Mike “Mudfoot” McDonald has lived in Kitchener for quite a while now but he was a fixture of our scene before that. He played guitar in many of the bands you remember and occasionally led his own with Pat Rush. He led the Sunday Jam at Grossman’s for thirteen years and put together a couple of famous compilation LPs, Grossman’s Live! Vols. 1 & 2, that captured the scene in ’87 & ’88 in a way that no one else has ever done. For some of the artists on them it is their only recording (Al Cromwell, Hock Walsh, Tony Flaim). He was also a founding member of Green River, covering the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival. This new album is a collection of songs written over those years and songs written about those years. The answer to the question ‘why leave Toronto?’ might be found in the title and the opening song. He writes that this song usually runs to fifteen minutes or more but here he has a five minute version and adds a shorter ‘radio mix’ at the end. If the title refers to tired twelve bar blues, there aren’t any of those, his songs are imaginitively written and it’s well worth following up on his invitation. The Green River days are remembered with a very good version of “I Put A Spell On You” which is closer to Screaming Jay Hawkins’ original and with some lovely guitar from Mike Branton. “Whistle Blowin’” has McDonald playing Mike McKenna-influenced slide. “Hock’s Groovin’ Bar Café” is another delight, based on a bass groove written by Hock. McDonald adds lyrics reminiscing about the early Downchild days. Jordan Patterson adds some very nice harp. Patterson also does that on “Come On Baby”, a very good rocker about meeting a late night waitress in Northern Ontario. Old friend Pat Rush plays guitar on much of the album, with John Lee on keys, Cory Turnbull on bass and several drummers, Randall Coryell on most. This is a timely window on our musical history from a still-vital artist, as these new recordings show. Catch his bi-weekly Monster Jam at The Boathouse if you’re in Kitchener and check out his web site, www.mikemudfootmcdonald.com.

John’s Blues Pick December 2017 – Layla Zoe
John’s Blues Pick December 2017 – Cootes Paradise