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iTunes Review

Tom Petty’s earned the right to indulge himself however he sees fit. The sturdy rock veteran knows his Americana songbook backwards and forwards and if he decides to reunite his early-70s group Mudcrutch as if the Heartbreakers and four decades of success never happened, so be it. This 2008 self-titled debut album from the band that once existed mostly as a memory is a testament to Petty’s southern rock roots. He puts down his Rickenbacker guitar and dutifully returns to the bass he played in the band’s original incarnation, turning guitar duties over to Heartbreaker Mike Campbell and Tom Leadon, brother of the Eagles / Flying Burrito Brothers’ player Bernie. Essentially, it’s the sound of the Heartbreakers channeling not the Byrds of “Eight Miles High” but of the Gram Parsons-era Sweetheart of the Rodeo: country harmonies, swooning organ and a western lope highlighting “Orphan of the Storm,” more tight harmonies capitalizing on the inspired glow of “Scare Easy,” a long jam extending “Crystal River” and outright tribute being paid with covers of the Byrds’ “Lover of the Bayou” and Dave Dudley’s “Six Days on the Road,” a tune popularized to rock audiences by the Burrito Brothers back in the late 1960s. 

Customer Reviews

Rolling Stone review

Even a dude with a track record as golden as Tom Petty's needs to reflect on paths not taken. Mudcrutch, Petty's pre-Heartbreakers band, released a single and little else in the mid-Seventies. And that's too bad, since they reunite here for a hot country-rock set that clearly aspires to, and gets within spitting distance of, genre classics like Sweetheart of the Rodeo, The Gilded Palace of Sin and American Beauty. If the Heartbreakers had never happened, this band would have worked out just fine. Mudcrutch has more jammy, expansive guitar work than any Petty record ever. Yet the leader doesn't play a lick, shelving his Rickenbacker to play bass, as he did back in the day. The twin-guitar front is Heartbreaker Mike Campbell and Tom Leadon, a dazzling player who found less fame than his brother Bernie (Eagles, Flying Burrito Brothers). The pair duel on the hot-pickin' traditional tune "June Apple," run Allman Brothers tandems on the boogie-rock "Bootleg Flyer" and space-waltz Dead-style on the organ-swathed, nine-minute "Crystal River." Heartbreaker keyboard whiz Benmont Tench and journeyman drummer Randall Marsh complete the original lineup; everyone's back, and better for it. The songs are mythic Americana: With help from his bandmates, Petty creates a vivid cast of road dogs, strippers and junkies that conjures Gram Parsons' Bible-haunted Southerners and Robert Hunter's cosmic Westerners. And his weathered harmonies with Leadon make them flesh; though his voice is frayed, Petty's never sounded more real. Two country-rock covers nearly match their models: The Byrds' "Lover of the Bayou" and "Six Days on the Road," a Burritos fave. If they fall a tad short, that's appropriate: Mudcrutch's ragged enthusiasm is the sound of a hungry gang getting its first taste, just a few decades late.


This is a great album I would download it if I were you it has great vocals and catchy guitar lines also it is interesting that this album was actually recorded in the 1970s


As a big tom petty fan thought i would have to have a listen to toms rock roots from back in the 70's and this album is great i must admit ...heartbreakers play alot of the tracks also mudcrutch were featured in the documentary film running down a dream so was glad when tom and the guys released one of their first albums...magic thank you!


Formed: 1970 in Gainesville, FL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '00s, '10s

Formed in Gainesville, FL, in 1970, Mudcrutch were essentially a precursor to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, with a then 17-year-old Tom Petty on bass, Mike Campbell and Tom Leadon (the brother of ex-Eagle Bernie Leadon) on guitars, Benmont Tench on keyboards, and Randall Marsh on drums. Popular on the Florida bar circuit, Mudcrutch relocated to L.A. in 1974 and was offered a recording contract from Leon Russell and Denny Cordell's Shelter Records, but the band splintered before any significant recording...
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Mudcrutch, Mudcrutch
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