The Petty Archives

MUDCRUTCH | "Mudcrutch" | (Reprise)
Review by Chris Talbott
The Roanoke Times - Saturday, May 3, 2008

Tom Petty wondered what might have been, and the result is "Mudcrutch," a self-titled country rock tone poem from the reunited band that preceded The Heartbreakers 33 years ago.

"Mudcrutch" is a hazy memory of good times spent in Gainesville, Fla., and Los Angeles chasing the dream of rock 'n' roll stardom -- or at least a steady paycheck.

Petty, Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell went on to fortune and fame after Mudcrutch broke up as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, a band with a string of hits few can match.

Mudcrutch's other two members stayed in music, but didn't find success. Tom Leadon, brother of Eagles and Flying Burrito Brothers mainstay Bernie Leadon, was working as a guitar teacher when Petty floated the idea. And Randall Marsh was making ends meet in bar bands.

They drop into Mudcrutch seamlessly, as if 30 years passed by in a heartbeat. The band recorded these songs -- with Petty on bass -- live with no overdubs, and it has the well-worn feel of players who know each other.