“You know something special is going on when a grizzled, jaded rock critic is introduced to a band and immediately seeks out it’s back catalog- even going online to buy its out-of-print debut. San Francisco’s Little Muddy centers on guitarist Rich Goldstein, the only member still onboard from its self-titled 1999 debut. The instrumentalists’ current CD Door 15 returns to a trio format, after 2008’s The Road to Bodie- a solo collection of Goldstein’s atmospheric vignettes.
On outings one and two (the second titled Mayan Mud), the group tackled covers from such varied sources as Stevie Wonder, AC/DC, Charlie Rich, Jimmy Webb (“Wichita Lineman, cut around the same time as Friends Of Dean Martinez’s similar version), and film scorers Henry Mancini, Elmer Bernstein, and Lalo Schifrin. This time, the eclectics tap soundtracks by Nino Rota, (“The Godfather”), Quincy Jones (“Sanford and Son”), and John Barry (“Midnight Cowboy”), as well as tunes by Van Halen (“Jamie’s Cryin'”), Lulu (“To Sir With Love”), and Neil Diamond (“Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon”).
But the covers are like familiar little oases in between Goldstein’s noir-ish compositions. His playing reveals influences from nearly every corner of the stylistic spectrum-from country to blues, rock, jazz, funk, and folk. Utilizing a ’69 Telecaster or a late 50’s “Jimmy Page” model Danelectro (for open tunings and slide) through a ’65 blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb, his tone typically has some distortion, but also plenty of definition.
Martinez friends (and fans of other surf-noir artists like John Blakely and Terry “Buffalo ” Ware) should gravitate to this, but so should followers of tone masters like Buchanan, Beck and Santana.”
–Vintage Guitar Magazine (Dan Forte)
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