It's a question asked by anyone and everyone who pays attention to popular music; who is making music today that will be the classic rock of tomorrow. It's a tough question to answer when considering the bastion of classic rock; Rolling Stones, Eagles, Rod Stewart et al. But there is still something exciting to discover when you dig into the periphery of the standard canon. Consider the catalogs of bands that perpetually exist in that fringe. Bands like Foghat, Traffic and Free. Their discographies still contain gems to behold. Now consider Catfish Haven. They are a band that is hard to pigeonhole, regardless of all of our attempts. Catfish Haven is a band than been appropriately paired with future classic rock contenders like My Morning Jacket, Magnolia Electric Co., The Hold Steady, Lucero and Eli Reed & The True Loves. A testament to their unclassifiable, yet broad appeal, as evidenced by Devastator's in the pocket title track, organic glitterball jam "Set In Stone" and bittersweet barn burner "Full Speed"In the spirit of Kiss' Destroyer, ZZ Top's Eliminator, and Lou Reed's Transformer, introducing Catfish Haven's Devastator.
After releasing the critically acclaimed EP Please Come Back early in 2006, Catfish Haven return more focused and more determined than ever to win your heart. You see with Tell Me, their debut full length on Secretly Canadian, these three raw dogs named for singer George Hunter's childhood trailer park home have crafted one hell of a break-up record. Love is a confusing thing and it always leaves the mind with more questions than answers. Who is this woman that left Hunter so broken that he was inspired to pen ten soulful odes to this traumatizing break-up? Who dumped who? Will Hunter ever win her back? It's hard to tell as Tell Me captures the confusion, denial, sleepless nights, and the desperate pleas for love that can only be felt when the mind gives up control to the heart.Like Otis sweating out "Pain In My Heart" or Marvin begging "Please Stay", Catfish Haven are amongst few bands that can command a stage; keep a crowd up with a high energy live performance and still deliver such heartache. With the addition of smooth horn arrangements and even smoother back up vocals, Tell Me, is the realization of what a heartbroken boy can do when given a little time and recording studio full of toys. Graeme Gibson was in charge of capturing all of this onto tape at Clava Studio in Chicago, Illinois, the city the band calls home.
Catfish Haven took its name from the rural trailer park nestled on the southern tip of Missouri where the trio’s singer andmain songwriter, George Hunter, spent his early childhood. His father is a welder and, as with many trades, you must gowhere the work is. So the family packed up and left Catfish Haven for a Chicago suburb. It was there as a teenager thatHunter met future bandmates Miguel Castillo and Ryan Farnham. Their friendship was born out of a mutual love of skateboardingand music.After a few months and a move into the city, the three-piece stormed Chicago with a self-financed CD, complete with handmadebeer box covers, to begin spreading the gospel of “The Haven”. Word travels fast in the Windy City’s music scene,and soon Catfish Haven had intrigued enough people to be invited to play alongside the likes of My Morning Jacket,Daniel Johnston, Kings of Leon and Zwan, flooring audiences with the raw intensity of their live set. Akin to guitarists/vocalists like Bruce Springsteen and John Fogerty, Hunter, a howling crooner with gravel in his honey-sweetened voice (a la Sam Cooke), is known to strike his acoustic while stomping through each number. Castillo’s pounding bass grooves are heightened when joined by Farnham’s forceful, yet tasteful, drumming. Consider this: howling + pounding= smooth. An improbable equation that Catfish Haven has managed to make work.So this is it. The guys in Catfish Haven are who they are; there’s no room for pretension here. They play their hearts outfor anyone who will listen ‘cause they’ve got a love for music that drives them. And every note they play is intended torecapture those magical moments back at Catfish Haven.
Catfish Haven is the trailer park in Missouri where singer/songwriter/guitarist, George Hunter, grew up.Catfish Haven the band currently resides in Chicago, Illinois where they create soulful howling music over an acoustic guitar turned way up. Resurrecting the spirit of Otis Redding and tapping into the vein of Credence Clearwater Revival, Catfish Haven's music is imbued by hopeful yearning for better days echoed through amps and a drum kit.