Catfish the album Broken Man Making January Complete

Catfish the album Broken Man Making January Complete

 

Catfish the album Broken Man
Making January Complete

Catfish, that band creating a blue purring hum of pleasure whenever and wherever they play live. Catfish swims deep into the swirling maelstrom that is modern blues. The album is not a tribute or a painting by musical numbers of blues steps from the past it is influenced by music that connects to the band. With ten tracks with the only cover closing the album out. It is not from any blues back catalogue it is Foy Vance’s, Make It Rain. Included why? You ask, then having not seen a live performance of a track that moves people to tears holding the audience spellbound as the highlight of the evening unfolds.  Broken Man is not the band’s debut recording BUT more importantly, it is the first that is predominately their own work, setting down a high water mark.

Opening with Hit The Ground Running, Catfish certainly does with a driving upbeat fast blues ride. Introducing the depth of the band from Matt Long’s bluesy vocals and stinging guitar to a rhythm section that augments adding a rattlesnake sting to the music are bassist Dusty Bones and drummer Kevin Yates. Completing the quartet is Paul Long’s keys that dance with his vocals adding another vocal tone when he takes the lead.  The blues driven tone continues with Sometime Alone, where the power of Matt’s guitar shows that the six-strings can be played without shredding the skin of your finger and as a result the time, breath between chords gives the instrument colour and complexity. The keys add another player of chords with higher pitch and rolling, bending with the strings and rhythm section. This is music that conjures shapes and interest, pure pleasure like lying back on a warm summers day looking into a blues sky and conjuring patterns and shapes from clouds as they scurry past.

The tempo slows, the blue is darkening with dusky shadows as Matt sings All I Ask Of You, played with maturity and control the warmth of studio sound permeates throughout the album reflecting the live sound of Catfish. The slow piano and vocals in Part As Strangers, a soulful ballad with special guest Paul Jones adding his Harp sparkle. Blues stripped back to it is key components emotionally charged.  Following this is the title track, Broken Man a long track for a blues album at a shade over eight minutes, is this reflecting Matt’s love of Prog Rock I wonder. This is blues fuzzy, with a porch-step gravelly opening launching into an anthem of a track. A number praising the blues as the tones roll down from the hill country into the delta picking up and shaping the chords into a British blues hullabaloo of delight.  The lyrics are shaped by a darker guitar and keys as we are falling down under the Catfish spell.

Broken Man is definitely not Broken giving contemporary British Blues that resonates curling around your speakers with sparkling class. Catfish delight you when you hear them live, and with the songwriting glory that is Broken Man we have an album early on in the year that has to be a contender for Blues Album of 2017. This is a blues gem that is multi-faceted and a prism of blue hues that hits you from every direction.

TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Hit The Ground Running
  2. Leading Me On
  3. Some Time Alone
  4. All I Ask Of You
  5. Never Go Back
  6. Better Days
  7. Part As Strangers
  8. Broken Man
  9. Big Shot
  10. Make It Rain

 

CD Review: Catfish ~ So Many Roads

Catfish CD coverCatfish
So Many Roads
Independent

Debut album, which has been causing a stir as album of the month by Independent Blues Broadcaster Association during February and has received lots of airplay reflecting the solid quality blues being delivered from the first to the last note.
Catfish are a quartet of musicians Paul Long on keys, the secret weapon of young talented Matt Long on guitar and a rhythm section that have played together in several bands and have a telepathy between them Dusty Bones on Bass and drummer Kevin Yates.
The blues being delivered is honest and has the integrity of feeling the merits of every phrase as they deliver a selection of crafted classics. The first track is definitely the weakest, but perseverance pays off as they get into their groove. These are not another set of tired old renditions of tracks we all know. The title track, So Many Roads, is much better suited to the band with Matt’s guitar and vocals being allowed to take centre stage. Catfish Blues, is full of heavy chords redolent of a hot steaming swampy bayou that really has given the song a modern blues twist and the gentle piano in the background from Paul Long adds a delicate layer of interest.
The spoken sardonic phrasing in Framed suits Matt’s vocals and the beat certainly is foot tappingly infectious; Going Down is a heavier vibe with rock being added to the mix and certainly gives the album texture and variability in tempo. The final track Loan Me A Dime ends on a slower more considered note; with the instrumentation perfectly timed and beautiful tones and the guitar is at times sublime; again showing the individuality of Catfish’s interpretation of these oft travelled classics.
What sets Catfish out from the crowded arena of bands that play the classics is the blending of keys and guitars underpinned by a rhythm section that is full of menace and blues intent Catfish have set a benchmark, be great to the original material and the vocals strengthen as Matt’s experience grows with lots more live performances that really showcase the talent this bands has.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch