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Author Topic: SOTM December 2019, Catfish Blues  (Read 10501 times)

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binsoe

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SOTM December 2019, Catfish Blues
« on: January 07, 2005, 03:02:33 PM »




I was interested to see that Robert Petway's "Catfish Blues" was the most requested tune the other day. This piece shows clearly how something can be greater than the sum of its parts. Catfish has been one of my favourites since I first heard it, yet it lacks a lot of the characteristics described when people try to put the blues under a microscope. The accompaniment isn't played brilliantly on some fancy guitar which cost thousands of dollars. No, it's just a home-made bass, though played with a driving, hypnotic beat. The words are nothing special - partly generic, partly unintelligible. Petway never took an elocution lesson, but the home-made bass, his accent and the timbre of his voice tie music and words together into something extraordinary. 
« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:43:41 AM by Johnm »

Offline waxwing

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2005, 03:28:03 PM »
Hey binsoe,
Welcome to Weenie Campbell.
So tell me about this home made bass. I was under the impression that Petway recorded with a Sears (National made) Duolian, which he was photographed with. (It has five diamond patterns on the coverplate as opposed to nine on a regular National) His friend Tommy McClennan was also reported to have recorded some with this instrument. But I haven't seen any actual discography (i.e. BGD&R). I guess I always assumed he was strumming the bass notes and not much else. I must give it another listen. To me, what really makes the song exciting is his strong vocal quality. Something those of us who are more guitar-centric don't always consider. This is definitely on my "must learn" list (along with some TMcC). Both these guys I guess are looked upon as pretty slap-dash guitar players, but they have a really driving style that could really work in a set with other, shall I say, more laconic numbers. And, hey, I can do slap-dash.<G> But to get back to my original guestion, I have a real interest in handmade instruments, jugs, washboards and such. Thanks.
All for now.
John C.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2005, 03:42:30 PM by waxwing »
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Offline Montgomery

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2005, 03:54:28 PM »
I seriously doubt he's playing with a home made bass.  I think he's using a National, which actually IS a thousand dollar fancy guitar today  (and was still fairly expensive in Petway's day).  But I get your point that the guitar he used is not essential to the effectiveness of the recording.  I think "Catfish" is a great piece, but there are many great blues recordings that use cheap guitars, are largely unintellegible lyrically, or have unimpressive lyrics.  I think Catfish's brilliance rests mostly in its rhythmic drive (both vocally and lyrically), impassioned singing and a very catchy melody. 

Online Slack

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2005, 04:15:09 PM »
It is interesting that Petway's 'Catfish Blues' is the most requested - but I suppose this is due in part to curious folks who may not be familiar with it --  clicking the number one song.    In any case, it is a fine and deserving tune to hold the number 1 position.

I think he is playing his national too -- with a collapsed cone.  Ron Phillips, resonator builder extraordanaire, says he can hear the "quack" of a collapsed cone.  Which makes sense to me because with all the clatter of string noise  it sounds like the strings are pretty much laying on the fretboard.  It also sounds to me like he may be flat picking the piece - it is so percusive that it is hard for me to imagine all that percussion coming from anything but a flatpcik -- but it's not something I'd bet on. 

cheers,
slack

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2005, 04:54:54 PM »
I think it's all NotRevGary. Gary, buy the damn CD!  ;D

binsoe

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2005, 04:46:04 PM »
I stand corrected about the home-made bass. I think that's a piece of information I swallowed uncritically from some sleeve notes. That's how wrong information gets about! Anyway, it's the drive and the passion that makes it so good. 

Offline Richard

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2005, 09:38:26 AM »
Catfish - according to GDR it's our old friend Alfred Elkins on imb which equals "tub-bass"

The McClennan recordings have more variety as they have bass players -

Unknown
Joe McCoy on imb
Ransom Knowling on s\bass.

Any help?
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2005, 08:13:43 AM »
I think it's all NotRevGary. Gary, buy the damn CD!? ;D

Hey now I have 3 CD's?with Catfish!

OK I'm busted I request it sometimes (2-5 times a week).
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 01:52:05 PM by Johnm »
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2005, 04:45:26 PM »
Hi all,
You know, I think "Catfish" is really a mysterious tune.  It has been recorded so many times.  I can think of versions by Tommy McClennan, Robert Petway, Skip James, K.C. Douglas, Dr. Ross, Pink Anderson, and Baby Tate.  What surprises me most is the two South Carolina guys having versions of it.  Does anybody know if Lightnin' Hopkins or John Lee Hooker recorded it or had a hit with it, or maybe Jimmy Reed?  Whenever a tune crosses regional boundaries like that, I always suspect that a popular recording artist had a hit with it.  I found this to be the case with "Hobo Blues", a spooky tune in Spanish that I kept hearing different people do; come to find out that John Lee Hooker had a hit with it (though he may have gotten it elsewhere, too).  Anybody know of other versions of "Catfish" out there?







All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:35:05 AM by Johnm »

Online Slack

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2005, 05:37:54 PM »
I think my second favorite version is Teddy Williams's - which is on Arhoolie's 'Blow My Blues Away - Vol 1" (a great CD, btw).  I think it is very similar to Robert Petway's version and after just having listened to it again - may hold some keys to how Petway played his version.  Williams get's that same kind of percusive groove going as Petway.  I've always suspected Petway was flat picking - but after hearing Williams get a similar percussive effect with no apparent flat pick click - I have grave doubts.  :)



In any case, does anyone know anything about Teddy Williams?  His other cut on the Arhoolie CD is "Down Home Blues", but I don;t think it's not nearly as strong as "Catfish Blues".

Cheers,
slack
« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:07:58 AM by Johnm »

Online Slack

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2005, 06:05:54 PM »
Well, here is a big write up by Max Haymes on the origins or speculative origins of Catfish Blues - ain't the internet amazing.  It lists a version by Robert Curtis Smith (I'd like to hear that - hmm, I've got a RC Smith CD around here somewhere)... also mentioned is Muddy Waters.  Pretty analytical article, if you get my drift  - but interesting.

http://www.earlyblues.com/essay_catfish.htm




cheers,
« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:15:11 AM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2005, 09:47:00 AM »
I can think of versions by Tommy McClennan, Robert Petway, Skip James, K.C. Douglas, Dr. Ross, Pink Anderson, and Baby Tate.? What surprises me most is the two South Carolina guys having versions of it.?

Baby Tate's version is called Baby, I'm Going, and I really like it a lot. People interested in hearing it can request it one the Juke. It is surprising to see it pop up here, although he does a couple other more Delta-sounding tunes (My Baby Don't Treat Me Kind) as well.

« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:09:24 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2005, 10:56:55 AM »
Hi Andrew,
Your post made me get out and listen to the Baby Tate version, and you're right, it is great.  Then I listened to the Pink Anderson version (called "Baby I'm Going Away") from Carolina Bluesman, Vol. 1.  Allowing for differences of touch, etc., the two versions are about as close to each other as you will ever hear two musicians of that generation be when playing the same song.  It would make plausible the suggestion you made on the Baby Tate thread that Pink got his version from Baby Tate (or vice versa). After looking at the article that John D. provided the link to, it seems like Lightnin' Hopkins's version was recorded too late to have influenced Baby Tate and Pink.  Are there any Blind Boy Fuller completists out there who know if he ever recorded "Catfish"?  It seems just as possible that both Pink And Baby Tate were basing their versions on the version of somebody else altogether, and Fuller was certainly copied a lot.




All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:10:36 AM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2005, 12:58:37 PM »
Hi John - I have all Fuller's material and I cannot recall any version of Catfish in there. Fuller does occasionally come up with a surprising cover - Sleepy John Estes' Airplane Blues for instance. From what I gather in Bastin's Red River Blues, Tate knew quite a lot of musicians (albeit most were decidedly East Coast), so it could have come from hanging with some Delta types. Pure, total speculation of course.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2007, 10:50:53 AM »
Hi all,
John D. alluded to a version of "Catfish" by Teddy Williams earlier in this thread that appeared on an old Arhoolie anthology, and wondered if anyone knew anything more about Teddy Williams.  I don't, except that in the most recent Roots & Rhythm newsletter that I received yesterday, it announced the release of an entire CD on Fat Possum by Teddy Williams, recorded by George Mitchell in 1967 or 1968.  The CD is part of a budget release series by Fat Possum of five or six CDs worth of recordings made by George Mitchell.  The CDs sell for $8.95 or $9.95, I think, and are described as having very no-frills packaging and liner notes.  If these CDs are anything like the caliber of the earlier George Mitchell recordings released on Fat Possum of Furry Lewis, Joe Calicott, R.L. Burnside, Fred McDowell and Johnny Woods, J. W. Warren and Jimmy Lee Williams they will probably be "must have" purchases for serious fans of Post-War Country Blues.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2007, 11:14:54 AM »
John D. alluded to a version of "Catfish" by Teddy Williams earlier in this thread that appeared on an old Arhoolie anthology, and wondered if anyone knew anything more about Teddy Williams. 
He's not so much as mention in Mitchell's 1971 "Blow My Blues Away" but if you go to http://www.wirz.de/music/revivfrm.htm and look at LP1009 released in 1971 you can see a photo of him on the back sleeve of it!

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2007, 12:14:29 PM »
The same George Mitchell CD set (vol 4) that has the Teddy Williams version also has (on a different CD as far as I can gather), a version of Catfish by Albert Macon And Robert Thomas. All these CDs are on emusic now.

Muddyroads

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2007, 05:34:48 AM »
What surprises me most is the two South Carolina guys having versions of it.

What?  Just becasue we live a state of stunted development you think nobody had a record player? 

Mud

Offline Johnm

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2007, 08:55:38 AM »
Hi Muddyroads,
So you're saying people in South Carolina do have record players?  My apologies, it was an honest mistake.  Actually, the point I was making had nothing to do with South Carolina, per se.  I would have had the same question as to how "Catfish" or any other regional tune wound up hundreds of miles away from its region and how it was carried there.  Records seem like the best bet, but Pink traveled a lot with a medicine show; maybe he heard it played in Mississippi or some Mississippi player made his way up the East Coast and Pink or Baby Tate heard him.  Since both Pink and Baby Tate are dead, it doesn't seem like there is any way of finding out where they got "Catfish".
All best,
Johnm 

Muddyroads

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2007, 07:24:28 AM »
I think we think that folks were not as mobile as they were.  Granted, travel was not as easy as today.  I remember summer nights riding all night while my father drove through the mountains to visit relatives.  You traveled at night because it was cooler.  The same trip today takes less than six hours or about 1/2 the time.  But the urge to travel especially when one is young, is hard to deny, so they did.  Some times out of wanderlust and some times out of necessity.

You are right about all of the old timers being dead.  There are one or two white guys who sat at their knee when they were young, but they too have now seen most of their days. 

Catfish is an iconic blues.  Maxwell Street Jimmy had my favorite version of that piece.  It remains a personal favorite.  And I have never been to Chicago!



Muddy
« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:21:11 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2007, 10:07:09 PM »
Hi all,
I just found another version of "Catfish" that has no catfish in it.  That is to say, musically, it is "Catfish", but it doesn't include the catfish verse, much like Tommy McClennan's "Deep Blue Sea Blues".  It is from "R. L. Burnside's First Recordings", and it is called "Come On In" there.  It's a really nice version but feels a little truncated.  Lyrically, and in terms of the guitar licks, it also bears a pretty close relationship to the versions of the song by Pink Anderson ("Baby I'm going Away") and Baby Tate ("Baby I'm Going").




All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:16:58 AM by Johnm »

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2007, 01:10:42 PM »
Good thread and good song!

I don't understand the first post, though, about Robert Petway being unintelligible.  I always understood every word of "Catfish" from the time I first heard it, and that was when I hadn't been listening to blues for very long. 
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

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tommersl

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2007, 02:42:07 PM »
I think the secret of the charm of this recording is that nobody covered it the way they did it, it was McClennan's licks that many copied. McClennan's version sounds more modern and this one with the bass line sounds and the electrifying chords and Petway's voice sounds more old rural. I mean it sounds more drum and bass than most other songs of the era.

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2007, 03:56:56 PM »
Did anyone mention James "Son" Thomas' version? On his Beefsteak Blues CD, recorded live. It's quite different musically and lyrically from other versions. And very cool. Even the hallmark verse:

I done fished, fished in the ocean. I done fished in the deep blue sea.
But I can't catch no fishes so don't mention no fishes to me.

« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:22:37 AM by Johnm »

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2007, 07:53:26 PM »
Yes, and all the dirty lyrics are wonderful too!  I've entertained folks many times with the verses I learned off that album!
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

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Offline Bricktown Bob

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2007, 12:48:36 PM »
Just found this thread.  Wish I'd been around when it started, as Catfish is just about my favorite CB tune.

One version I'm surprised no one mentioned is Bobo Thomas's, on the flip side of Elmore James's first (Trumpet) recording of "Dust My Broom" (1951).  Don't know how much of a hit that was, but I guess it was something, so you'd have Catfish swept along on Broom's coattails, so to speak.



B.B. King recorded it, near as I can tell, about 1961.  Bobo Thomas sang six verses; King sings the same six, in the same order, but between the fifth and sixth he sticks in the standard "I'm going and your crying won't make me stay" verse that Tommy McClennan sang as the first verse.  Writing credit to King/Josea -- am I wrong to find that annoying?

I do find it interesting that both McClennan and Petway sang the title verse second, though with different first verses (but both about leaving).  And with different titles from that verse.

I like to consider that Muddy Waters did his version of Catfish in three parts: "Rolling Stone," "Still a Fool," and "She's All Right."  These three songs link together quite nicely -- all, of course, with the Catfish music.  I don't know if Muddy ever performed them that way, but I do know that when Jimi Hendrix did Catfish, he took one verse out of "Still a Fool."

Max Haymes in the linked essay puts forward Jim Jackson's Kansas City Blues as the first appearance on record of the Catfish line.  Well, it also appears in "State Street Men Blues" by Leola Wilson, recorded in 1926, as "I'd rather be a catfish swimming in the deep blue sea."  I think Skip James is the only other singer I've heard who would "rather be" a catfish, as opposed to wishing he was, or just supposing he was.  Bobo Thomas merely feels like a catfish.

Skippy's also the only one I know of to use the Catfish verse as a chorus.  And when he sings "I don't want to be no tadpole, and I don't want to be no bullfrog; and if I can't be-be a catfish, I won't swim at all," is that connected at all to Tommy McClennan changing the catfish to a bullfrog?  And is the double-be a reference to King?  And did James record this before 1968?  Oh, so many questions, so little time!

YouTube has a few good clips of various people doing this. T-Model Ford does a version that, through the crappy audio, sounds based on the Petway rather than the McClennan.  And nowadays a lot of versions are based on the Hendrix.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:23:47 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2007, 02:43:14 PM »
Hi Bricktown Bob,
Thanks very much for the information on the additional versions of "Catfish".  My listening to post-War amplified blues has been pretty spotty, so I am always happy to learn of music from that period that ties back into the older stuff.  I agree, though, what a song!  I don't know that I have ever heard a version I didn't like, and that's saying something.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline Rivers

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2007, 04:44:07 PM »
In my version I acknowledge I am, in fact, a catfish.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2007, 01:24:56 AM »
Hi Bricktown Bob,
Thanks very much for the information on the additional versions of "Catfish". 
I'll second that, most useful and brought to mind a feature that Bob Groom started in his Blues World magazine. It was titled "Story Of A Blues" and commenced in issue 42 (Autumn 1972) with the explanation "The idea of this feature is to list the different rec ordings of a particular theme and so trace its history on record." It proved to be very popular with much reader participation, but of course limited to what was then available on LP or 78 collections.

Would it be out of place of me to suggest something similar here perhaps kicked off with Bob's Catfish/Deep Blue Sea etc post?

Online Slack

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2008, 09:11:12 PM »
Weeeeeelllll, you gotta love diggin' these old threads out.

Add  Cecil Barfield's version -- whcih is reason enough to download his CD's i think.

http://www.amazon.com/George-Mitchell-Collection-Vol-Disc/dp/B0011YX47K/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1204948807&sr=1-7

Love this description:
---
COMPLETELY AMAZING mush-mouthed blues... various comments from the store whilst playing this single: "Is he singing backwards?" "Sounds like he's singing with a mouth full of mashed potatoes!" and "What the hell is that?" Cecil does his thing over a trancey acoustic guitar that could be from Nambia as well as Albany, Georgia, in 1976 when this was recorded. Safe to say, Saturday Night Fever, disco, and polyester get-ups were not the rage in Cecil's neck of the woods.

First of a series of singles culled from George Mitchell's recordings of rural blues, and all are great so far, but this one will have you jonesing for more. Meet your new hero- CECIL BARFIELD!

 :P






Offline doctorpep

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2008, 10:04:05 PM »
Johnm, do you know when the Williams disc on Fat Possum will be released? I just checked Amazon.com and also Fat Possum's website and couldn't find anything.
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #31 on: October 02, 2008, 11:16:46 PM »
Hi doctor pep,
I assume you are talking about Teddy Williams.  I don't know anything about when or whether a full CD of him will be released, but his version of "Catfish" is included in the "George Mitchell Recordings" set.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2008, 08:19:14 AM »
Hi all,
I just found another version of "Catfish" that has no catfish in it.  That is to say, musically, it is "Catfish", but it doesn't include the catfish verse, much like Tommy McClennan's "Deep Blue Sea Blues".  It is from "R. L. Burnside's First Recordings", and it is called "Come On In" there.  It's a really nice version but feels a little truncated.  Lyrically, and in terms of the guitar licks, it also bears a pretty close relationship to the versions of the song by Pink Anderson ("Baby I'm going Away") and Baby Tate ("Baby I'm Going").
All best,
Johnm

There's a version of "Catfish" sans catfish as well by Smoky Babe, accompanied on harp by Lazy Lester, on the Smoky Babe - Herman E. Johnson Louisiana Country Blues disc from Arhoolie. It's called "Too Many Women". As with pretty much everything Smoky Babe did, it just drips with groove.

« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:30:57 AM by Johnm »

Offline oddenda

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2008, 03:28:43 AM »
Well, Folks, here I go -

          Pink Anderson said that he learned a lot of his blues from Baby Tate! I know that it seems odd that an older guy would learn stuff from a younger one, but Pink would have wanted to update his "songster" repertoire, and how better than from a younger musician. Tate told Bastin and I that he got the song from Muddy's recording, one of a couple in his repertoire from that source. He recorded it for me as well. The "song tree" idea is an interesting one worthy of serious consideration!

yrs,
     Peter B.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2010, 07:39:20 AM »
Another version of Catfish not called Catfish is Just Can't Say by Willie Nix with Snooky Pryor, harmonica; Sunnyland Slim, Piano and Eddie Taylor on guitar. Recorded; 10/14/1953, Chicago. Great! The song is included on the Weenieology Post-War Disc 2 compilation. It includes the catfish verse, and Willie talks a great line of shit throughout.

"Talk a little trash that means you have to spend some cash."

« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:32:14 AM by Johnm »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2010, 09:05:23 AM »
Another version of Catfish not called Catfish is Just Can't Say by Willie Nix with Snooky Pryor, harmonica; Sunnyland Slim, Piano and Eddie Taylor on guitar. Recorded; 10/14/1953, Chicago. Great! The song is included on the Weenieology Post-War Disc 2 compilation. It includes the catfish verse, and Willie talks a great line of shit throughout.

"Talk a little trash that means you have to spend some cash."
Thanks for the heads-up, forgotten all about that great version. This in turn got me giving a spin to Muddy's solo Chess rework (as Rollin' Stone) with its hypnotic, over amplified guitar accompaniment. See Oddenda's comments above.

« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:37:04 AM by Johnm »

Offline LD50

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2010, 09:00:07 AM »
Another version of Catfish not called Catfish is Just Can't Say by Willie Nix with Snooky Pryor, harmonica; Sunnyland Slim, Piano and Eddie Taylor on guitar. Recorded; 10/14/1953, Chicago. Great! The song is included on the Weenieology Post-War Disc 2 compilation. It includes the catfish verse, and Willie talks a great line of shit throughout.

"Talk a little trash that means you have to spend some cash."

Another really good one I just discovered a few months is 'Hospitality Blues' by Grace Brim, 1952. The word 'catfish' seems not to be in it, but it's the same song straight down the line. Not as amazing as her 'Strange Man', but still pretty damn good.

(I got it off Best of Blues vol.2 - Blues Standard: Catfish blues / Rolling Stone.)

Offline Doc Brainerd

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2010, 06:12:45 PM »
Another version of Catfish not called Catfish is Just Can't Say by Willie Nix with Snooky Pryor, harmonica; Sunnyland Slim, Piano and Eddie Taylor on guitar. Recorded; 10/14/1953, Chicago. Great! The song is included on the Weenieology Post-War Disc 2 compilation. It includes the catfish verse, and Willie talks a great line of shit throughout.

"Talk a little trash that means you have to spend some cash."

In addition to backing Willie Nix on Willie's VOCNCC, Eddie Taylor recorded his own VOCNCC he called "Stroll Out West." It's included the P-Vine Records E.T. compilation Big Town Playboy (PCD-5259). The liner notes are mostly in Japanese, but the phrase "Original VJ Recordings 1955-1964" is printed inside the insert next to the song titles. A search on the web led me to this link (http://koti.mbnet.fi/wdd/eddietaylor.htm), which after searching for the word 'stroll' on the page leads me to surmise Eddie's "Stroll Out West" was an unissued session from forVeeJay from November 5, 1957 (Eddie Taylor:vcl/gtr, Jimmy Lee Robinson:bs, Earl Phillips:dms).

In my opinion - as far as post-war electric VOCNCCs go - Eddie's version is pretty darn good.
Youtube:

« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 06:34:05 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2019, 09:24:42 AM »
Hi all,
Here is another really fine version of "Catfish Blues", taken from Jack Owens and Bud Spires Testament CD, "It Must Have Been The Devil".  It's another indication that Jack Owens was not a one-trick pony, playing only in cross-note tuning.



All best,
Johnm

Offline btasoundsradio

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2019, 07:37:44 PM »
There is a killer version of Catfish Blues on the new "It's The Best Stuff Yet" Frog set entitled "My Husband Just Now Left" by an inmate named Ed Bush. The notes say he learned it from the Tommy McClennan record, but the guitar is completely unique. The picking is fast and banjoesque with bottleneck, I'm assuming on a resonator guitar. Probably my favorite track on the set. Just when you thought you've heard all the killer versions...
Dr. Ross "Cat Squirrell"

Willie Doss "Catfish Blues"

Skip James:
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 07:57:37 PM by btasoundsradio »
Charlie is the Father, Son is the Son, Willie is the Holy Ghost

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2019, 11:37:47 AM »
Hi all,
Here is another version from Lattie Murrell.  I was interested to note that his name as shown on the Flywright single was "Lottie Merle".



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Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Catfish Blues: Song of the Month--December, 2019
« Reply #41 on: December 25, 2019, 06:40:43 AM »
Hi all,
Since no one wanted to post a Song of the Month for December, I thought to take a pre-existing thread which was a Song of the Month precursor and turn it into a Song of the Month.  I went back in the thread and added the versions to which the various posters alluded, though I didn't get them all.  There are still a lot of versions left to find and post, I'm sure.  Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!
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Johnm

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Re: SOTM December 2019, Catfish Blues
« Reply #42 on: December 26, 2019, 01:27:33 PM »
Hi all,
Just to keep this thing going, here are two versions mentioned earlier in the thread but not previously posted.  First, from John Lee Hooker, in 1949:



The from Lightnin' Hopkins:



All best,
Johnm

 


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