Jonathan Mudd
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Jonathan Mudd

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ANY GOOD HEAVEN by Jonathan Mudd

District denizen Jonathan Mudd once received the highest compliment a fringe-dwelling pop-rocker could ask for: praise from Marshall Crenshaw.

When Crenshaw received, unsolicited, a record by Mudd's new-wave-era outfit, the Shake, the skinny-tie hall-of-famer shot back a note saying, "I'm not sure who you are or why you sent me this record, but thanks. It's good."

If Crenshaw happens to find a copy of Mudd's latest CD, "Any Good Heaven," in his mailbox this holiday season, chances are he'll go for it, too: The album is a treat, a fetching collection of riff-happy rockers that never forgo the catchy parts.

Set opener "Outside Looking In" glides by on shimmery guitars and a fat, arena-ready chorus. The slinky "Feel So Real" detours into that '70s era via multitracked lead lines that practically quote Cheap Trick. And hook for hook, "Coming Home" is as strong as anything on the last Fountains of Wayne album -- "Stacy's Mom" excluded, of course.

Like the Fountains of late, Mudd can be a tougher sell lyrically, particularly when he waxes direct when just a suggestion would do. The subtitle of the otherwise ace "In Another Lifetime" is "All Right Alone," for instance, and although the Who-ish "Hiding the Gray" scores with a snarling, bell-bottomed outro, the tune would be better if Mudd rinsed out the forty-something angst.

For fans of smart guitars and tuneful melody-making, though, "Any Good Heaven" is a real find, one that -- as Crenshaw perhaps already knows -- could make a great pop-rock stocking stuffer.

-- Shannon Zimmerman

The Washington Post
Wednesday, December 8, 2004; Page C05
- The Washington Post


“'Truth Lies' has all the requisite powerpop hallmarks: meaty guitar riffs atop propulsive rhythms; instantly hummable melodies and a keen sense of dynamics; lyrics about loving and losing and getting back together, all with an undercurrent of reflection and redemption. On 'Truth Lies' you can start the music pretty much anywhere on the album and land on a gem.” - Blurt


“Melodically [Mudd's] songs display a wide array of interesting--often challenging--chord changes, which are like candy to the ear of a discerning listener. His concepts are at times brilliant and noteworthy, and his guitar work is incredible, from serenely tender to positively scorching--and everything in between.” - Old Town Crier


“Standout Track: ‘Run Amelia’ is a slinky power-pop kiss-off laced with a chunky, riff-addled chorus. Mudd mingles a lonesome, single piano note with spacious chord changes and a winsome melody on the verses. ‘Your lies pace like animals,’ he intones as the chorus’ Godzilla guitars gear up for another round. [This] power-popper's mendacity anthem is the truth.” - Washington City Paper


Jonathan Mudd’s latest release, 'Truth Lies,' is an 11-track album complete with hummable melodies and lyrics about the trials of love. With a confident and experienced sound, Mudd sings about the “heart’s shadowy places.” Each song flows nicely from one to another. Easy to listen to and never lingering, we approve. - On Tap


Introducing Jonathan Mudd! This guy writes some killer tunes. ‘Run Amelia’ has the makings of a true hit. ‘If You Ever Leave Me’ and ‘Somewhere The Night’ are freaking great songs. I am stunned. - Shockwave Magazine


Discography

Jonathan Mudd: "Truth Lies" (2010); "Any Good Heaven" (2005). Both CDs available for purchase/download through CD Baby.

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Bio

Big melodies. Big guitars. Big beats. And maybe even a few big ideas. That's Jonathan Mudd.

Jonathan Mudd sings, plays guitar, and gives it a go on keyboards and a bunch of other instruments. He writes songs, produces his own records, and performs solo and with a band.

Jonathan lives in Washington, DC, but over the years has made his home in Chapel Hill, NC, Atlanta, GA, and San Francisco, CA. He’s recorded and toured with many bands, including The Shake, Land of Giants and Jo Jo Ex-Mariner.

In 2005, Jonathan released his first solo record, "Any Good Heaven." The Washington Post called it “great pop-rock...a fetching collection of riff-happy rockers that never forgo the catchy parts.”

Jonathan’s new record is "Truth Lies." It contains 11 powerful pop songs that investigate the heart's shadowy places. Recorded in four studios on two coasts, it features Jonathan's sandpaper-smooth vocals and swaggering guitars, along with rock-solid drummer James O’Connell and bassists Andrew Luthringer and Greg Miller. "Truth Lies" was mixed by Mark Williams, the up-and-coming DC-area producer known for his work with Jonasay, P.Hux and Dana Wells.

In 2010, Jonathan will perform live with his new band, featuring a stalwart cast of DC-based rockers: guitarist Parthenon Huxley (ELO II, Don Dixon, Eels), bassist Cal Everett (4 Out Of 5 Doctors), and drummer Tom Conner (Simple Man).