The Flaming Mudcats
Meet The Band

The Flaming Mudcats.

“Blues sunny side up, over easy, spicy or funky …. it’s all on the menu with these guys.”

Now in their twelfth year, The Flaming Mudcats are regarded among the country’s premier Rhythm and Blues acts. They have performed in festivals and clubs around New Zealand as well as Australia, the Pacific Islands and the USA.

Their energetic show blends original and cover material drawn from their eclectic influences. You can dance your socks off to everything from butt shaking belters to soulful grinders.

The “Mudcats” have released four successful albums. “Forever And A Day” their latest, has been particularly well received both here and overseas.

The band is fronted by vocalist Craig Bracken on harmonica and tenor sax, along with guitar slinger Doug Bygrave. Drummer Ian Thomson and on bass Paul Merriott or Pete Parnham form the tight, driving rhythm section.

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Doug Bygrave


Back in the 80’s, Doug hosted a regular university Blues radio show.On one occasion he rang and chatted on air with his hero, Jimmie Vaughan. So inspired, Doug headed off to Texas to catch up with Jimmie and meet some of the great blues guitar slingers around Austin at the time. These experiences forever shaped and forged Doug’s inventive playing style and tone.A band original, Doug’s unique playing style provides that all-important rhythm / lead guitar Mudcat sound.“I’m just lucky to be playing this stuff with a bunch of guys who love this music as much as I do.”

Craig Bracken


Craig began singing and playing the harmonica in the late 80’s after hearing Chicago and West Coast Blues greats like Little Walter, William Clarke and Junior Parker also with influences from Soul and Rhythm and Blues.Prior to becoming a Mudcat in 2008, Craig played in several local, Auckland bands, all the while developing his now highly regarded distinctive harmonica and vocal style. You’ll often hear him blow horn lines and melodies to enrich a song and compliment the band’s sound.According to Craig, “It’s all about the groove.” Craig writes a lot of the band’s material and he can also be heard on several television and radio adverts and guest musician on other artists’ albums.

Ian Thomson


Ian Thomson’s long drumming career began in Auckland back in the 60s. He played in several notable Blues and Roots bands including The Dark Ages, The Underdogs, The Brew, Mumbo Gumbo and with the late Sonny Day. “Blues is all I ever wanted to play. I just love laying down those driving grooves, raw feels and mixing it up with the bassman. I also enjoy working on band arrangements and recent song writing. Who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks?”

Peter Parnham

Peter remembers wearing out the Chicago/The Blues/Today vinyl album, inspired by the simplicity and raw power of the urban blues sound. “There’s nothing quite like being in the rhythm section driving the band along like an ole steam loco… just like they did back on those old records”.Pete plays both electric and double bass and sings in several Auckland Roots bands including The Remarkables. He was a regular at Ponsonby’s renowned Café 0ne Two One and has appeared in a number of Americana music festivals.

Paul Merriott

Paul has played bass, sung and written songs in a number of local Blues bands including, The Gunsmiths and Darcy Perry Band. He has toured throughout New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. Paul has also been a part of several independent album projects. “I’m really excited about being on board. The Flaming Mudcats have a history and pedigree of fine bass players…so some big shoes to fill.”