The only thing unclear about Kelly Pardekooper's House of Mud is how he figured out how to meld blues and country traditions together without betraying either. Husky voice and slide guitar blend in this mellow yet intense collection of twang-laced tunes. Pardekooper's voice reminds one of Tom Petty's seasoned, perhaps, with a few cigarettes and some good whiskey.
"Mud" offers a set of nine originals - plus one Greg Brown tune thrown in for good measure. "Tiny Angel" is a tribute to someone who keeps things going in the sonic vein of "Wild Horses." The sprightly "Whatever It Was" is a bit of a barn-burner with chugging guitar, while "Hayseed Girl" conjures up some ghosts from the 38 Special/Lynyrd Skynyrd school. Pardekooper is able to take the searing solo-blues tradition of Robert Johnson and marry it to several modern-day genres.