Monday, August 28, 2023

Catfish - Live Featuring Bob Hodge (1971 us, rough blues rock, roots 'n' roll)

Catfish has been called an “American folk blues hero” and has been a mainstay on the American Blues music scene for three decades now! He has twenty four albums to his credit, comprised almost totally of original material. “Catfish Blues” and “Like A Big Dog Barkin’” on the Wildcat label, and “Eyewitness Blues” on Genes CD were released in 1994 and 1995. His first album of children’s songs “Adventures at Catfish Pond”, on Music for Little People label was released in May of 1996. The album won the NAPA Golden Award as best children’s music of 1996. His 1998 release “Bare Necessities”(on Chicken Legs Music) finds him in a solo acoustic setting, with lowdown funky blues and soulful ballads. 

His 1999 release “Twenty Years” features performances from concerts and radio broadcast and includes the only version now available of “Boogie Man Gonna Git Ya”, as well as other rare gems. His 2002 release “Let’s Eat” is a best of collection of his best known food songs of which there are many! Both of his latest albums are available on Chicken Legs Music. All of his albums prior to the 1990’s are hard to find except for the first Catfish Band album “Get Down”, which Sony/Epic re-released in the mid 1990’s, due to demand for it overseas.

Catfish found his calling early on. While growing up in Detroit, he was sneaking into Motown Records Hitsville studio to catch the Four tops and the Supremes and grooving to R&B and Blues while his contemporaries gravitated to the Beatles. In the late 1960’s he formed the Catfish Band and led them out of Detroit into national prominence.

1971’s Live Catfish, capturing the next line-up at Detroit’s Eastman Theatre on rollicking covers of Martha & The Vandellas’ Nowhere To Run, Barrett Strong’s Money (That’s What I Want) and Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, alongside originals including the accusatory diatribe Letter To Nixon and the stonking Mississippi River.

Though they can be appreciated as long-lost minor classic relics from that incendiary period, these first forays weren’t the last the world heard of the mighty ‘Catfish’ Hodge, who carried on testifying his beloved blues for the next 35 years.
1. Nowhere To Run (Brian Holland, Edward Holland, Jr., Lamont Dozier) - 3:49
2. Money (That's What I Want) (Berry Gordy, Jr., Janie Bradford) - 4:48
3. 300 Pound Fat Mama (Bob Hodge) - 14:37
4. Mississippi River (Bob Hodge) - 6:50
8. Letter To Nixon (Bob Hodge) - 11:31
6. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (Dave Williams, Sunny David) - 3:19

*Bob Hodge - Vocals
*Dallas Hodge - Guitar  
*Harry Phillips - Keyboards
*Dennis Cranner - Bass 
*Jim Demers - Drums 
*John Hill - Piano (Track 1)