The Flaming Mudcats
Formed in 2009, The Flaming Mudcats are fronted by Craig Bracken on vocals and harmonica along with guitarist Doug Bygrave, while bassist Johnny Yu and drummer Ian Thomson form the tight rhythm section. Regarded among the country’s premier Blues outfits, they have released three albums, performed in festivals and clubs around New Zealand as well as Australia, the Pacific Islands and remarkably taken their Blues back to its source... the US.
The band played twice at the Crossroads Blues Festival in Illinois, alongside the likes of Lil Ed and The Blues Imperials and Tad Robinson. They also played in Austin, Texas and at two of Chicago’s oldest and most iconic clubs, Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S.... the pure beating heart of Chicago Blues.
Their energetic sets blend original material and covers drawn from their eclectic influences. Killer grooves, blazing licks and harp wizardry. Dance your socks off to butt-shaking belters, soulful grinders with everything in between … welcome to the Flaming Mudcats show.
Meet The Band
Craig Bracken - Vocals / Harmonica / Saxophone
Craig began playing harmonica in the late ’80s after hearing some of the greats like Little Walter, William Clarke and Junior Parker. Prior to becoming a Mudcat in 2008. According to Craig who writes a lot of the band’s material “It’s all about the groove”, and his playing can also be heard on several TV ads and guest tracks on other albums.
Doug Bygrave - Guitar
Back in the ’80s, Doug hosted a university Blues radio show. On one occasion he rang and chatted on air with his hero, Jimmie Vaughan (Stevie’s older brother.) So inspired, Doug headed off to Texas to catch up with Jimmie and meet some of the great blues guitar slingers around Austin at the time. These experiences forever shaped and forged Doug’s inventive playing style and tone, the all-important rhythm/lead guitar Mudcat sound.
Ian Thomson - Drums
Ian began his long drumming career back in High School “in the 60s” and played in several notable Auckland Blues and Roots bands over the years. “Blues is really the only music I ever wanted to play, especially after hearing that first Paul Butterfield album. Ian enjoys being in the “Engine Room” holding down those shuffle and swing grooves with Johnny, preferring to leave the fancy stuff to the guys out front.
Johnny Yu - Bass / Vocals
Born and raised in Hawaii, musically educated in San Francisco, Johnny joined the Flaming Mudcats in late 2017 after moving his family to Auckland. He has performed, recorded and toured internationally with several Californian bands and artists including Daniel Castro. Johnny’s driving bass playing and vocal harmonies, has provided a new dynamic to the band, as can be heard on the band’s latest album “Cut Loose.”
“I’m so pleased to be playing with these guys. We’re having so much fun writing and performing our songs.