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 eleventh 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 three successful albums. “Cut Loose,” their latest, has been particularly well received both here and overseas.

The band is fronted by Craig Bracken on vocals and harmonica along with guitarist Doug Bygrave, while bassist Johnny Yu and drummer Ian Thomson form the 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.”

Johnny Yu


Born and raised in Hawaii, musically educated on the streets of San Francisco, Johnny joined the Flaming Mudcats in late 2017 after moving his family to Auckland from the Golden State. He has performed and recorded multiple CD’s and albums and toured internationally with a number of American bands and well-known artists.Johnny’s driving bass playing, vocal harmonies and collaborative writing has provided a new dynamic to the band and has broadened their repertoire options. He can be heard on the band’s latest album “Cut Loose.”“I’m so pleased to be working with these guys. We’re having so much fun writing and performing our stuff.”

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 began his long drumming career back in High School “in the 60s” and played in several, notable, Auckland Blues and Roots bands over the years. “Blues is the only music I really ever wanted to play, especially after hearing that first Paul Butterfield album. But I love all the Americana roots stuff…the books, film, food and of course the music.”Very much a feel player, Ian likes being in the Mudcat “Engine Room” with Johnny, holding down those shuffle, swing and four grooves, preferring to leave the fancy stuff to the guys out front.“I enjoy working with the band arrangements and am now having a go at writing some songs. Who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks?”