No Need to Lean on Your Mudcrutch

No Need to Lean on Your Mudcrutch

by JasonBryan / Jun 29, 2016 / 0 comments
Saturday, 25 June 2016

Last Saturday night, die-hard Tom Petty fans packed into The Fonda on Hollywood Blvd to see his other and earlier band Mudcrutch. Petty isn’t the only guy in the band who preceded his time as a Heartbreaker playing in Mudcrutch; Benmont Tench (keyboards) and Mike Campbell (lead guitar) all were a part of Mudcrutch in the early 70’s and still are now. The band is filled out with Tom Leadon on guitar, Randall Marsh on drums, and Herb Pederson added for the tour, Petty plays bass in the band.

The Shelters opened the night with a groovy rock sound that fit in really well with the music the audience was expecting to hear from headliner. If you ever wonder how a band gets to open for Tom Petty, in this case its simple, members of this band played additional instruments on the Heartbreakers 2014 album “Hypnotic Eye. “

The sold out 1,200 person crowd was amped to see some of their favorite musicians. You’ve got half of The Heartbreakers on the stage, so die-hard fans such as myself weren’t the least bit discouraged by hearing a slightly different style of music. The casual observer might not even distinguish the difference in the sound, as Tom Petty’s vocals are unmistakably him, but there is a duller edge on the rock, and a mellower folky vibe running through the instruments and the lyrics.

They opened the show with the opening track from their 2008 self-titled album, the traditional folk song “Shady Grove”. And then went into my personal favorite from that first album, “Orphan of the Storm.” Then we heard the oft-covered “Six Days on the Road”, which was also on the first album. Afterwards, they played their single from the first album “Scare Easy”. At this point I was slightly worried, as they had played my two favorite songs across both albums very early into the evening, but the rest of the show did not disappoint. The 5th song of the night was “Trailer” the first track off their second album appropriately, and lazily titled, “2”. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers also originally released this track, and the Mudcrutch version is very similar. They also covered Dylan’s “Knocking on Heavens Door”, and The Byrds’ “Lover of the Bayou” which was on the first album. A full set list is at the bottom of the article.

The one thing that you get at a Mudcrutch show that you don’t get at a Heartbreakers show is Benmont Tench on vocals. Both albums had a track featuring Tench as the writer and singer. “This is a Good Street”, and “Welcome to Hell” were both played, the latter is my favorite track on the “2” album. There’s a good bit of Tom Leadon singing in this band too. I guess that’s why the band’s not called Tom Petty and Mudcrutch. Make no mistake Petty is still front and center on the stage and in the music.

One of the biggest differences to me between TP and the HB’s and Mudcrutch is that Mike Campbell’s guitar is much more subdued. As a Heartbreaker his lead guitar is driving the music uphill, its crescendo surpassing the peak, but in Mudcrutch its more traditional. His talent is still apparent, but it’s a more balanced integration into the music. And he shares a lot of guitar parts with co-lead Tom Leadon.
Mudcrutch may draw its fan base from Tom Petty’s fame, but with its heavy lean on traditional folk, country and southern rock the band departs enough from the Heartbreakers that it’s clear why this is billed as a separate band. For those lucky enough to see them live, Mudcrutch proves they always had what it took, it just took the right time for them to be a band on their own.

Check out the photo gallery:

Shady Grove 

Orphan of the Storm 

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

Bottom Image Gallery: 
Rating out of 11: