Catfish Whiskey
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"Dallas Observer Album Review"

Catfish Whiskey CD Release Party

Friday, January 18, at the Green Elephant
By Darryl Smyers
Published: January 17, 2008

Details:
Friday, January 18, at the Green Elephant

Subject(s): Catfish Whiskey CD release party

Fort Worth's Catfish Whiskey has been around since 2003 but did not start recording the band's studio debut, Blood & Bones, until last year. Honing their swampy mix of blues and psychedelic-tinged country during the interim, Keegan McInroe and the rest of this quartet are now ready for, and deserving of, wider exposure. Lengthy jams such as "King Solomon Blues" and "Meet Me on the Road" are raw, lowdown cuts that never are content to settle for the basic boogie self-indulgence. Echoes of Dylan, Tom Waits and even Southern rock legends like the Allman Brothers commingle expressively in the hands of these four rather unseemly characters from Cowtown. Catfish Whiskey features players (especially bassist Travis Dixon) adept enough to switch from the mellow and atmospheric "New Guinea" to the jazzy and atonal "Cooking Pot." Such variety speaks well for their continued development. Besides his dry, urgent vocals, McInroe's guitar interplay with Michael Maftean is backed up by a subtle rhythm section, creating music perfectly suited to the smokiest bars and the well-inebriated patrons within.


http://music.dallasobserver.com/2008-01-17/music/catfish-whiskey-cd-release-party/
- Dallas Observer


"Fort Worth's Star-Telegram Album Review"

Fri, Jan. 18, 2008

Catfish Whiskey is a catch

By Preston Jones
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Gritty and gripping, Fort Worth quartet Catfish Whiskey's aptly titled debut Blood & Bones cuts deep and lingers long after the final fuzzed-out notes have faded. From the epic nine-minute opener King Solomon's Blues -- pulsing and surging like an all-night march through swamp muck -- to the countrified blues of In the Streets, these 12 tracks never shy away from blunt authenticity. The lyrics ooze funky Southern Gothic atmosphere, evoking biblical imagery, slightly psychedelic barroom ramblings and the darker corners of the human heart. All of this potent material would seem thin, were it not for Keegan McInroe's throaty vocals scratching and clawing their way above the band (bassist Travis Dixon, drummer Johnny Goodson and guitarist Michael Maftean) and its meticulously messy sound. Blood & Bones is exhausting, thrilling stuff; watching it unfold in concert will be something to behold. Catfish Whiskey will celebrate the release of its debut with a pair of Metroplex shows this weekend -- the foursome will play Dallas' the Green Elephant on Friday and Fort Worth's 6th Street Live on Saturday.


http://www.star-telegram.com/nightlife/story/416752.html - Fort Worth Star -Telegram


"Article in The Fort Worth Weekly"

Whiskers

Though still young, the Catfish Whiskey guys have matured a lot recently, as their new LP may prove.

By CAROLINE COLLIER


"Blood and Bones are the stuff of Catfish Whiskey’s new, sober sound."

Five years ago, Catfish Whiskey was all about the party. The Fort Worth foursome’s weekly soirees assumed a buzz just as big as their busy, bluesy jam music. Today, the party has fizzled out, enabling them to focus entirely on their songwriting. On Blood and Bones —Catfish Whiskey’s recently released debut album — the band has tightened the reins on the jams, orchestrating every note and putting serious intent behind the positivist vibe they want to share.

The band’s roots can be traced to an open-mic jam in 2003 on University Drive near Texas Christian University. By 2005, frontman Keegan McInroe had recruited a five-member core with which he wrote stacks of good-timey tuneage. Along with his merry pranksters, McInroe, while still a TCU student, hosted a weekly gathering at The Moon Bar, nearby on West Berry Street, inviting different guest musicians each week. Now with a rather solid line-up in his corner and a TCU diploma in philosophy and religion under his arm, McInroe has almost completely shed his wild lifestyle, as Blood and Bones may indicate.

Throughout their steady gigging, the Catfish Whiskey guys always found time to write new material. So when time came to record Blood and Bones, the band had a wealth of original music to choose from. The result, said fellow TCU alum and bassist Travis Dixon, follows a thematic arc. “There’s some serious stuff going on there,” he said.

McInroe was more specific. Blood and Bones is “an existential search for truth and a sense of what really matters,” he said. The album is “a call to think.”

Most of the 12 blues-influenced tracks deal with hard questions about life. The band chose to start the album with “King Solomon Blues” to pay homage to the legendary wise man. “Solomon’s life is a mix of politics, religion, power, and, in the end, lust and murder,” McInroe said. “It’s an old story, but it’s very relevant today. ... The same struggles bring people to the same kind of situations ... fights for power and jockeying for position. How do you get it back to reason?”

After a thorough education, a long run on the party circuit, and extensive travel, McInroe believes more strongly than ever that music is a powerful tool of enlightenment. “I’ve had an interesting life,” he said. “A lot of spiritual, supernatural things that are normally intangible have happened to me,” in particular, an experience he had in New Orleans last year that he describes only as “dark swirlings.”

“I’ve been blessed,” he said.

Catfish Whiskey’s more mature and sober sound can be partially attributed to new directions in percussion. McInroe started the band with rock drummer Matt Lombard, who left two years into the project to start The Red Herrings. Catfish Whiskey ran through several replacements before settling on Johnny Goodson, formerly of Texas Music singer-songwriter Jordan Mycoskie’s band. Goodson’s pure country style helped calm down what once was a hyperactive outfit prone to extended soloing. The drummer, McInroe said, got the band “in touch with rootsy music.”

Catfish Whiskey still does some jam band-y stuff, courtesy mainly of skilled ax-man Mike Maftean, but now it’s tempered by heavy doses of blues, folk, and country. And storytelling, lyrically or musically. “Everything is song-oriented now,” said McInroe. Producer Evan Jones does Catfish Whiskey’s sound justice on Blood and Bones, recorded at his home studio in Fort Worth.

Goodson and Dixon both have day jobs, while McInroe and Maftean make most of their income via music; McInroe also works with Time2Fly, a Dallas booking agency. Catfish Whiskey’s success, McInroe said, is owed in part to the musicians who sat in during the band’s Moon days and brought friends. “We stepped up a sense of community in the scene,” he said.

Though McInroe and company have toured the region extensively, they plan on expanding their stops to include, well, everywhere.
- The Fort Worth Weekly


Discography

'Blood & Bones' - January 2008

'Live from The Moon' - May 2006

http://www.myspace.com/catfishwhiskey

Photos

Bio

Catfish Whiskey staggered onto the Fort Worth music scene back in the summer of 2003 when singer/songwriter Keegan McInroe had a chance meeting and jam session one evening with former drummer, Matt Lombard, during one of McInroe's early solo shows. With the bar's old, worn out drum kit sitting behind him, McInroe had a few drinks and decided to invite Lombard onstage to join him. The two decided there was some chemistry there. Soon, Lombard introduced Michael Maftean to McInroe, and the three aspiring musician's began working to get a band together. Travis Dixon, McInroe's roomate at the time, joined in on bass shortly thereafter, and Tripp Mathis showed up in early May 2004. Matt Lombard left the band in late 2005, making way for Johnny 'Savage' Goodson to join the band on skins in February of 2006. Tripp Mathis left the band in May 2007.

In early summer 2006, CW pulled off an independent five week, 23 show run of the Western U.S., including a live radio gig on KRFC's (Fort Collins, CO) Live at Lunch program. Since returning to Texas in late June of 2006, CW has been focusing on burning a hole in the ground between the major cities in Texas, including Ft. Worth, Dallas, Austin, Houston and Lubbock, as well as branching out into Lousianna, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Catfish Whiskey's music is a soulful blend of rock and roll, blues, country, and folk, reminiscent of some of the classic Southern rock bands, delta blues musicians, and old school country outlaws of the past. Yet, CW manages to acheive a voice all its own. As the name denotes, Catfish Whiskey prides themselves on a very distinct and rootsy sound. Ranging from smooth and mellow, to rough and dirty, to downright funky CW has a tendency to play on all levels of emotion during a night's work. Catfish Whiskey thrives in the live performances of the smoke-filled bar rooms and low lit clubs which they frequent, always giving a unique and raw edge to whatever might be on the setlist that night. Every show is an experience all its own.

Catfish Whiskey released 'Blood & Bones,' their debut studio album, in Jan. 2008.

In addition to this album, Catfish Whiskey released a self produced live cd, 'Live from The Moon,' in May 2006. It was recorded April 27, 2006 in Ft. Worth, TX.