An Evening With:
Friday, November 14 2014
7:00 PM Door|8:00 PM Show
The Palace Theater
19 Clinton Ave
Albany, NY 12207
Double album is first release in four years and features Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Ben Harper, Toots Hibbert, Glenn Hughes, Jim James, Myles Kennedy, Dave Matthews, Grace Potter, Vintage Trouble's Ty Tayler and Steve Winwood.
Few bands have a reputation for making music as consistently honest, organic and daring as Gov't Mule. Now the enduring group fronted by visionary singer-guitarist Warren Haynes returns with their first album in four years - their Blue Note Records debut Shout!, a breath-taking, exploratory double-disc set to be released on September 24.
"This album puts a spotlight on the songs and the way that we interpret them, which hinges on the unique chemistry we've developed as a band," explains Haynes, who along with Mule co-founder and drummer Matt Abts, multi-instrumentalist Danny Louis and bassist Jorgen Carlsson charted Shout!'s adventurous contours.
Shout!'s second disc shines a beam on a guest list of famed interpreters Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Ben Harper, Toots Hibbert, Glenn Hughes, Jim James, Myles Kennedy, Dave Matthews, Grace Potter, Vintage Trouble's Ty Taylor and Steve Winwood, who each delivered an alternate vocal performance of one of the first disc's new Gov't Mule tunes.
"No one's done this before, which is exciting," says Haynes, "but it's even more exciting actually listening to these artists sing our songs. Their performances bring new ideas, energy and sometimes even different meanings to every number."
The inventive and incendiary musical performances throughout both discs spring from the jazz-like philosophy and creative language the Mule's members have developed together. They're the rare rock ‘n' roll group with an improvisational heartbeat, which allows all four musicians to expand on the songs' themes in non-formulaic ways. That quality distinguishes the finest jazz, blues and rock recordings of the '50s and '60s, but is largely absent in modern music.
On Shout! it's audible from the ground up - starting with the Technicolor propulsion of the Abts-Carlsson rhythm section. Their flexible interplay in the studio and on stage, where both musicians amp up their already aggressive, freewheeling approach to providing the sonic foundation of the band, is essential to Gov't Mule's reputation as a living, breathing ensemble. Drummer Abts has the courage and the chops to extrapolate with the other band members, pushing, pulling and accenting his rhythms as each performance evolves. And while Carlsson's bass always keeps its essential snarl, he's among the few players in modern rock that varies his tone and approach to best serve each song.
Although Louis' primary role in Gov't Mule is keyboardist, his guitar playing has expanded to the point where he often plays the instrument for a third of the band's live sets. On Shout! he steps even further into the role of Haynes' six-string foil, with their contrasting styles frequently adding yet another dimension to the album.
Several numbers were cut with Haynes and Louis simultaneously on guitar, including the romantic "Captured," which shares a shimmering ebb and flow with classic Neil Young & Crazy Horse.
Louis even takes the brash, ringing fret board solo on the Clash-inspired "Funny Little Tragedy." And he steps up his contributions as a background singer, adding vocal support to five songs.
And Haynes, of course, remains one of the most formidable guitarists and vocalists of the modern era, effortlessly cross-pollinating genres and unfurling solos that broil with passion in his distinctive, signature style.
Today, Gov't Mule have become a human encyclopedia of great American music even while adding to that cannon. And through it all Haynes has served as not only the group's captain, but as a beacon of creativity and excellence that inspires fans and fellow musicians.
Shout! came to life in a Connecticut studio where the band initially regrouped to reignite their collective flame, and ended up cutting the bulk of the album, with Haynes, his bandmates and longtime Mule collaborator Gordie Johnson producing various cuts. Three songs - the reggae-based "World Boss," the psychedelic dreamscape "Whisper In Your Soul" and the blues-rocker "Done Got Wise" - were recorded at Jorgen Carlsson's Rogers Boat Studios in California, with Carlsson and studio co-owner Steve Holroyd engineering.
In reflection, Haynes offers that Gov't Mule's journey has been full of surprises. "There's no way I could have anticipated the way we'd grow when we started," Haynes remarks. "Everyone in Gov't Mule brings their own personality to the music, and we're always looking for opportunities to expand and excite ourselves. Shout! is proof of that, as well as an album I could never have predicted we'd make even five years ago."
In 2000, when founding bassist Allen Woody passed away, Haynes and Abts discussed the possibility of putting Gov't Mule out to pasture. Instead the band went on to become part of the tradition they had always intended to honor.
"That," says Haynes, "is something we could only have dreamed to achieve and never expected in a million years."
(Source: Agent Provided)