It was pretty much the perfect way to spend a Saturday night. It was the Riverside, brimming with people and pints of Kraken Ale flowing, while DJs played blues and Martin Bedford sold some of his classic posters (while also peddling some of the music that was going to be released that night).
It was Mudcats Blues Trio launch night for their album, The Tesla Sessions. It was a recording quite a few members of the audience were waiting for, as the band has been making quite a few waves around with their energetic live shows and sheer talent.
Opening duties were the responsibility of Tom Attah. All you need to know is that he is two suitcases: one is charisma, the other one is talent. Snazzily dressed with a black suit and a sweet pork pie hat, the man took out his acoustic guitar and managed to charm his way with the public, with a snakedance-like performance, a perfect balance with lightning fast fingerwork in the fret and snappy jokes.
Mudcats Blues Trio. Ah, what can we say about them that we haven’t said before? Sure, the cover version of ‘Voodo o Chile’ wasn’t played, but it wasn’t needed; the tracks from their album are quite a treat (and the two new tracks are a good sample of things to come, specially ‘Whiskey and Wine’). ‘Blinded by the devil’ is a catchy, raucous number and ‘Blues for Buddy’ is always a prime example of the band strutting their stuff.
But then, it happened. Between the some sweet solos (including a “playing with the guitar behind the head” moment of showman virtuosismo) and the end of ‘Catfish Blues’, the sweet Fender guitar gave up the ghost: it fell to the ground and did a Marie Antoinette on us. The headstock was thrown to the public (Death Rays of Ardilla on the house, hey!) and it was all over. It was the end of the last song and any encores were now a pipe dream.
A well deserved round of applause was given and all musicians kept drinking and mingling with the public. What is the fate of said golden axe that swaths through the ambience with many a virtuous note? Time will tell, in the meantime, a libation was dedicated to its memory and the many, many notes it exuded.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López