In today's world if you want to get noticed you have to think outside the box. That’s exactly what blues rockers Gov't Mule did for their latest release, Shout! The jam band's 10th album is a double-disc set with a twist.
Listeners receive two interpretations of each song, with the first disc featuring the 11 tracks done how Gov't Mule saw fit and the second containing renditions of the same tracks done by a musical guests, including Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, Dr. John, Elvis Costello and Steve Winwood.
The Mule was formed 19 years ago by Allman Brothers Band members Warren Haynes and Allen Woody as something to do when they weren't playing with Greg and the gang. The side project has taken on a life of its own as Gov't Mule will celebrate 20 years of rocking in 2014. The group consists of Haynes (guitar), Matt Abts (drums), Danny Louis (keyboard/guitar), and Jorgen Carlsson (bass). Woody died in 2000.
The band’s debut on Blue Note offers wah-wah pedal driven tunes filled to the brim with funky bass lines and extended jams, such as on the eight-minute "Captured." "Funny Little Tragedy," a song Haynes co-wrote with Phil Lesh, has a British punk feel, as if the Clash met the Attractions head-on; Elvis Costello does a damn fine job making it his own on Disc 2. "Stoop So Low" was originally intended to pay tribute to Sly and the Family Stone, but it reminded Haynes of Dr. John so the New Orleans native was brought in to add some Creole flavor "Forsaken Savior" pays tribute to Levon Helm and the Band. On "Scared to Live," the Mule quartet add a calypso-sounding electric organ and xylophone to create a reggae beat (Toots Hibbert joins them on the alternative verison).
Other musical notables on Disc 2 are My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Deep Purple's Glen Hughes, Alter Bridge's Myles Kennedy and Vintage Trouble's Ty Taylor. Grace Potter, the sole woman involved, provides her take on “Whisper in Your Soul.”
Gov’t Mule will be playing songs from Shout! as well as favorites like "Blind Man in the Dark" on their “Time to Shout!” fall tour. They have 14 dates from Seattle on Oct. 24 to Dallas on Nov. 10. Don't miss the Mule!