Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mudcat Rocks

Many new alliances have formed out of the Collin County Songwriters Association, from the obvious Founders Band to the rise-and-fall-and-rise of Faith 11:1 to StoneAge picking up a great new drummer (David Henington). Now bursting onto the scene a seasoned, full-blown blues rock trio that will knock your socks off--Mudcat.

Mudcat is a 10,000 watt bulb shining out in the local music scene, with an earthy rockin' blues that can groove, howl, or power-up. Lead singer/songwriter, Michael "Mudcat" Reames formed the trio from the membership of the association, tapping a driving rhythm section in bassist Scott O. Thomas and drummer Chad Ireland.

"All I can say is these guys COOK!" said Reames in a recent interview. And, true enough, they do. When you pull together seasoned musicians that know when to show off and when to hold off, it makes a huge difference.

Thomas actually has a style, something you can't always count on to be tasteful in a bassist, but he pulls it off with amazing slapping, tapping, and funky licks just in the right places. Holding it together with this kind of partner might be difficult, but Chad Ireland does it with subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) virtuosity.

As usual, Michael Reames is just plain fun. Alternating between lead vocals, blues harmonica and guitar, the songs are punctuated by great war stories and humourous banter. Mr. Reames played as a teenager with Stevie Ray Vaughan in a band called Liberation. He's been around long enough to carry the blues with conviction.

The band will be working on their first recording project soon. Expect updates in this space.