Danny “Mudcat”Dudeck is well-known all around Atlanta. As Daniel Peter Dudeck, he is a skilled landscape artist and gardener and a blues scholar. As Mudcat, he is one of the most engaging blues musicians you will ever hear. Sometimes he plays with The Atlanta Horns, and those are special, exciting jazz and blues-infused shows. But when he performs acoustic shows, solo or with a friend or two, those are very special evenings indeed.
Tuesday night at Darwin’s, it was just Mudcat, his acoustic guitar, and Hobo, a harmonica legend in Atlanta and Metro who has another name, too,but I don’t remember what it is.That’s how it is with wandering musicians. Anyway,he showed up to sit in with Mudcat, and the two of them are as comfortable together musically as a pair of old shoes, and when it comes to storytelling, he is a perfect foil for Mudcat’s tall tales (Every one a true story! Even the one where he and Hobo were truck drivers who met a beautiful 350 pound woman in a Cheeze Whiz factory and…)
That particular story was inspired by a song about big-legged women coming back in style. But it could have been anything, really. You need to keep your ears wide open not just for the music but for the jokes, stories and other patter coming at you.
Mudcat can make any space feel like you are sitting around a fire or a pot-bellied stove in someone;s living room,listening to him and his very talented friends make music and have fun. Then at the drop of a hat,he can become the medicine show man, preaching the virtues of his homemade hot sauce,”made from 100% orgasmic compound.” And that is true. That stuff is wonderful and we grab some every chance we get. I believe it will do everything he says it will!
In a room that is already intimate like Darwin’s, surrounded by a surprising number of friends for a Tuesday,including a couple of tables of enthusiastic and interactive fans, including myself, Mudcat really shines. He was raunchy, hilarious, and he and Hobo made some amazing music with just acoustic guitar, harmonica, and Mudcat’s sprightly vocals. Oh, and his vocal sound effects. In one song, “Rattlesnake,” he did a very convincing rattlesnake ,a dog, and a nibbling rabbit. I’ve heard that song before, but never the suund effects, which neary made me choke on my food. Eat with caution around Mudcat.
At some point,we also found out that Hobo can do a fine Soft Shoe,not that there was a song about that,just an impromptu illustration.
At the end of the first set,after getting our hot sauce and having a spirited discussion with Mudcat about the ingredients and exchanging a hug or two, we had to leave. I don’t know what happened next, but I sure wish I did.
You can see Mudcat almost every Wednesday night at Northside Tavern, and hear him every Wednesday and various times throughout the week on his radio program,”The Piedmont Report,” on Blues 411 Internet radio. Get the schedule at Mudcat’s page on Facebook.