The Muddy Crows – Straight Crazy.

The Muddy Crows are a modern roots-rock band that know how to craft an original tune that while tapping into familiar genres, brands them as all their own. This D.C. band has previously released singles and in 2018 crafted their latest E.P. of original material Straight Crazy. If you like Americana, and the story telling aspects of artists like Tom Waits, this is a group worth checking out. Plus, unlike some bands of this ilk The Muddy Crows have a knack for writing a hook. Easier said than done!

The first song, Straight Crazy, gets off to a jaunty start. Singer Dan Wolff croons about the subject’s eyes showing her to be “straight crazy” and further espousing “the windows to your soul, tell me all I need to know”. The song reels you in with a poppy, catchy ode to a seemingly unstable lover, until Wolff turns a clever corner by revealing that the subject is “straight crazy,…for me”. It is an effective turn, starting an upbeat sounding song (with a perfect little guitar solo) with slightly dark lyrics and by the end wrapping it all up in a happy package.

Quarter past Four saunters in next with a guitar line that Brian Setzer would be proud to have written. This song is is all about cool attitude, from the descending bass line to the lyrics (“it’s about time to settle the score”). The important thing here is this band pulls it off naturally. It doesn’t come across as “Hey look, now a cool 50’s number! “. With The Muddy Crows, it’s natural.

Jezebel dials up the distortion just a tad, both in the guitar and the vocals. A darker, mid-tempo rock song, it still effortlessly blends in piano and acoustic guitar interludes. Songs like this help demonstrate why the band has twice been voted “Washington D.C.’s Best Originals Band”.

After listening to the closing song “Anywhere but here” a few times I began to envision its perfect scenario. A beleaguered (yet attractive) bartender wanders over to the jukebox. Her dive bar in a blue-collar town is closing down. She puts on this song and saddles up to the bar. As the second chorus comes around, the remaining patrons join her in a weary but rowdy sing-along. I can’t describe it any better than that, folks.

Peter Harris

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