Mudlow swagger and groove on a new set of Blues soaked riches.
Release Date: 27th May 2022
Label: Whisky Preachin’ Records
Format: digital / CD / 12″ vinyl LP
Anything described as Noir ‘n’ B and released on Whisky Preachin’ Records is a must. The fourth album from Mudlow seems to have been a long time coming, a five year wait since Waiting For The Tide To Rise. I guess the tide has risen, this time bringing with it ten songs of their signature rough neck blues poetry set to a raw and grimy soundtrack.
That promise of “dark, dangerous and unashamedly funky” is true to its word from the off with a chance to do a little shaking of the booty. Encouraged by the rough and gritty vocals and accompanied by lo-fi and jagged rhythms Lower Than Mud is a sprightly intro filled with as many hooks as the Blues can muster and we already know about the honking drive on Red Rock. The funk comes in glorious waves on Further Down The Road where the rhythm section pick up with a real groove that sees the outfit getting further down the road of excitement and intensity as the seconds tick by.
It’s a familiar story with the talking blues behind the shuffle on Crocodile Man that seems to get increasingly intense – cries of “Lord have mercy” and a rattler of a solo break. It’s all very Baby, Please Don’t Go. Listening to Clean Slate, you wonder who could do do these songs. The easy pace could be sung over by someone like Sheryl Crow or or any Country Blues crooner, yet no-one could do it like Mudlow.
The balance comes with some slower and moodier diversions. The title track oozes slowly and when you need things stripping back to the bare bones, Three Crows Down The Road is as rustic and rootsy as you’re going to get this side of Summer. Probably played on some battered instrument and recorded with the most basic of equipment, it’s hard to reach out to describe what could be more stripped back than ‘stripped back’.
And while contemplating taking the last rung down to hell (yes, there’s a song with the same name) take consolation that the Mudlow Blues isn’t all as dark and desperate as often made out. One Bad Turn might come from some desolate places and the bass line in So Long may be so low it’ll find a way to snake into your veins, but there’s a great deal of fun and honesty.
Here’s a reminder of the Red Rock single: