Revisiting Mudcrutch’s 2016 Tour

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Mike Campbell and Tom Petty of Mudcrutch, May 26, 2016

The return of Tom Petty’s early 1970s Florida band Mudcrutch with a second album in 2016 was a big surprise and great news for his fans. The group, formed in 1970, was the predecessor to the Heartbreakers and included future TPATH members Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench.

In our review of 2016’s 2, Best Classic Bands wrote, “Where the group’s previous album had something of a reunion vibe running through it, on 2 they now feel like a full-throttle band, even for all the variety within what’s an elastic ’70s American guitar rock spirit, Southern division.”

2 was produced by Petty, Mike Campbell and Ryan Ulyate, the same team that oversaw Mudcrutch’s 2008 self-titled debut, which featured “Shady Grove” and “Lover of the Bayou” among its tracks. The band members are Petty, Campbell, Tench, Tom Leadon and Randall Marsh.

And for those lucky enough to score a ticket, the band began a five-week tour, mostly of small venues, on May 23 in Northridge, Calif. The set included all but one of the new album’s songs and eight songs from the earlier release. Every once in a while, the tight band was joined by a special guest. The brief tour concluded on June 30 in San Diego.

Watch “Shady Grove” from the tour’s second performance on May 24

The 2016 album included a new recording of “Trailer,” which Petty fans knew well. An earlier version had been included on 1995’s excellent Playback collection.

Watch Mudcrutch perform “Trailer” at their May 26 concert in Denver

One of the highlights of Mudcrutch’s 2008 LP is their cover of the Byrds’ “Lover of the Bayou.” At a pair of NYC concerts in June, the song’s co-author Roger McGuinn, joined the band for a few numbers. (He was in town to induct his friend, Tom, into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Watch McGuinn sing his song at Webster Hall

And for good measure, here’s Petty singing lead on the same song in Denver

Related: Tom Leadon died in March 2023 at age 70

In introducing “Save Your Water” at the May 26 show, TP said, “This is the fourth song I ever wrote.”

Watch their performance, with guest Herb Pederson on banjo

“This is where it’s at tonight…”

Mudcrutch’s 2008 debut includes an epic nine-and-a-half-minute song, “Crystal River,” that Petty wrote. At their June 20 show in San Francisco, it evolved into a roughly 15-minute finale.

On the 2 album, each of the members take their turns singing lead on at least once song. Campbell did the honors on “Victim of Circumstance.”

Watch them perform it on May 26 in Denver

At the Fonda in Los Angeles… “We’re so happy Steve Stills is here tonight.”

Watch the opening night encore, a cover of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “High School Confidential”

Mudcrutch, May 23, 2016, opening night setlist

Shady Grove
Orphan of the Storm
Six Days on the Road
Scare Easy
This is a Good Street
Lover of the Bayou
Beautiful World
Save Your Water
Hungry No More
I Forgive It All
House of Stone
The Other Side of the Mountain
Welcome to Hell
Dreams of Flying
Crystal River
Victim of Circumstance
The Wrong Thing to Do
Bootleg Flyer
High School Confidential

Mudcrutch 2016 Tour Dates

May 23 – Northridge, CA – Plaza del Sol Performance Hall – CSUN
May 24 – Northridge, CA – Plaza del Sol Performance Hall – CSUN
May 26 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theater
May 28 – Chicago, IL – The Riviera Theatre
May 29 – Chillicothe, IL – Summer Camp Music Festival
May 31 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
Jun 2 – Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle
Jun 3 – Cincinnati, OH – Bunbury Music Festival
Jun 6 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Jun 7 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
Jun 10 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
Jun 11 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
Jun 14 – Port Chester, NY – Capitol Theater
Jun 15 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
Jun 19 – San Francisco – The Fillmore
Jun 20 – San Francisco – The Fillmore
Jun 22 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
Jun 25 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda
Jun 26 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda
Jun 28 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
Jun 30 – San Diego, CA – Humphrey’s Concerts By the Bay

Best Classic Bands Staff

3 Comments so far

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  1. melf
    #1 melf 24 May, 2020, 04:14

    Again thank you for sharing T Petty s
    band and the venues. Wish I had seen him at Webster hall in NY. That was probably wonderful.
    Even luckier for those who saw him with Roget Mcquinn!
    I think the 2014 Lp, Hypnotic eye is worth mentioning. Some of it can be on the mood altering side as how his mind was thinking.
    But Fault lines and Sins of my youth are a tribute to his band. I would love someone to do a cover of that work.
    I guess he’s still playing guitar upstairs with those friends that accompanied him in Traveling Wilbury,s?? That’s how I like to remember him.

    Reply this comment
    • mbd
      mbd 24 May, 2020, 11:21

      I was one of the Lucky ones…I saw them at the Ryman theater in Nashville on May 31. That is the best concert I have ever experienced, really! It was so spiritual emotional and yet so doggone fun!

      Reply this comment
  2. Baybluesman
    #2 Baybluesman 23 May, 2022, 14:25

    No musician or band will ever again – repeat – ever – have the true loyal fan base that Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers had, and continue to have.

    A band that was/is truly appreciated its fans, and exuded that sense of honesty in it’s music, and that sense was realized by those fans.

    We always felt part of the show, even though The Heartbreakers were the ones on stage.

    Sure miss seeing them; thank goodness for archival video footage and audio recordings.

    Didn’t get to see Mudcrutch, but sure enjoy their albums.

    The Dirty Knobs put on an admirable show, in their own right, but Tom Petty pulled together a whole different chemistry, with The Heartbreakers.

    Reply this comment

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