Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold
Named after a Townes Van Zandt song about a wild game of five card stud, Phoenix's Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold have been delivering their self-described "two-man bastard child of country, folk, blues, bluegrass and rock" to an ever-growing audience in America's Southwest. Stomping and hollering on stages with the likes of Langhorne Slim, Shovels and Rope, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band and more, the outfit seems to earnestly and effortlessly embody the spirit of Van Zandt himself in a style all their own. You can call it folk, bluegrass, Appalachia or country; the band seems concerned with little else than making pure music that gets the crowd moving, if a little rowdy while doing it. With the debut release of their self-titled "Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold" the duo seems hellbent on taking their unique sound to the national stage. And quickly. 39 minutes of barnstormers, the 11-track album features authentic Americana with a few tips of the hat to their influences by way of covers of classic Howlin Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins and Townes Van Zandt numbers. Recorded at Arizona's Audioconfusion (Andrew Jackson Jihad) the album runs the gamut from hard-driving banjo-driven melodic folk and dirty suitcase-drum-infused acoustic rock, to haunting a capella numbers and soul-infused updates of 1940s acoustic blues.