Band’s American dream comes true
Singing the blues just got a little bit harder for The Flaming Mudcats.
Following a raft of rave reviews the Auckland fourpiece has been invited to play at the inaugural Field of Blues Festival in Rockford, Illinois – a dream come true for the band.
Since forming four years ago, the Mudcats have become firm favourites in the Auckland blues scene.
Drummer Ian Thompson says he always wanted to put together a band to play ‘‘authentic blues’’.
The four seasoned musicians gathered in a rehearsal room and found they belonged together.
‘‘The first song we played – it was like ‘whoa, this is going to fly’. It just gelled,’’ Thompson says.
The band’s harmonicaheavy jumped-up blues sound is destined to make the audience dance.
‘‘There’s an old quote that goes ‘if nobody’s dancing then you ain’t playing music’, and that’s what we try and do,’’ bassist Sean McCarthy says.
‘‘We try and play stuff that will get people having a good time.’’
While their name has a distinctly American twang the Mudcats insist they steer away from playing standard blues jams.
‘‘We try not to talk about American landmarks like driving down to Memphis or anything like that,’’ Thompson says.
‘‘It just wouldn’t be authentic, whereas some of the other themes about our relationships, or alcohol, we’ve all been through that, so it lends an air of authenticity to the music.’’
Sticking to what know has paid off.
Their 2011 debut album found its way to the United States where it was reviewed for Blues Blast magazine, with author Steve Jones noting: ‘‘These guys are the real deal and you should check them out.’’
McCarthy tracked down Jones via the internet to thank him for the review and a trans-Pacific friendship was formed.
‘‘I happened to mentioned one of our goals was to get out and play in America and he said he was putting on a festival in Rockford, and that he’d love to have us McCarthy says.
Before the band departs for the Field of Blues Festival they are playing a couple of farewell gigs.
You can catch them on Friday from 8pm at Dairy Flat Hall or on Saturday from 8.30pm at One 2 One on Ponsonby Rd.
Entry is $10.
Blues brothers: The Flaming Mudcats, from left, Bassist Sean McCarthy, drummer Ian Thompson from Hillsborough, vocalist and harmonica player Craig Bracken from One Tree Hill and guitarist Doug Bygrave.
Crowd pleasers: Doug Bygrave, left, and Craig Bracken.
Visit centralleader.co.nz and click Latest Edition to watch a video of The Flaming Mudcats performing