408

Gov't Mule: Gov't Mule: Holy Haunted House

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
Gov't Mule: Gov't Mule: Holy Haunted House It's hardly a surprise that Gov't Mule performed Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy (Atlantic, 1973) in its entirety in sequence on Halloween, 2007. The legendary British band is one of the most profound influences on The Mule, in both their original compositions—"Streamlined Woman" and others on High & Mighty (ATO, 2006)—and covers—"When the Levee Breaks" and "Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)," as well as "No Quarter" from Houses.



A tribute to Gov't Mule's collective professionalism, instrumental expertise and honest love of music, Holy Haunted House might be a bonafide tour de force except that the group sounds a little too careful a little too often here. Granted, that may not be all that surprising under the circumstances of a one-off show, but Mule nevertheless nails "The Ocean," and rightly so: it sounds like a riff of its very own. Meanwhile, "The Song Remains the Same," "Dancing Days" and "Over the Hills and Far Away" fit neatly within the quartet's riff-rock oeuvre. "D'Yer M'ker" is of a piece with guitarist Warren Haynes and co.'s Jamaican fascination, but they can't imbue "The Crunge," a misconceived and altogether lightweight tribute to James Brown, with any substance.



Elsewhere traversing Zeppelin's fifth album, Warren Haynes' guttural vocals infuse that soporific ballad "The Rain Song" with gravity and soul. Nearly as much as his playing on the tunes themselves, the drum solo by the other charter member of Mule, Matt Abts, suggests he would've been a suitable replacement for the late Zeppelin drummer John Bonham at the rock icon's reunion last year.



Augmented for the second set by guitarist Audrey Freed—formerly a Black Crowe and regular guest of Gov't Mule—the quartet finishes this second eighty minutes of the night with the blues. An interpolation of Robert Johnson's "Come in My Kitchen" and "32/30 Blues" may or may not be commentary on accusations of Zeppelin rip-offs, but they definitely contain the kind of sly ingenuity to be expected from Gov't Mule.



Mule's opening set on 10-31-2007 carried an unusual potency and its own internal logic. The dub- influenced arrangement of "Play with Fire" is a logical segue from the Rolling Stones song into the original "Time to Confess," which has a built-in reggae rhythm. Keyboardist Danny Louis' electric piano solo on "Million Miles From Yesterday" brightens the sound as much as that instrument, in combination with organ, lightens the dusky atmosphere of "Rockin' Horse."



Gov't Mule navigates the instrumental twists and turns of "Birth of the Mule" with a finesse that also fosters a seamless transition from "Larger Than Life" into "Fallen Down." "The Other One Jam," based upon the Grateful Dead's long-standing improvisational vehicle, is equally deft. So often and appropriately a show closer, "Blind Man in the Dark" allows bassist Andy Hess to engage in a furious solo. It's a frenetic close to what is only the first hour-plus of a special occasion at the O'Shaughnessy Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Track Listing: CD1: Play With Fire; Time To Confess; Million Miles From Yesterday; Rocking Horse; Birth of The Mule; Larger Than Life; Fallen Down>The Other One Jam; Blind Man In The Dark. CD2: The Song Remains The Same; The Rain Song; Over The Hills and Far Away; The Crunge; Dancing Days>Drums; D'Yer Mak'er; No Quarter; The Ocean; Come On Into My Kitchen>32/20 Blues.

Personnel: Warren Haynes: vocals, guitar; Matt Abts: drums; Danny Louis: keyboards, vocals and other goodies; Andy Hess: bass; Audley Freed: guitar (CD2).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Jam Band


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "We Are The World" CD/LP/Track Review We Are The World
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "Undertaker Please Drive Slow" CD/LP/Track Review Undertaker Please Drive Slow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival
by John Sharpe
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Sizzle" CD/LP/Track Review Sizzle
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "The Long Slog" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Slog
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "The Reasons Don't Change" CD/LP/Track Review The Reasons Don't Change
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 15, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!