Cut Loose

Cut Loose

Label: Mudcat Music

Release Date: 8 Nov 2018

Genre: Rhythm & Blues

After a long hiatus, The Flaming Mudcats return with the new Album, ‘Cut Loose’, reflecting their eclectic influences and styles as they celebrate their tenth year together. ‘Cut Loose’ evolved following the addition and influence of Californian bass play Johnny Yu, heralding in a new era as the band continues to seek and revitalise their take on the blues.

A stomping collection of mostly originals, across a wide range of roots music styles, song about life’s experiences familiar to anyone… loving, living, splitting and paying bills … themes that are timeless and universal. There’s even a couple of covers sprinkled into the mix for good measure to, because hell, they’re just damn great songs.

The Flaming Mudcats continue to perform locally and internationally. Never straying far away from their grounding in the blues, good-time Rhythm and Blues and Rock’n’Roll. So sit back, crank it up and get ready to have some fun!

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Craig Bracken – vocals, harmonica
Doug Bygrave – guitar
Johnny Yu – bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Ian Thomson – drums, backing vocals

Guest musicians:
Chris Hartley – Hammond, piano, Wurlitzer
Ben McNicoll – tenor and baritone saxophones
Louis Bernstone – keyboard

Spanish Lesson – Teresa McLaughlin

Recorded and mixed by Louis Bernstone at Ellamy Studios, Auckland New Zealand
Produced by The Flaming Mudcats
Mastering by Angus McNaughton, Auralux Mastering
Photo by Mark Mahoney

Album Review – Cut Loose – Graham Reid & Elsewhere

Now 10 years in the blues-rock game, the Flaming Mudcats here celebrate with a third album of mostly originals by singer/harmonica player Craig Bracken.

This tight r’n’b quartet – Bracken, American bassist Johnny Yu, guitarist Doug Bygrave and drummer Ian Thompson – are here joined by Chris Hartley (keyboards), Ben McNicoll (saxes) and keyboard player Louis Bernstone.

The blues is a machine that doesn’t need re-inventing so it is simply a matter of taking the performers taking idiom and adding their own personality and style to the familiar. Tales of hard work, the soul-destroying life and heading off (Moving to the Country, Trying to Get Ahead, Get Away), bad love and women trouble (Why Why,) and getting through it (Cry No More).

Blues albums which broadcast on a narrow musical frequency can pall quickly but the Flaming Mudcats and guests offer a fine array of styles and mix up the moods.

Hey Margarita has a terrific Fifties soul feel, there’s some head down boogie (Show Me Some Love), there is soulful Southern blues on Cut Me Loose and their take on the old Sneakin’ Around is a heart-acher with a restrained BB King-style guitar solo.

Being a blues band is a real calling because it demands a big commitment in the face of critical and media indifference, and local blues albums are notoriously small sellers (other than the copies which shift at gigs).

So it’s hats off to the Mudcats. Not for just doing this, but for doing it so well.

~ Graham Reid

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