Tom Petty is back with his original band, Mudcrutch. The rocker, who formed Mudcrutch with pals Tom Leadon, Benmont Tench, Mike Campbell, and Randall Marsh in 1970, is going back to his Gainesville, Florida, roots with the new album Mudcrutch 2, according to Entertainment Weekly. Tom Petty’s new Mudcrutch album will be released May 20.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) March 25, 2016
During their five years together, Mudcrutch never released an album (just a few singles, which didn’t sell), and Petty, Tench, and Campbell went on to form the Heartbreakers after Mudcrutch split in 1975. But more than 30 year later, the original ’70s band got back together in 2008 to release Mudcrutch’s self-titled debut album.
Now, the follow-up Mudcrutch album will feature seven songs written by Tom Petty, with each of his bandmates also contributing original songs. The first single, “Trailer,” will be released as a limited edition vinyl recording as part of Record Store Day on April 16.
In addition to the new album, Tom Petty and his first band will hit the road for their first-ever national tour. The Mudcrutch tour will kick off May 26 in Denver and will include pit stops in Nashville, Philadelphia, and New York before ending June 28 in Santa Ana, California. In addition, Petty’s pre-Heartbreakers band will play two festivals: The Summer Camp Music Festival, in Chillicothe, Illinois, in May and the Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati in June. Full tour information is available on the official Mudcrutch website.
— UltimateClassicRock (@UltClassicRock) March 25, 2016
While it’s an unusual career move for a singer as successful as Tom Petty to want to go back to a group that was decidedly unsuccessful, in 2007, Petty talked to Rolling Stone and explained why he decided to resurrect his ’70s starter group.
“It was weird. It was one of those lightning bolts to the brain. A few years ago I just started thinking about how I missed those guys, Tom Leadon and Randall Marsh. We’ve stayed in contact over the years and we’ve all stayed good friends. I brought it up to Mike and everybody was up for it. We had a ball doing it. We made the album in two weeks flat. We played everything live — vocals, no overdubs.”
And last year, Tom talked to the rock magazine about his second Mudcrutch project, saying that it was a real team effort with his musical partners of 40 years. Plus, it’s the most fun he’s ever had working with a band and a true labor of love.
“The good thing is that everybody brings in a song so I don’t have to write 12 or something…Some of the most fun I have is those Mudcrutch sessions. It was just so much fun and I think that’s one of the better albums I was ever involved in.”
In an interview posted on MudcrutchFarm, Leadon said he actually first heard about Petty’s plans to reunite his old band from director Peter Bogandovich.
“Peter had come to Brentwood, TN where I teach music to interview me. He asked me if I had any Mudcrutch pictures, so I took him into my room and he was saying, ‘Aww, we’ve seen all these already. You know, Tom mentioned to me the other day that he was thinking of having a Mudcrutch reunion.’ I have to say that his words shot through me like a bolt of lightning. … I’ve been practicing every day for years because I’m a musician but I always had faith that day I could do something and get my music out there. I told Peter to tell Tom I was up for it. It was about another seven or eight months before I heard from Tom. I’m still just living a dream here. I feel better than if I won the lottery.”
Take a look at the video below for more on Tom Petty’s Mudcrutch story.
[Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images]