By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Jannus Live, St. Petersburg, Florida, May 1, 2019
For a “side project” of the Allman Brothers Band, Government Mule, or Gov’t Mule, or just Mule, has certainly taken on a life of its own. Officially, the band is Gov’t Mule, and although the band’s members have been stable for over ten years now, with Warren Haynes – guitar, vocals (1994–present), and Matt Abts – drums, percussion, vocals (1994–present), the two remaining original members, plus Danny Louis – keyboards, guitar, trumpet, vocals (2002–present) and Jorgen Carlsson – bass (2008–present), and the band steadily growing its fan base – as you can see by the exceedingly packed house in the photo above! I think they need a bigger boat!
Love the fog effects, but they sure do make a clear shot tough! The band kicked off with several of their older hits, followed by an extended jam session. Although they’ve released well over a dozen albums, they are mostly known for being a live performance band – nearly every concert that Gov’t Mule plays is recorded and sold online in both high- and low-resolution MP3 format, and in the lossless FLAC format. Tracks from Wednesday’s concert are available here. You’ll find Bad Little Doggie, Mr. High & Mighty, Blind Man In The Dark, Mother Earth, Larger Than Life, Dreams & Songs, Stone Cold Rage, Stratus, Soulshine, Revolution Come, Revolution Go, Girl With No Self-Esteem, Sco-Mule, Banks Of The Deep End, Effigy >Folsom Prison Blues Jam >Effigy, Can’t You See, I’m A Ram with Black Dog tease, and the encore, Going Out West with Whole Lotta Love lyrics!
Interestingly, I find little mention of where the band’s name came from. We’re all about getting the facts here, so “government mule” is a reference to the promise made to freed slaves that they would receive forty acres of and a mule. This promise was never kept, and here’s where the story gets murky. There’s a claim that the name is a reference to the size of James Brown’s late wife’s posterior, but little to back it up. I prefer to use Warren’s version: “It can mean different things to different people,” Haynes explained in the Gov’t Mule official website biography. “Besides, the name kind of describes us: we’re a slow, hard-working, non-glorious animal.”
I agree, the band isn’t flashy, it’s nothing like a Taylor Swift concert, but if you are looking for good, solid, hard Southern rock jamming, get yourself some Gov’t Mule! They’re about to bounce to the UK and Europe, so don’t miss your chance if you live there, and they’ll be back in the USA soon!
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