The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world









It seems like I’ve always loved Gov’t Mule a band that has never let me down over the years. And if you love your Blues and want something that is both soulful, honest and infectious you should check them out because sadly as great as The Mule is they’re sadly much underappreciated outside the US where they are huge on the festival circuit. Originally a side project for Allman’s guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody they’ve become an institution.


On ‘Shout!’ they are top of their game and it’s great to hear some funky touches in there amongst the traditional Blues, groove and Southern Rock elements.  But that’s only part of the story as on this, their tenth album (and a double at that), they have a list of special guests to reinterpret their material on the second disc.  It’s not just any old guest’s either: the likes of 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 all appear.  


Opening with ‘World Boss’ they get their groove on straight away with what turns out to be their most accessible material so far. The Ben Harper take of the same song on Disc 2 is certainly a highlight of the set, but I think that Glenn Hughes reading of the dusty, blooze-oozin’ ‘No Reward’ takes the gold.



Everywhere you turn though there’s something else to consume you: from the pop-punk ‘Funny Little Tragedy’ as interpreted by Elvis Costello to the reggae-stroll ‘Scared To Live’ a track Toots Hibbert rolls all over.



Other highlights in a great double set have to be the funk of ‘(How Could You) Stoop So Low’ which bursts into gospel supplied superbly by Dr. John; the slow groove of Steve Winwood’s take on ‘When the World Gets Small’; and the Mule/Dave Matthews ‘Forsaken Saviour’ – a tribute to Levon Helm & The Band.



For us though the absolute peak here is the wonderful languid ‘Captured’ which has absolutely everything that makes The Mule so special. ‘Bring On The Music’ also deserves a mention too sounding as it does like a ‘Free’ original.



"Shout!" is Gov’t Mule’s first studio set in four years. It’s due Sept. 24 in North America and is available for pre-order at The "Prepare To Shout Tour" will roll out this summer in support of the album. 



Mark Diggins