American southern and country rock band Mudcrutch with famous singer Tom Petty have released their second album, 2.

 By Jane Howkins

People discovering Mudcrutch for the first time might notice something strange about the vocalist from the band – he sounds exactly like Tom Petty, from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers fame. Well, that’s because Mudcrutch is a side project of the great American singer-songwriter, with 2 being the band’s second album.

And what an album it is! The man is clearly talented (as many a Tom Petty fan will already know), and the diversity presented on 2 is inspiring. Whilst the music here isn’t too far gone from the stuff that Petty is most well-known for (and you can hear the influence in the song-writing and melodies, as well as with his distinctive vocal style), it’s just different enough to differentiate from a Heartbreakers record, which is definitely a good thing (although those who don’t like Petty in his day job probably won’t like him now either).

The band actually began life in Florida in 1970, and released one unsuccessful single (Depot Street) in 1975 before breaking up that same year. A few members of the band (Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench) joined with Petty to form the Heartbreakers that same year, and history was born, with the well-known band finding fame quickly. Jump three decades forward to 2007, and Petty and the rest of the band decided to have another go at Mudcrutch, with the result being their self-titled album, released in 2008. This is all quite interesting, as the music here does sound quite similar to the early works of Tom Petty and co., and new Mudcrutch listeners might pick that up.

There are a multitude of genres on the album, with most songs falling into the category of either country, rock, folk, or an amalgamation of the three. The first track Trailer sounds particularly Heartbreakers-esque, whilst I Forgive It All delves more into the folk direction, with a nice acoustic rhythm following Petty’s vocals throughout. The Other Side Of The Mountain moves closer to the stylings of country and bluegrass (but in a more upbeat form than might be expected), but the stand out song on the album has to be Beautiful Blue, an introspective number that lasts for a good six or so minutes (incidentally the longest song on the album), with Petty’s vocals wailing along dreamily.

Whilst it may be a bit too close to Petty’s earlier work, the music here is still good, and just that little bit different as to provide something new to the listener.

Mudcrutch album 2 is now available.