California Western is a tasty,new release from Catfish Smith.The album successfully blends blues, country, folk and Americana into a diverse collection of songs.“The Mooch” is a Dylanesque tune with harmonica and a solid rhythm section.“1880” has some nicely ethereal opening guitar work that leads into the story of a Western outlaw.Also with a country vibe are “Porch” and “Hold On”. Due to the organ and piano playing by Mark Jackson, the entire album is anchored by a bluesy feel. "8 Track Jones” is a prime example of this, as it rolls and grooves with ease. William Baur provides some vibrant guitar solos,especially on the rocking “Get It”. Most noteworthy is the storytelling skill of Catfish.Each of these songs engages you with the story and characters in a way that is rare.California Western is a great album that is sure to capture your interest. Solid songwriting, talented players and a new taste of Americana.
-(5/5 Stars) JMorman