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Catfish Keith’s Acoustic Blues Fantasia

Catfish Keith’s Acoustic Blues Fantasia

A fingerpicking shaman essays tunes from his 40-year career with depth, taste, and tone.

Catfish Keith

Blues at Midnight: Original Songs of Catfish Keith

Achieving lovely, burnished, rich acoustic tone is a lifelong pursuit, and Iowa-based singer and fingerstylist Catfish Keith has plucked 13 songs from his 40-year career to showcase in this collection. All are masterfully played, on instruments ranging from a 1927 Gibson Nick Lucas Special to a 1930 National Duolian to recent guitars by builders like Collings and Santa Cruz. And while exceptional instruments always tilt the deck in a player's favor, it's Keith's deft picking-hand control—producing perfectly rounded notes colored by equally well-chiseled dynamics—that makes listening so nourishing.

But this isn't just comfort food. Keith's command of acoustic blues styles is wide and impressive, from Mississippi's Delta and hill country, and the Texas flats, with influences from the West Indies, Mexico, and other lands adding depth. His voice and allusive lyrics help weave this album's distinctive spell—the work of a highly accomplished acoustic blues shaman.

Must-hear tracks: “West Indian Waltz," “Blues at Midnight," “Jumpin' Jack Rabbit"