KING MUD is VAN CAMPBELL from the BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES , FREDDY J IV from LEFT LANE CRUISER and features guitarist PARKER GRIGGS of RADIO MOSCOW.
They joined forces in Los Angeles for a marathon session that gave birth to an album of hard blues, blue eyed soul, heavy rock, and feedback! “Victory Motel Sessions”.
If you dig the bands these musicians come from you will probably love this record!
The Upshot: As much pound as boogie, as much snarl as soul—what’s not to like?
The line between the blues and rock & roll can be as fine as the hair on a baby’s head, and few walk that line as deftly as the bands on the Alive roster. In that spirit, guitarist Freddy J IV from Left Lane Cruiser and drummer Van Campbell from Black Diamond Heavies wrote some songs with a claw in each mud puddle, rounded up some pals and recorded them as King Mud. – Michael Toland / BLURT
You could jump in just about anywhere and soak yourself in the blues. King Mud never strays far from the wellspring. Freddy J’s raunchy guitar and voce are stand-outs, especially on the dirty “War Dancers” and the swampy “Blood River”. Campbell’s feels drive the songs nicely and he’s not one to break into showboating in all that extra space.
The songs are keepers. “Take a Look” recalls Humble Pie’s “40 Days In The Hole” without the soul sister backing and could score radio air-time in an enlightened market. “Rat Time” is Campbell kicking ‘em out before Freddy J kicks in with some crunching riff-work.
No forms of traditional music (i.e the blues) were harmed in the making of this and no reputations damaged. Go here without fear it will be worth your while. – The Barman / I94 BAR (4 Beers)
Guitarist Freddy J IV and drummer Van Campbell hammer their righteously raucous blues bashin’ into a set of strikingly distinct stand-alone smokers. These veterans of blues-rock outfits, respectively, Left Lane Cruiser and Black Diamond Heavies, don’t forget ballads as well. All executed with no sacrifice of power or grit. Standouts include “Rat Time”, “Arthur's Hooked” and “War Dancers”. – Duane Verh / ROOTS MUSIC REPORT (4 Stars)
The key to KM’s fabulousness is as downright primal as the music they make. The band is a two piece featuring Left Lane Cruiser man Freddy J and Van from Black Diamond Heavies. The former released an album last year charmingly entitled “Dirty Spliff Blues” and the latter are about the only band who can outdo them from grime soaked blues. So put em together and something wonderful might just happen.
Put simply “Victory Motel Sessions” is what would have happened if instead of selling the Devil his soul at the crossroads, Robert Johnson sold him drugs, it’s glorious, it’s fuzzy and its filthy. Dip into any of its songs from opener “Rat Time” – which appears to be about some carnal desire or other that it’s best not to think about – to its follow up, the rather explanatory “Smoked All My Bud” and the thought remains the same: damn, delta blues ain’t usually like this. – READ THE MAXIMUM VOLUME REVIEW (8.5/10)
The added bluesy piano and groovy harmonica easily make “Suzy’s Cookies,” the big hit of the album. Giving off a smooth, chill vibe, you may feel like you are hanging out in King Mud’s garage listening to the guys jam out. This song is just as awesome as the title. – READ THE REVIEW (8.5/10)