The Whanganui Musicians Club will be rocking to the sounds of red hot rhythm & blues this weekend.

That is the original 1940s style R & B rather than the modern hip-hop variety and it will be delivered by a bunch of seasoned Auckland musicians known as the Flaming Mudcats.

The band will join local musicians Blue Vein and Isiah B Brunt from Australia to present the Bluesmad blues fest on Saturday night.

Flaming Mudcats drummer Ian Thomson says band members are looking forward to playing at a venue that has such a great reputation.

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"We've heard great things about the Musicians Club and we are very much looking forward to playing there.

"Whanganui audiences are pretty good too we hear and we look forward to meeting them."

Formed in 2008, the band consists of Thomson, vocalist and harmonica player Craig Bracken, bass player Johnny Yu and guitarist Doug Bygrave.

"Doug is my second cousin," says Thomson.

"The connection came about through a first cousin and it was one of those series of meetings where like-minded people come together."

So what about the name?

"It's an Americanism - a mudcat is a catfish found in the muddy waters of the Mississippi Delta.

"We added the flaming part because it implies that we have the fire in our bellies."

They must be pretty hot stuff because when they played in Illinois, their American radio host David James wrote: "If this band doesn't get your toes a tapping', then you must be dead."

The band have also played at numerous clubs and festivals throughout NZ, Australia, the Pacific and recorded three albums of their original music.

During a decade of playing together, there has been just one line-up change with US import Johnny Yu replacing their original bass player.

Bluesmad: Whanganui Musicians Club, 65 Drews Ave. Saturday, March 16. Entry $25, members $20.