When ‘Catfish Keith’ first heard the resonator guitar as a young teenager he was hooked.
Son House may not have been a hit star in the disco-fuelled 70s, but for one Mid Western kid, the blues singer was nothing less than life-changing.
“I remember hearing these old records for the time and just been fascinated,” says Catfish, real name Keith Kozacik. “By the time I was aged 15 that was it, I knew I wanted to be a musician for the rest of my life.”
At the age of 52, Catfish Keith is not quite a teenager anymore, but he still gets excited by those records.
“There’s something about the music you love when your character is forming that makes it stick with you,” he says. “I became a real blues geek when I was a kid.”
Catfish Keith’s obsession with old 78in records eventually transcended his home and took him to live shows.
“It was one thing to hear these records, but quite another to see and hear this music being performed live,” he says.
And there was one particular artist that left an imprint on his mind.
He says: “I remember seeing Mike Seeger - he was a musicologist and a virtuoso player with fiddle and banjo. Not only was he brilliant to see, he’d also talk about the heritage of the music too.”
Catfish is also interested in the roots of ‘Old Time’ blues, the style he plays himself.
“I play a National Reso-phonic guitar and they are generally the same as they were in the 20s,” he says. “The sound is incredible and forms the basis of what I do.”
Catfish Keith first toured the UK in 1992.
“It was a beautiful thing – I was going to be doing what I was doing anyway, but to discover there are all these people really into the same music as you and want to hear you play that sort of music was and is a beautiful thing,” he says.
Catfish Keith is touring the UK once again with a set from his 15th solo album, the Honey Hole, including a date at Sheffield’s The Greystones pub, on Sunday.
“It’s a Blind Boy Fuller song and you can guess what it’s about,” he says. “A lot of blues songs are about sex. In fact, some of them are extremely rude, but in the Blind Boy Fuller song there are no cuss songs and it’s not too explicit – these sorts of songs use double entendres more than anything else.”
All Catfish Keith’s records are released on his own label.
“It’s a lot of hard work releasing a record yourself because you have to do everything but it also means you have full control as to what you put out and I like that,” he says. “I love the writing process as it makes you tap into a part of yourself that you otherwise wouldn’t.
“People say that vinyl is making a come-back so I thought I’d run a few limited edition copies and see how it goes.”
Catfish Keith is at The Greystones, Greystones Road, Greystones, on Sunday, at 8pm. Tickets are £10.