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The Flaming Mudcats - Blues Band - Auckland


Type: Blues Band


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“Blues sunny side up, over easy, spicy or funky …. it’s all on the menu with these guys.”

Formed in March 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.

Ideal for: dance music for corporate function, private party, wedding, festival, concert

Sample repertoire:

Cold Sweat - Boneshakers
Complainers Boogie Woogie - William Clarke
Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You - Kim Wilson
Don't Go No Further Brother - Little Walter
Everything Gonna Be Alright - Little Walter
Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
Full-Time Lover - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Gangster of Love - Johnny Guitar Watson
Gave You What You Wanted - Ike Turner
Good Rockin' Tonight - Gary Clark Jnr
Good Time Charlie - Kim Wilson
Hard Knock - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
High & Lonesome - Kim Wilson
Honky Tonk - Unknown
Hot Lil Mama - Johnny Guitar Watson
Hush Hush - Omar Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan
I Ain't No Saint - Rory Gallagher
I Believe Im In Love - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
I Can Tell - Kim Wilson
I Know Its A Sin - Jimmy Reed
I'm A Lover Not A Fighter - Lazy Lester
Just A Little Bit - Joe Louis Walker
Just Your Fool - Little Walter
Kansas City Blues - Tom Principato
Last Night - Little Walter
Lollipop Mama - William Clarke
Look At That - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Lookin For Trouble - Kim Wilson
Low Down Dog - Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers
Lowdown Woman - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Mohair Sam - Slim Harpo
Moving Up In Class - The Nighthawks
My Babe - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
My Babe - Little Walter
Off The Wall - Little Walter
Oh Baby - Kim Wilson
Oh Baby - Little Walter
One Last Chance with You - Little Walter
Postman - Kim Wilson
Pretty Baby - Kim Wilson
River Hip Mama - Charlie Musslewhite
River's Invitation - Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown
Rooster Blues - Lightning Slim
Scratch My Back - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
She's Hot - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Somebody - Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers
Spring - Andrew Brown
Stranger Blues - Elmore James
T Bone Boogie - Duke Robillard
Tell Me Why - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Tight Dress - George Smith
Too Late - Little Walter
Trust My Baby - Kim Wilson
Twenty Dollar Gig - Sax Gordon
Up Jumped the Devil - Ronnie Dawson
Up the Line - Little Walter
You Cant Judge A Book - The Fabulous Thunderbirds

The Flaming Mudcats include:

Craig Bracken - Vocals / Harmonica / Saxophone

Craig began playing harmonica in the late 80’s after hearing the greats like Little Walter, William Clarke and Junior Parker. He played in several local bands, all the while, developing his highly regarded, distinctive harmonica and vocal style before becoming a “Mudcat” in 2009.

You’ll often hear him often blow horn and keyboard lines to enrich a song or compliment various guitar parts. Recently he has introduced his saxophone to broaden the band’s material options. According to Craig though, “It’s all about the groove.” Craig writes a lot of the band’s material and his playing can also be heard on several TV ads and guest tracks.

Doug Bygrave - Guitar

Back in the 80’s, Doug hosted a university Blues radio show and on one occasion 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.

A band original, Doug’s unique playing style provides that all-important rhythm / lead guitar Mudcat sound.


Ian Thomson - Drums / Vocals

Ian began his long drumming career in Auckland “back in the 60s” and played in several notable Blues and Roots bands over the years including The Dark Ages, The Underdogs, Mumbo Gumbo. “Blues is the only music I ever wanted to play, especially after hearing that first Paul Butterfield album.”

Very much a feel player, 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.

“I really enjoy working on band arrangements and am now writing some songs. Who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks?”

Johny Yu - Bass / Vocals

Johnny was born and raised in Hawaii then musically educated in San Francisco. He performed, recorded and toured internationally with several Californian bands and artists including Daniel Castro.

He joined the Flaming Mudcats in late 2017 after moving his family to Auckland from the Golden State. Johnny’s driving bass playing and vocal harmonies, has provided a new dynamic to the band and has broadened their repertoire options. He 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 stuff.”


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