The Petty Archives

Tom Petty Revisits Mudcrutch
By Tony Sauro
Stockton Record - May 1, 2008

Perhaps only Tom Petty would - or could - try something like this. And make it work.

Petty, one of rock music's most durable and dependable artists, has sold 50 million albums in his 32-year career with and without the Heartbreakers. Uncompromising with regard to his music, he's consistently defied record industry protocols and done things his way.

In 1997, he and the Heartbreakers played for 20 nights at San Francisco's 1,100-capacity Fillmore, joyfully recapturing the energy, intimacy and spontaneity of their youth. Now, he's paid homage to those days and nights as a teenage dreamer in Gainesville, Fla., by actually reforming his first band, Mudcrutch. At least for one album.

No rock musician of his stature ever has done anything like this. Most of their egos are too big.

Tom Petty and the pre-Heartbreak kids
By David Hinckley
New York Daily News - Friday, May 2, 2008

Talk about weird. Tom Petty recently decided to reunite his very first band, Mudcrutch, a group that broke up more than 30 years ago before it ever recorded an album.

It makes one wonder: Did the guys have something on him?

Mudcrutch's long-delayed debut arrives this week and the first worry is that it might sound like just another Petty record with the Heartbreakers. Not only did Tom write most of the songs, after all, but the band includes two other guys who went on to become Heartbreakers (Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell). They're rounded out by left-behind drummer Randall Marsh and guitarist Tom Leadon.

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.

Mudcrutch makes tracks: Tom Petty reconvenes Heartbreakers' predecessor
By Jed Gottlieb
The Boston Herald - Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mudcrutch is either the fastest working band in rock 'n' roll or the slowest.

Tom Petty and a few of his Gainesville, Fla., buddies conjured their 14-track debut, "Mudcrutch," in a mere 10 days. Impressive. Unless you consider the fact that the band was founded in 1970 and is only now getting around to releasing its first album.

Until recently Mudcrutch was a footnote in Petty's history: the first band that he and future Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench played in. Long-forgotten were their Mudcrutch alums, singer/guitarist Tom Leadon and drummer Randall Marsh, as well as the band's stomps through the swamps of Florida between '70 and '75.

But last summer, Petty phoned Leadon and Marsh and asked if they were interested in a reunion.

Tom Petty's 'Mudcrutch' Has A Southern Accent
By Curtis Ross
The Tampa Tribune - May 8, 2008

All praises to whatever provoked Tom Petty to make an album with his pre-Heartbreakers band Mudcrutch, because it is among the best works in a catalog that's not short on excellent work.

Mudcrutch featured (and features) Petty on bass, future Heartbreakers Mike Campbell on guitar and Benmont Tench on keyboards, as well as Tom Leadon on guitar and Randall Marsh on drums. No, it's not a million miles away from Petty's solo and Heartbreakers' work. But it does show a greater country influence, a looseness and, well, a Southern-ness that's less apparent in his other work.

Petty wrote the lion's share of the material, but the program also includes a couple of re-arranged traditional folk tunes, a Byrds remake, trucker anthem "Six Days on the Road," and compostions by Tench and Leadon.

The loose feel means everything hangs together, regardless of source.

Review by Ian Nathanson
Metro Vancouver - May 9, 2008

Mudcrutch | Album: Mudcrutch | Label: Reprise/Warner | Release Date: April 29 | 4/5
Tom Petty's pre-Heartbreakers outfit finally gets its shot at making a full-length debut -- three decades later. Yet as this better-late-than-never reunion proves, Petty, Tom Leadon (brother of ex-Eagles member Bernie Leadon), Randall Marsh, and eventual Heartbreakers cohorts Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench would have made a half-decent '70s act. A little bit country (Shady Grove, Queen Of The Go-Go Girls), a little bit Heartbreaker-esque rock 'n' roll (Bootleg Flyer, Scare Easy, The Wrong Thing To Do) and the occasional off-the-beaten-track trek (the swampy jam of Crystal River, Tench's This Is A Good Street) round out essentially a fun-filled journey to Petty's past.

Editor’s Note: This is an Icelandic article and my translation of it. If you actually know Icelandic and would like to improve it, please contact me.

Original Icelandic:
Vilja að Petty semji tónlist í Þjóðleikhúsið
Fréttablaðið - 16. mai 2008

„Ég get hvorki játað né neitað þessum sögusögnum, en það er einbeittur vilji innan hópsins að reyna að fá hann til samstarfs,“ segir Stefán Hallur Stefánsson leikari, en hópurinn, sem er í óðaönn að setja upp sýninguna Macbeth á Smíðaverkstæði Þjóðleikhússins, hyggst reyna að fá Tom Petty til að semja tónlistina við verkið.

37 years later, Mudcrutch finally delivers
By Andrew Dansby
Houston Chronicle - Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Mudcrutch" | Mudcrutch | Reprise Records | 2 ½ stars
Thirty-seven years after forming, Mudcrutch recorded its debut album in 10 days last year. There's a dusty charm to Mudcrutch, the first full-length recording by Tom Petty's first band. But this is not a raggedy garage rock variation on Petty's other work, despite the group's name and the hasty recording process. That much is evident from the first cut, a take on the traditional folk tune Shady Grove with Petty (back to his original role of bassist) trading verses with Tom Leadon, who also shares lead guitar duty with longtime Petty player Mike Campbell.

Air Canada Centre, Toronto | June 3, 2008 | Rating: ★★★★☆
By Jane Stevenson
CANOE - June 4, 2008

TORONTO - As rock pairings go, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and Steve Winwood is a pretty good matchup.

So it went last night at the Air Canada Centre as the respected southern countrified rocker Petty, who originally hails from Florida, headlined alongside the British blue-eyed soul-funk-rock journeyman Winwood as opener.

Both men are just three years apart in age, if vastly different artists in terms of sound and history.