Gov’t Mule

Peace... Like a Rive
Gov’t Mule
Gov’t Mule: Matt Abts, Danny Louis, Warren Haynes, Jorgen Carlsson.

It’s fortunate the world still has artists like Gov’t Mule to influence aspiring musicians and prove that it’s possible to have a long, fruitful career playing this kind of music.

The creation of the band’s rock-oriented 12th studio album is fascinating; vocalist/guitarist Warren Haynes, keyboardist/guitarist Danny Louis, bassist Jorgen Carlsson, and drummer Matt Abts recorded it alongside their previous album, 2021’s Heavy Load Blues, at the same studio in different rooms with no shared instruments or gear, giving each its own distinct feel.

Gov’t Mule has the talent to venture on tangential jam-band excursions, but the discipline to reign themselves in to service the songs. “Same As it Ever Was” has an engagingly complex arrangement with all four members shining, particularly Carlsson’s punchy bass and Haynes’ tasteful guitar solo.

ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons adds grizzled, processed vocals to the psychedelic blues swagger of “Shake Our Way Out.” The loose, trance-like “Made My Peace” includes harmony slide guitar in the middle Haynes says was influenced by George Harrison. “Head Full of Thunder” is fun-lovin’ Southern-rock bravado, while the hard soul of “After the Storm” has an Allman Brothers feel – no surprise given Haynes’ long membership. This album is laden with stellar musicianship worth your attention.

This article originally appeared in VG’s August 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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