By Andrea Ramirez-Maciolek, Rock At Night Philadelphia Correspondent
Venue: The Fillmore, Philadelphia-June 7, 2016
The line wrapped around Philadelphia’s Fillmore as fans waited to see a band whose musical roots go back over 40 years. The history of Mudcrutch seems to be buried behind the latter fame of founding member Tom Petty with his band the Heartbreakers, but judging by the longest line I have ever seen at the Fillmore, and the mix of audience, both young and old, the legacy of Mudcrutch has not been forgotten and never will. Mudcrutch’s inception began in 1970, 6 years before Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were formed. Mudcrutch broke up in 1975 only having released a few singles. In 2007 after 30 years, they decided to reunite along with members of Tom Petty and the Heartbrakers and released their first album Mudcrutch the following year. In May, Mudcrutch released their second album “2” and started off their tour in Denver.
Today’s Mudcrutch consists of original members Tom Petty (vocals/bass), Tom Leadon (guitar), and Randall Marsh (drums), along with Heartbreaker members Mike Campbell (guitar), and Benmont Tench (keyboards). As a special guest musician in Philadelphia and for the rest of the tour was guest guitarist and banjo player Herb Pedersen. Mudcrutch, with their well respected rock/country sound had a pilgrimage of loyal fans which coincidentally are as cool and relaxed as the music and the band. As the audience waited with eager anticipation, Mudcrutch finally made their appearance opening with the traditional folk song “Shady Grove”.
It seems like every band that plays in Philadelphia has a genuine connection to the city. Before playing their second song Tom Petty expressed how in 40 years he has never seen anything but a great audience than Philadelphia. I am probably being biased because this is my city and I love it, but yes, Philadelphia has great taste in music and we welcomed Mudcrutch with an astonishing crowd.
Tom Petty is one of our greatest musical storytellers and he made sure to keep up tradition by telling personal stories throughout the night. In his usual monotone and reserved voice Tom Petty told the story about guitarist Mike Campbell auditioning for the band because he was friends with drummer Randall Marsh. Since then, it’s been musical history for Mudcrutch and the Heartbreakers for four decades. Tom Petty also joked around about how they created a style of music called psychedelic bluegrass which he called groundbreaking with a humorous laugh.
With the reputation of being a storyteller, he proved to the audience it is a well-deserved accolade. Tom Leadon proudly announced to the crowd about Tom Petty’s induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this week.
The band has not lost any momentum. They played a long and impressive two hour set. Tom Petty took the stage with his Hofner bass as he stood in front of three very impressive and accomplished guitarists. Mike Campbell played an impeccable guitar solo during the cover of the Byrds’ song “Lover of the Bayou” and Randall Marsh took the lead on vocals for my favorite song of the night “Beautiful World”. The connection between Mudcrutch and their fans is very strong because of the stories being told between songs which makes it more personal for the listener and one appreciates the songs even more. Although a lot of times it was hard to hear Tom Petty’s soft spoken voice between songs when telling his stories because the crowds were so adamantly excited, they kept cheering throughout most of the dialog.
One thing I learned about the Mudcrutch show is that you don’t have to be a folk or country music listener to appreciate their music because their style transcends the labels, and as Tom Petty mentioned, they created their own groundbreaking sound. The night had this coolness about it and the vibe was very good. I feel honored that I was able to experience the greatness that is Mudcrutch whose music, and lyrics move you and make you feel like you’ve personally known them for years.
- Shady Grove
- Orphan of the Storm 3. Six Days on the Road
- Scare Easy
- This Is a Good Street
- Lover of the Bayou
- Beautiful World
- Dreams of Flying
- Save Your Water
- Hungry No More
- I Forgive It All
- Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
- The Other Side of the Mountain
- Welcome to Hell
- Victim of Circumstance
- The Wrong Thing to Do
- Bootleg Flyer
- Crystal River
Mudcrutch in Philadelphia
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