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Mudcrutch (Bonus Track Version)

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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

TBTR: Track by Track Review of Mudcrutch

Most people do not deny that Tom Petty has had an incredible career as an American rock artist. But most people also don't know that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers began as a (poorly named) band called Mudcrutch. Their recent reunion spawned this record, which was recorded in a very short amount of time and it was recorded live in the studio. 1.) Shady Grove - Although this is not a Petty-penned tune, it suits Tom Petty and his talented Mudcrutch band very well. The vocal swapping between Tom Petty and Tom Leadon is refreshing, and both have great vocal talent. The other band members' performances are also flawless. The only complaint is that it gets a little long (being 3:58 long). I'd say about a 4.5, rounding to (5 stars). 2.) Scare Easy - Traditional Petty sounding track, which makes it obvious for the first single. The lyrics are Petty-standard (not extremely poetic, but nowhere close to poorly written) and the melody is very pleasant. Amazing. (5 stars) 3.) Orphan of the Storm - The intro sounds like something you might hear from Counting Crows. But the verse and verse melody is definitely Eagle-esque, if you will. Good lyrics, beautiful melody. Again, a little long, but again still great. (5 stars) 4.) Six Days on the Road - Another non-Petty song, but Petty and Co. really know how to make it their own. It's very upbeat, catchy, and it's performed like they've been playing it all their life. Entertaining solo, fun piano- It's a great jam. (5 stars) 5.) Crystal River - Overall nice melody and song. The instrumental middle section is soothing and fitting. This 9 and 1/2 minute song is a big change for Petty, who usually keeps his songs reasonably short. But if you can work with the really long "jam piece" in the middle, it's pretty good. (4 stars) 6.) Oh Maria - A mid-to-slow-tempo tune with beautiful lyrics and a magnificant arrangement. The song structure is appropriate and the arrangement is captivating. It's just incredible. (5 stars) 7.) This Is a Good Street - Great songwriting by Benmont Tench and excellent vocals by (mainly) Leadon. It's upbeat but soft. Short and to-the-point with its catchiness. Nice. (5 stars) 8.) The Wrong Thing to Do - Another tune in traditional Petty fashion. Decently thought-out lyrics and appropriate melody. It sounds like a combination between a few of the previous tracks, but it's still original. It's a little long. (4 stars) 9.) Queen of the Go-Go Girls - Definite some more Eagles characteristics. The chorus is very unique and satisfying. Nice lyrics and great harmony between Leadon and Petty. (5 stars) 10.) June Apple - Another traditional song, but this time it's 100% instrumental. In this case, it's a nice break. It's almost Allman Brothers-ish in a lot of ways. I mean, it's instrumental so I wouldn't recommend getting it by itself. As part of the album it's 4 stars, but by itself it's (3 stars). 11.) Lover of the Bayou - Nice cover, originally by The Byrds. Petty's vocal tone is impressive and convincing. Considering it was recorded from a live take, production is outstanding. One of the best on the album. (5 stars) 12.) Topanga Cowgirl - Grade-A song with an irresistable rhythm. Strong arrangement and lyrics you can grasp easily. Another solid gold track with no complaints. (5 stars) 13.) Bootleg Flyer - The first few lines of the verses, (because they are spoken instead of sung), seem a little bland. But once the melody kicks in, you'll have a very hard time reaching for that skip button. More irresistable rhythm and another mesmorizing arrangement. The solo is almost Boston-like at the end, but it's still original. (5 stars) 14.) House of Stone - What a closing track. It's a very folky finale, but it's exactly what the listener wants to hear. Humorous lyrics, a nice steady swing, and a very raw performance and sound (this is good and refreshing!). I really can't find much more to say except you need to get the whole album to completely appreciate this amazing song. (5 stars) Final: 4.71 stars, rounded to 5. In closing, Mudcrutch is a beautiful display of musicianship. From lyrics to melody to arrangement and everything in between, Petty still proves he knows EXACTLY what he's doing. Get this. Total: 4.71 -> 5 stars

A Class Act.

Since I have gotten to know Petty's music I have learned to respect him as a composer. When I first read that he was reassembling Mudcrutch I gained a respect for him as a person. He does not need Tom Leadon or Randall Marsh to be successful but that doesn't stop him from putting his clean track record on the line and doing something different. It turns out that difference created some beautiful Americana and gave two deserving guys a chance to finally be rock stars. Buy the album and support these talented artists. Maybe we'll convince them to keep making records. After all, if there's one thing I can't have enough of, it is Tom Petty's incisiveness.

Awesome! If you love Tom Petty, you will love this album.

I saw Mudcrutch at the Santa Cruz Civic center a few weeks ago and it was just a wonderful evening. Good old rock and roll with a touch of what we used to call Country Rock in the 70s. Or, as Tom Petty called it, "Hippie Music" :-) Anyway, I've been waiting ever since to buy this CD - which is essentially a studio version of the set they played. And it does not disapoint. If you are a Tom Petty fan, you will love this CD. My personal favorites are Scare Easy and The Wrong Thing to Do - but they are all fun!


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...
Full Bio
Mudcrutch (Bonus Track Version), Mudcrutch
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  • $13.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Mar 25, 2008

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