HOMEFRONT HAS THE BLUES

By Dallas Embry

Contributing Writer

(The following article is an example of how the music community works together. Louisville Homefront Performances is an important part of the local music scene; the KYANA Blues Society is as well. So when LHP celebrated its fifth anniversary on March 11 with a blues concert, overlapping coverage was inevitable. We thought our readers might enjoy hearing about it from more than one perspective. This article represents the KYANA Blues Society. Other related articles appear elsewhere in this newspaper. -- Editor.)

On Saturday, March 11, Catfish Keith of Riverside, Iowa, and Henry Woodruff from right here in River City, brought their distinctive blues styles to the Homefront stage at the Stuart Robinson Auditorium, 1401 South Sixth Street.

Keith, referred to as "kind of a punk Robert Johnson" by Art Thieme of the Flea Market radio program in Chicago, played a National Steel Guitar and a 1922 Gibson. He sang Delta Blues in the old style, in addition to some of his own compositions such as the lovely "West Indian Waltz" and the Creole-flavored "Fish Chowder."

Decked out in a blue serge suit and red necktie, with a fedora cocked on his head, he stomped his feet as he plunked and twanged his way through a series of selections from his "Catfish Blues" album.

Whether bending strings or running his slide up and down them, he delivered an appetizing menu of acoustic blues to an appreciative crowd.

Henry and the Noisemakers were a perfect complement to the acoustic sounds of Keith with their down-home, basic, electrified sound.

With Nathan Bunton (drums) and James Warfield (bass) laying down a solid foundation, Henry and his distinctive self-taught guitar style built solid blues structures on it.

Henry's old generic electric guitar sang, cried, shouted and rocked and rolled as he manipulated the strings. Playing some of his own songs and some blues and rock 'n' roll standards, he evoked the funkiness of a smoky barroom on a Saturday night.

The Noisemakers defined the blues their way, from "Laundromat Blues" to standards such as "Tequila" and "Peter Gunn;" from the low-down-dirty "I feel so bad" blues to the upbeat get-up-and-boogie blues.

Catfish Keith, on his own, would have been great, as would have Henry and the Noisemakers, but the combination of the two acts satisfied the appetities of a standing-room-only audience of blues-hungry souls. It was Dyn-O-Mite!!