- = THE COMPLETE EASTBOUND & WESTBOUND RECORDINGS =
Blues rocker Bob “Catfish” Hodge grew up in Detroit, where he formed his
first group while still at school. The city became world famous via the
success of Motown, which inspired many young Detroiters, both black and
white, to take up music as a career. In the late 60s Hodge founded the
band Catfish. Emerging from a rock scene which starred the Stooges and
the MC5, they recorded two LPs for Epic, neither of which sold well.
Hodge then self-released his first solo album, before moving to London
to write some songs, hoping to become the next James Taylor. Instead he
penned ‘Boogie Man’ and headed back to Detroit to get a record deal.
Forming a new band, he went to see Westbound Records’ Armen Boladian,
who invited George Clinton and Calvin Simon of Funkadelic to see them
Within weeks Hodge and his band were recording their first album,
produced by Simon at Manta Studios in Toronto at the same time
Funkadelic were making “America Eats Its Young”. A mix of boogie rock
and soulful horns, “Boogie Man Gonna Get Ya” sold well and picked up
good radio plays. A second album, “Dinosaurs And Alley Cats”, had a more
laidback feel, most notably on ‘Circus Is In Town’.
Hodge then moved to Virginia, where he met Bonnie Raitt and played on
many bills with her. Recorded in Los Angeles, his next album, “Soap
Opera’s” (sic), was his most complex and featured a stellar line-up that
included Raitt, Dr John, Birtha’s Rosemary Burton and the Flying
Burrito Brothers’ Sneaky Pete Kleinlow.
Long out of print, this 2CD set brings together Hodge’s three Westbound
and Eastbound albums, a handful of out-takes and a long-forgotten
B-side. When we discussed this reissue, he was cheerful and happy with
his past. When asked to look back on this period he said simply, “It was
a very good time in my journey through life. It gave me a wonderful
opportunity at the time when I was ready and able to take it.”