With the present blues revival gaining more and more steam as it thunders down the tracks, there are new bands hopping aboard all the time. Some of them are quite good, while others leave something to be desired. Even as a blues enthusiast and music journalist, it is not at all surprising when I come across a blues project that I haven’t heard of before. Until a few days ago one of those bands was Miraculous Mule, a blues rock trio out of London, whose debut album “Deep Fried” has only recently reached the public's collective ear.
“Deep Fried” is comprised of ten songs of gritty white-boy blues and raw roots rock. While tipping their hats to traditional blues, Miraculous Mule kick up their own latter-day blues and roots rock sound for the masses. All things considered, “Deep Fried” is a very solid album, and actually quite remarkable for a debut. It covers all the bases and then some, with blues-stomp rockers, rootsy pickers, gospel preacher rants, hill country grooves, and Delta-infused shufflers. From what I have heard on their album, Miraculous Mule is undoubtedly the sort of blues band that can shake a juke joint from foundation to roof with their rousing repertoire.
While many of the songs on “Deep Fried” are Miraculous Mule originals, there are some covers. One of the covers is a rather peculiar reworking of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Lord, I Just Can’t Keep From Crying.” Now, I’ve head a lot of blues covers in my day, and this one by Miraculous Mule is damn good. Last time I heard a band do a Blind Willie Johnson cover it was Boxcar Satan performing “John the Revelator.” While they did a fine job of it, this one by Miraculous Mule is decidedly the better of the two.
Miraculous Mule’s music doesn’t just scratch the surface; it settles in deep. As any good music should, it stays with you.
If you are a fan of the growing blues rock movement and appreciate bands like Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, Ten Foot Polecats, Left Lane Cruiser, Henry’s Funeral Shoe, Juke Joint Pimps, GravelRoad, Two Gallants, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, and the like, then Miraculous Mule is probably for you. Give ‘em a listen. "Deep Fried" is scheduled for a September 23, 2013 release. You can get your copy from iTunes, Amazon, or Rough Trade.