Great International Review!! – I see a Trip to Amsterdam in the Future!
My fondness for superb alternative and roots-rock sound from a 2 guitar, bass and drummer based band rises again as I’m listening to the debut CD of the New York band “Mud & Blood & Beer”. They got the name from a line in the classic Johnny Cash song “A Boy Named Sue”” Kicking and a gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer. The New York band formed in 2007, is comprised of music veterans: Jess Hoeffner (guitar and vocals) Stephen Swalsky (bass guitar), Jason Fine (guitar and vocals) and drummer Stephen Sperber. Quickly Mud, Blood & Beer, with their alt-country, classic rock and punk-rock vein, became a much loved act in clubs such as: The Knitting Factory, The Lakeside Lounge and The R- Bar. They’re a band that has a great recognizable sound that brings up memories of bands such as: The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, JayHawks, REM (in the early years), Pixies, Sadies as well as and for sure, Husker Dü. Onstage ease and brilliant vocals are the band’s strong points. The “feel good” to the ear roots and alt/rock sound written by Hoeffner and Fine immediately jumps out at you while listening to the untitled debut. The emphasis on songs such as I Am Not The Road/Lucy/Fields & Factories/Charlotte, NC and Restless Soul is on the alt-country/roots- rock edge, where the sound has a hint of “The Byrds” resonating through the music. The first “rocking” signs of life crop up in the song My Undertow, where the unmistakable sound of “Husker Du” breezes through. The “Bottle Rockets” sound shows up with “Country Mile”, thereafter Mud, Blood & Beer cut loose in the last three songs and play the alt rocking Wynona, Hindrance and Marauders. Listening to this band and this album, I get that “butterflies in my stomach feeling” once again and it gets stronger as the CD booms through the speakers. Who’ll get this New York band to Holland? Success guaranteed!