One of the toughest nuts for a touring band to crack is their first show in a new city.
Chicago-based band Mutts, however, shattered that nut into a thousand pieces a few weeks ago with their first ever Fayetteville performance at Maxine’s Tap Room.
The band blew away the handful of folks in attendance that night, so much so, that the bar asked them back immediately. The buzz around town has been growing ever since, and Mutts is set to make their second appearance in town at 8 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, May 18) with another free show at Maxine’s.
Local musician David Embree, who was running sound for them at their last Fayetteville show, described the band well. “If Tom Waits, Randy Newman, and The Bad Plus gave birth to a trio, this is it,” he said.
The band is heading back through town after making several appearances at SXSW festival in Austin last week.
We asked them a few questions about their experience down there, and the were nice enough to answer them.
You guys just got from SXSW. How was your experience down there?
It was our first SXSW together, after bailing on plans to go for the past two years because we didn’t have any shows. I’m so glad we finally did it, because we had a great time.
We started looking for unofficial showcases much earlier this time, and wound up with six shows in four days, including a couple amazing ones at Reggie’s & Audio Tree Live. Both were on 6th Street and had great crowds. In between all of that, we just enjoyed walking around, supporting some friends and meeting new bands, too.
Did you guys see any bands that blew you away?
Personally I was glad to finally see The Wild Family from Chicago. We’d heard a lot about them, and their set was quite moving. Josh Berwanger from Kansas City and Shakey Graves from Austin were both badass. Sol Cat from Nashville, The Delta Routine from Milwaukee, Bailiff and Archie Powell & the Exports from Chicago we had all played with before but holy hell, it was great to see them kick so much ass so far from home! We also saw Off!, which was sort of a bucket list show for our drummer, Chris.
I know you were in Fayetteville last week. Had you ever been here before? What was your impression of the place?
I had the chance to play George’s in 2011 on keys for Company of Thieves. We didn’t get to hang out too much, but I met so many nice people that I always remembered it and have been looking for a chance to bring Mutts here. Qhen we realized that SXSW was actually happening, I called a friend from that show and he told me about Maxine’s.
It was a great show last week; so many good folks, they treated us really well, and we’re excited to be coming back so soon. The next day we got to hang for awhile and found Fayetteville to be one of the most hospitable places we’ve ever been. And Chris bought a T-shirt.
I heard Mike was going to be opening for Buzz Osbourne this weekend. What else do you guys have in the works?
Yes, I’m excited to open for King Buzzo! Got to see him at SXSW too, actually. Other than that, we have a new album coming together, so we finish that when we get home next week.
There’s also less than two weeks left in our Kickstarter, so we’re hoping to make our goal and be able to put out the album by the fall. And of course, we’ll just keep on touring in the meantime. We’ve booked some summer festivals we’re excited about, and then it’s just a matter of connecting the dots, getting back to some of our favorite spots and exploring new cities, too. I’m happy that Fayetteville has gone from ‘new’ to ‘favorite’ so quickly.