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The Muddy Sons – Pushed On Down The Road
What in Sam Hell Productions
Record Company Web Site
10 tracks / 48:09
Sometimes you look at an album cover, band name or title and know exactly what you are in for when you listen to the music. When I got The Muddy Sons’ Pushed On Down The Road CD with a photo of smirking guitarist and drummer on the cover, I instantly had thoughts of raw blues and down and dirty rock and roll. Thank goodness that is exactly what I got!
The Muddy sons are a duo from the Pacific Northwest, with Portland’s Madman Sam on vocals and guitars and Jeff “Drummerboy” Hayes of Seattle on the skins. This is their debut album together, but that does not mean that these guys are new to the music business. Sam has put out four albums of his own, and Hayes has appeared on dozens of releases for various artists over the years. It turns out that they are a match made in heaven, or hell if you prefer your blues from the old school.
This album only took seven days to create and has ten original tracks that were written by Sam, and not a single Howlin’ Wolf cover in sight. Some of these songs that previously appeared on his solo acoustic albums include “I Can’t Take It Anymore,” “Two Cigarettes and a Half-Pint,” and “Like That’s Gonna Stop Me.” Sam produced the project as well as doing the editing, mastering, art layout and participating in the mixing. He is a busy guy, it seems. Sam and Hayes performed all of the music and there are no keyboard or bass parts; no other musicians are heard on this release.
“I’ll Be Satisfied” is the opening track and is quite an eye-opening experience. This song is as raw as blues gets, with nasty and dirty guitar sounds, a howling voice and a slowly boiling drum line. Here you will hear the Muddy Sons’ expression of their love for Delta Blues, with a little of the Chicago sound mixed in. One way to describe their music is to say that it is what the old acoustic delta guys would have played if they had gnarly distorted electric guitars to mess around with.
Despite the lack of other instruments, there is not really anything missing from this recording, as all of the songs sound right just the way they are. After the seven-minute opener, the guys treat us to shorter high-tempo tune, “I Can’t Take it Anymore.” Hayes’ kick drum takes the place of a bass guitar in this one and Madman’s guitar is on fire, filling up every spare sonic moment. This song made the transition from its previous acoustic version with aplomb.
“Two Cigarettes and a Half Pint” also does well in its electrified version, with slide guitar galore and some seriously stomping drums. The lyrics of this energized southern rocker are not terribly deep, but from the title you probably already figured out that they would not be. The dynamic duo drops straight back into hard-core blues with “No Longer Qualified,” where Sam laments that now that he found a good woman he is no longer qualified to sing the blues. Of course this is not true, because he howls this one out with plenty of heart and soul, but it is a great play on words and his tale lets us hear what a great storyteller he is.
After a few more tracks with great titles such as “Stainless Steel Toilet,” and “Sorry As You Gonna Be,” the album finishes up with “She Talks Too Much.” I am kind of embarrassed to admit that I got the giggles when I heard the gloriously politically incorrect lyrics to this song. But there is more to this tune than its misogynistic leanings, as the Madman manages to cram more clever words and phrases into one song than should be allowed. Drummerboy keeps an arrow-straight beat throughout, and if you have ever been in a band you would be jealous that Sam managed to hook up with him.
The Muddy Sons are a hoot to listen to and they did a heck of a job putting together this album. Those that like nasty rock or blues will find plenty here to entertain them, and the fainthearted may want to take a test-listen before buying. By the way, I have heard that their live show is something to behold, so be sure to check them out if they are playing near you.
Reviewer Rex Bartholomew is a Los Angeles-based writer and musician. His blog can be found at rexbass.blogspot.com.