The portable studio consisted of a Model T truck with "state-of-the-art" wire recording gear. Posters were put up by an advance team weeks ahead; offering modest compensation for "rural songs of a oral tradition."
In one small village in the heart of central New York's potato farming region that record company got more than they bargained for. An enigmatic Spanish-American war veteran and potato farmer known as Captain W.F. Mudflap emerged from the muckland potato fields bringing with him a captivating indigenous brand of country music that would be forever known as "Muckland Music."
Mudflap would soon form a group of touring musicians known as the "Muckland Crooners." After 80 years and a number of generational changes, amazingly the group is still going strong. A number of it's current members are third generation decendents of it's founders.
The music is even more relevant today than ever before. As our society grows ever more technological laden and urbanized, the longing for a simple, honest retrogressive style of music grows ever stronger.
It's tough to pidgeon-hole the "Muckland Music" style if you have never experienced it's charm. It is undoubtedly "a little bit Country" and "a little bit Rock N' Roll", although the Muckland Crooners would be reluctant to align themselves with "Country Music" today the way it is churned out by the phony Nashville machine. There are inherent elements of the Blues as well as a certain vaudeville campiness that shines through.
The current incarnation of the band sports the following members:
Captain W.F. Parsons "Mudflap III" . . . Jaw Harp, Pedal and Lap Steel Guitar, Banjolin.)
"Arlo LukeRonLee" (A.K.A. Ron Cunningham) . . . Lead Guitar
Mark Chitambar . . . Piano, Guitar
"Driver" Ed Chick . . Bass Guitar
"K" Sprague . . . . . Guitar, Banjo, Harmonica
Mike "Foo" Greathouse . . . Fiddle, Mandolin
Mike "Dorf" Skowron . . . . Drums, Spoons, Washboard
Small Potato Town is their debut album. The songwriting and vocal duties are shared among several members, so it's a many faceted gem, but first and foremost it's: comfortable, engaging and just a plain fun to listen to.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Big as the Beatles
2. Janey, the Fotomat Girl
3. Take Her Home
4. Phony Old Love
5. Long Black Fingers
6. Muckland Marine
7. Small Potatoes
8. Erie Canal
9. A Town Called Spuds
10. Better Off
11. Sweet Potato Music
12. Glory Days
13. French Fries No More
14. Ramblin' Soul
15. Muckland Crooner