Gov't Mule's first album since the unfortunate demise of founding bass player Allen Woody is an inspired effort consisting of 13 recordings varying in style from down home blues to funk to jazz. The eclectic styles of music come together and reflect the bold undertaking of having a different bass player for each song. That’s right, 13 different bass players for 13 songs.
Woody is featured on one track "Sin is a Good Man's Brother", so guitarist Warren Haynes and drummer Matt Abts had the pleasure of playing with a dozen different bass players for the making of this album. The whole album is chock full of a who’s who of legendary musicians and younger virtuoso’s.
Here’s a preview of each track...
Fool's Moon - featuring Jack Bruce on bass & vocals & Bernie Worrell on organ & clavinet
This is a energetic cut and opens the album well. Jack Bruce’s voice sounds the same as it did when he played bass in a pretty famous power trio of his own back in the late 60’s/early 70’s. Old Parliament keyboard player Bernie Worrell also lends his talent to this track.
Life on the Outside - featuring Larry Graham on bass & vocals, Audley Freed on guitar & Eddie Harsch on organ & clavinet
This is one of my favorite tracks of the record, a funk extravaganza with Sly and the Family Stone’s Larry Graham laying down the groove and singing a verse and the Black Crowes Eddie Harsch sounds great on the Hammond B3. “Got to learn to live together, or we might as well be dead.” Talk about words to live by.
Banks of the Deep End - featuring Mike Gordon on bass & background vocals & Danny Louis on organ & wurlitzer
A slower song, especially compared to it’s predecessor. The somber lyrics tell quite a story and the changes are interesting. Mike Gordon is not only on this track but has been in the studio for the recording of all of the other tracks on both volumes of this project videotaping it for his upcoming documentary. A preview of the documentary plus two audio tracks are available on a bonus cd to those who pre-order the album at www.mule.net
Stream "Banks of the Deep End"!
Down & Out In NYC - featuring Flea on bass, Rob Barraco on organ & wurlitzer, Keith Barry on trumpet, Mike Uhler on tenor sax & Dan Weinstein on trombone
Another personal highlight... How can you not enjoy a cover of an old James Brown tune! The horns sound great, this is funky in a slow groove kind of way.
Effigy - featuring Mike Watt on bass & Jerry Cantrell on background vocals
Musically this one is technically performed by a trio but Alice In Chains’ Jerry Cantrell adds strong backing vocals on this Creedance Clearwater Revival cover. The song has a slow tempo until the end when the band picks it up and plays an awesome, extended outro.
Maybe I'm a Leo - featuring Roger Glover on bass & Randall Bramblett on organ
A Deep Purple cover featuring their bass player Roger Glover and former Sea Level member Randall Bramblett who has recorded with the likes of Levon Helm and Steve Winwood. This track features some of Warren Haynes more fiery guitar work.
Same Price - featuring John Entwistle on bass & Page McConnell on organ & clavinet
This is a song that musically reminds you of The Who as well it should with Entwistle on bass. Entwistle’s distinct tone cuts through well and Page’s fingers haven’t slowed down do to Phish’s hiatus.
Soulshine - featuring Willy Weeks on bass Little Milton on guitar & vocals & Chuck Leavell on organ & wurlitzer
We all know this song, the only difference is a beautiful new intro by Rolling Stone Chuck Leavell. I shouldn’t say that’s the only difference, what with legendary blues man Little Milton playing guitar and providing some great vocals, he’s one of a kind and is a throwback to John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters.
Sco Mule - featuring Chris Wood on bass, John Scofield on guitar & Bernie Worrell on organ & clavinet
This is the lone instrumental of the album and should be well known to longtime Mule fans as the band has long been featuring this live. Scofield’s brings his trademark tone and style to this great funky, jazzy jam.
Worried Down With the Blues - featuring Oteil Burbridge on bass, Derek Trucks on guitar & Gregg Allman on organ & vocals
This is a tune that the Allman Brothers Band played a handful of times before Warren and Woody left the band to pursue Gov’t Mule on a full-time basis so the players are appropriate. Gregg and Warren sound great trading vocals add Derek Trucks deserves a mention for his excellent slide work on this slow blues burner.
Beautifully Broken - featuring Stefan Lessard on bass & Danny Louis on wurlitzer & organ
Another slow one, Warren plays this with Phil Lesh and Friends in concert. A haunting song about desire that is lyrically moving.
Tear Me Down - featuring Bootsy Collins on bass & vocals & Bernie Worrell on organ & mini moog
This is as funky as it gets, but do you expect anything else from Bootsy? Warren and Bootsy gel nicely and the awesome bass playing is just putrid.
Sin Is A Good Man's Brother - featuring Allen Woody on bass
This is just some just Gov’t Mule at it’s finest. I’m glad they decided to include an unreleased track on a tribute album to the sorely missed Woody.