10 songs time-44:26
Toronto, Canada based singer-guitarist Mike “Mudfoot” McDonald’s music embodies blues-rock, rock, roots music and a bit of funkiness among other genres as he and his cohorts deliver a fulfilling and rich musical experience. His guitar playing skills highlighted by killer tone are a thing to behold. At its’ best it seems to just cut the air with an other-worldly brilliance. He’s able to deliver it in a more restrained manner when necessary. Mike’s slide guitar skills are nothing to sneeze at as well. Hey his warm and familiar vocal quality is the icing on his musical cake. Nine out of the ten songs are written by Mike with occasional help. The lyrics are of the “salt of the earth” variety. Nothing comes off sounding forced or disingenuous.
Two versions of “Tired Of The Same Old Rut” sound pretty similar to my ears except for a shorter time on the radio mix version. Funky, catchy and upbeat sum up the vibe. Standard and slide electric guitars are strong and clean. Mike Branton supplies second guitar on an energy charged take on “I Put A Spell On You” that would make Screamin’ Jay proud. Mike’s slide shines on “Whistle Blowin'”, a song embracing the age old sentiment of a train bringing one’s baby back. John Lee contributes jazz-tinged bluesy piano and the song appropriately chugs to a conclusion.
Dual guitars battling it out ala Duane Allman and Dicky Betts is showcased on the soaring and beautiful “Valerie” with an assist from Pat Rush on guitar chores. Chris Latta and Pat Rush both join in with Mike on “Don’t Want To Catch You”, a chugging rocker. “Lean On Me Mama” is a brisk shuffle featuring the ever present McDonald guitar mastery along with the cool organ of John Lee. The vocal on “Hock’s Groovin’ Bar Café” owes a bit to Elvin Bishop’s sometimes goofy delivery just as it also does on the title track. “Slide” is a largely slide based instrumental featuring John Lee’s honky-tonk piano.
Pat Rush contributes guitar and Jordan Patterson provides harmonica on “Come On Baby” before the closing edited version of “Tired Of The Same Old Rut?”.
Mike and crew have delivered a strong musical statement. It’s all here-top notch musicianship and clear and sharp production values. Boy Howdy that guy can play some geetar!