Flaming Mudcats – Cut Loose
Mudcat Music (Self-Released)
The Flaming Mudcats hail from Auckland, New Zealand, but easily could be mistaken to be from Chicago’s south side. They played at one of Crossroads Blues Society’s Field of Blues Festivals and at one of their Festivals at Lyran Park, both in Rockford, so I’m familiar with this great band from the other side of the world.
Craig Bracken sings and plays harp, Doug Bygrave is on guitar and Ian Thompson is on drums and backing vocals. Johnny Yu is newer to the band (and from California) as bassist and backing vocalist. Chris Hartley is a guest on Hammond, piano and Wurlitzer, Ben McNicoll plays the saxes and Louis Bernstone is on keys.
The CD kicks off with “Moving To The Country,” a pretty little cut with a nice groove and Bracken sings about moving out of the city. The guitar solo rings sweetly and then later we get a little harp to enjoy. “Rooster Blues” is a jump blues that’s a lot of fun in the tradition of great barnyard blues songs. It’s the lone cover here, a Lightnin Slim song. Up next is “Why Why” with a driving beat and gritty vocals. The harp is showcased here first and then another nice little guitar solo is offered up to enjoy. “Cut Me Loose” is a cool, slow country roots tune with Bracken testifying vocally and ten Bygrave testifies on guitar. They offer up “Missed My Chance” next, a mid-tempo swing tune of lost opportunity. Bygrave gives us another solo to enjoy. “Trying to Get Ahead” starts out with some sweet and greasy harp and a nice beat. Clean vocals and another cool guitar solo sell this one along with Bracken’s harp work.
“Getaway” is another swing cut with some barrelhouse piano and a great vibe. “Hey Margarita” swings with a bit of rockabilly and makes for a fun ride and a nice sax solo to boot. Next is “”Show Me Some Love,” a cool jump blues that keeps the excellent vibe going. Things slow way down for “Sneakin Around,” a pretty slow blues cut with nice, restrained and mellow guitar work. “Welcome To My Blues returns us to swing and the boys do what they do best. Sax and piano get some good time up front here. The album concludes with “Cry No More” with a slower tempo beat and an old school sound. Nice harp and guitar make this even better.
What’s not to like here? The Mudcats now have three great albums under their belt in their ten year history that they can be proud of. I loved this new CD; if you like to swing and jump, this is the album for you! I really enjoyed this album.