Mudcrutch’s “Mudcrutch” (2008) – The Weekend Review

Originally posted 2010-03-07 23:45:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

RATING: 3 / 5 stars

I’ll never forget the day I first read the biography of Mudcrutch.

It was a surreal set of circumstances — Mudcrutch was a band that had gone unnoticed by most and been forgotten by those few who had taken an interest during their five year run from 1970 to 1975. They had formed as a small town band, moved out to Los Angeles in pursuit of a record contract, and broken apart under the pressures of their record label and the departure of band members.

A year later, three of the Mudcrutch refugees would go on to form a band that you may have heard of…

It was a tantalizing tale, and I could barely contain my excitement for this music. In some small way, I felt like I would be able — for once! — to take part in the debut release of a band I felt truly passionate about. This was not simply the unveiling of a band’s first album; this was an opportunity to be transported back in time nearly four decades to an entirely different rock and roll landscape than I’ve grown accustomed to in the new millennium.

You get the idea.

And, at least initially, Mudcrutch held up to the hype.

Mudcrutch's self-titled debut (2008)

Mudcrutch's self-titled debut (2008)

The first song that caught my attention was “Scare Easy,” a mid-tempo number that may have Petty’s trademark vocals on it, but is clearly not your typical Heartbreakers track. If anything, it sounds more like his previous solo album, but even then, it has a unique sound.

Other tracks on the album are standouts, even amongst the considerable catalog items that Petty, Campbell, and Tench have amassed over the years. Songs like “The Wrong Thing To Do” and “Bootleg Flyer” are unique, upbeat, and very promising. “Orphan of the Storm” may be one of the best examples of what this band sounds like, blending older country and blues textures with a seventies rock and roll mentality lurking in the backbeat.

These excellent tracks notwithstanding, there are a number of tracks that suffer from that middle-of-the-road, “so what?” stupor that few can induce like Tom Petty. In fact, most of the second half of the album is forgettable, populated by a pedestrian tune from Benmont Tench, a forgettable Tom Leadon track that confirms why he fell short of the success his brother (the former Eagle) and Petty achieved, “June Apple,” and “Topanga Cowgirl.”

In fact, two of the best tracks on the album are covers: “Six Days on the Road” and “Lover of the Bayou.” The former is a pretty straightforward number, but an exemplar for country rock. The latter, co-written by Roger McGuinn (of the Byrds) and Jacques Levy (popularly known for his collaborations with Bob Dylan on 1978’s “Street Legal”), is a candidate for the best Mudcrutch performance on tape to date. Even the traditional “Shady Grove” is beautifully translated as the perfect opener.

On first listen, Mudcrutch was a joy. Track by track, I loved it. It was only after repeated listens that it began to lose its luster and fade into mediocrity. This is a case where I think my excitement for the story surrounding the band colored my perception of the music they produced.

Each time I return to it, I try to feel what I did that first week after its release in 2008, but to no avail. Even though I’ve hesitated to admit it, Mudcrutch is a three star album from what could have been — and, at least, three fifths went on to be — a five star band.

Take note of that: in music, as in life, some combinations just weren’t meant to be, no matter how much you love the individuals. You may look back and ponder what could have been.

It’s perhaps better left to the imagination.

“(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” (Otis Redding Cover)

Originally posted 2008-05-01 22:59:56. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Welcome to my second installment for Number One’s Week here at http://LaptopSessions.com ! I’m proud to bring you an artist that I haven’t covered before — Otis Redding. This is truly a classic song that deserved to be a true #1 — “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.” It’s such a simple song with really basic chords and fairly basic lyrics, but there’s just so much emotion in them. I could never duplicate the sound that Redding put into his studio recording (especially considering that he used a piano instead of an acoustic guitar…), but I really enjoyed recording this session. It was probably the most fun I’ve had recording in weeks; I spent about ten minutes playing along to the real version, and then I hit record and finished in a couple takes.

Once again, I hope you enjoy it. There’s a special “first” for me at the end of the video; regular viewers of the Laptop Sessions will pick up on it…

On a side note, speaking of simple but great music, I’ve been listening to the new Mudcrutch album non-stop since Tuesday, and I’m enjoying it a little more each time. It’s so cool to see not only Tom Petty, but also Benmont Tench and Tom Leadon with lead vocals on a few tracks. As a big Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers fan, it’s also cool to have a Campbell/Petty collaboration — it only takes one listen to “Bootleg Flyer” to figure out who wrote that one! My review will be coming soon, but I just wanted to spread the good news — there is good new music out there! (You just need to wait patiently and watch closely for it…)

Once again, thanks for watching — I hope you’ll comment and/or rate this video. And don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for an all-new session from Jeff!

See you next session!


“Scare Easy” by Mudcrutch – Chords, Tabs, and How to Play

Originally posted 2008-04-13 19:21:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

“Scare Easy”
Mudcrutch

Am           G          Em         D
My love’s an ocean, you better not cross it
I’ve been the distance and I need some rest
Yeah, I had somebody once, and damn if I lost her
I’ve been running like a man possessed

        C      G          D
I don’t scare easy
Don’t fall apart when I’m under the gun
You can break my heart and I ain’t gonna run

        Am                D
I don’t scare easy for no one

Yeah, I’m a loser at the top of my game
I should have known to keep an eye on you
I got a sky that ain’t never the same
Yeah, I got a dream that don’t ever come true

CHORUS

SOLO to verse chords

Sun going down on a canyon wall
I’ve got a soul that ain’t never been blessed
Yeah, I’m a shadow at the back of the hall
Yeah, I got a sin I ain’t never confessed…

CHORUS 

CHORUS

** These chords and lyrics are interpretations and transcriptions, respectively, and are the sole property of the copyright holder(s). They are posted on this website free of charge for no profit for the purpose of study and commentary, as allowed for under the “fair use” provision of U.S. copyright law, and should only be used for such personal and/or academic work. **