The annual Newport Folk Fest happened last weekend at Fort Adams in Newport, RI. The folk in Folk Festival is a loose term as the NFF draws a variety of acts including classic blues act like Gary Clark Jr.
The 34-year old, Austin bred bluesman has an eclectic set of musical influences, but his product is considered some of the best blues on the street today. Among the songs he shared during his Newport Folk Festival set was the blues standard “Catfish Blues.”
“Catfish Blues” is a song that has been performed countless times by hundreds (if not thousands) of blues musicians. The tune traces it’s roots back to a Mississippi delta bluesman named Robert Petway in 1941, although it’s lyrics can be spotted as early as 1928.
Gary Clark Jr.’s take on the 78 year-old timeless tune is slow, driving and hypnotic. While a lot of guitarists nowadays would be tempted to race up the tempo and the fret, Clark isn’t in a hurry and it’s refreshing.
Thanks to Matt Frazier for the awesome footage!