Gov't Mule "Déjà Voodoo" ATO Records
Mule.net

Click to visit Mule.netGov't Mule first caught my attention relatively late in their career with their tough "Life Before Insanity" album. With the sudden untimely death of bass player Woody, and a cancelled Euro tour, and with guitarist Warren Haynes' on going Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead commitments, that seemed to be that. But here we are some 4 years on and The Mule are back with a tough new offering that is as hard hitting as it is gloriously Retro.

If a new generation of kids are flocking to see this band's shows and buying the albums in impressive quantities, then it's fair to conclude that Gov't Mule are the first band since The Black Crowes to cross the early 70's Rock sensibilities into the 21st century.

Sure there's Dave Matthews and countless other players, but in Warren Hayes the band have THE archetypal Rock vocalist with a bluesy feel that draws on Skynyrd, Free and all shades of Paul Rodgers, and all who were influenced by him.

Above all, amongst these dozen cuts of prime muscular funk driven rock, there's handful of carefully crafted songs ranging from the almost claustrophobic feel of "Silent Scream"- which resolves itself in an extended languid guitar/keyboard workout - and the sweeping bluesy ballad "Little Toy Brain" to hugely impressive funk groove of "Perfect Shelter".

And yet strangely for a band best known for their on stage jams, you feel they are just touching on the periphery of their groove filled core. The band belatedly rock out on "Mr Man", but for the rest the songs pursue a more introspective feel.

The musicianship of the newly expanded quartet is first class, and Haynes is an innovative guitarist with a classic Rock Blues voice, and perhaps all that is missing is a trademark epic to set Gov't Mule just ahead of their peers; Meanwhile this is a welcome and impressive step along the way.

Here are some clips from Déjà Voodoo:
Broadband
(CD quality)
Dial-Up
(AM radio)
Little Toy Brain
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Dial-Up

Perfect Shelter

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Dial-Up

Lola Leave Your Light On

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Dial-Up

Gov't Mule were number 2 in the December 2004 playlist.

Clips are in Windows Media Player format, and should stream to your PC in CD quality if you have Broadband, or lower quality if you use a dial-up connection.

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