Mudcrutch is Tom Petty’s original band, from before the Heartbreakers. For various reasons, the band broke up before they really had a chance to get any traction. But now, many, many years later, the’ve gotten together for their “debut” CD. What’s notable about the project is that they decided to make the this collection songs the old fashioned way. To quote from the CD cover:
Drums, wires, old friends, etc.
Recorded live, vocals, harmony, everything
Arrangements done on the studio floor
Made in 10 days, no headphones
Los Angeles in ’07
A lot of love
Indeed, some purists have notes the looseness of the music, especially from Petty who plays bass in this effort. But of course that’s the point. The music can be wonderful and still be loose and the debut from Mudcrutch proves it. This is not the looseness of incompetent musicians, but the looseness of seasoned experts, Benmont Tench, Randall Marsh, Mike Campbell, Tom Leadon, and Tom Petty who are relaxed and having fun.
Just to make sure there’s not doubt that this is going to be a rootsy country infuenced album, they open with the classic bluegrass tune, “Shady Grove,” then they slide into an easy southern rock groove. While there’s a couple of heavier tunes like “Bootleg Flyer” and “Scare Easy,” for the most part these are easy going songs that are reminiscent of the Byrds (they cover “Lover of the Bayou”) or Gram Parsons. I especially love the long psychadelic jam on “Crystal River” and the twangy “Wrong Thing To Do”.