swimmin’-Around,” and “Catfish-Steel-Guitar-Man.”
In 1984, Catfish recorded his first album, Catfish Blues. The all-solo debut established him as a new force in acoustic Blues, and enabled him to play and tour continually, learning directly from legends such as Johnny Shines, David Honeyboy Edwards, Jesse Mae Hemphill, and Henry Townsend.
Catfish is a major endorser for National Reso-Phonic Guitars, and his music plays on top-rated TV shows in the US and abroad. He’s also become a respected educator, doing guitar workshops, master classes and Blues In The Schools throughout the world.
He now adds being inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame as another of his major accomplishments.
PHOTO © DAVE ARCARI