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


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