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Author: Subject: Thoughts on the Mule

A Peach Supreme





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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 09:15 AM
I was pretty much blown away by the sound they had going at the beacon on 12/30. To break out everything from Hubert Sumlin style on Smokestack and then go to a full Floyd assault was crazy. I know everyone loves their covers but I was really impressed with Little Toy Brain and Brand New Angel. A lot of casual fans seemed to use these tunes as bathroom or beer run breaks but I thought they were stellar along with Game Face.

This had me revisiting the Deja Voodoo and High and Mighty studio releases this week while working. I recall these records not being too well received when they came out. We know the Mule is better live but listening to these records now, I think they sound great. I think first 3 Mule records were so awesome, each in their own way that anything after them without Woody was sort of a let down at first since the fans look so forward to new records that they expect to be blown away right off the bat.

I recall not liking Dose at first but it soon became one of my favorite records of all time. Giving these records a listening and giving the live shows a break for bit has been really cool. I'm going to give By a Thread a spin today. So far I think High and Mighty might be the best of the post Deep End era Mule. Although I'm not all that into the overtly political tunes ,they've grown on me a bit musically.

I did not attend New Years . I like the Mad Dogs and Englishmen record but I think these type of sets are more fun to be at than listen to recordings of. I always get excited when I hear they are doing all Stones or all Floyd on Halloween but when I hear them, they sound rushed and you can tell Warren is reading the lyrics. I'm not trying to sound critical, just giving my opinion on the music. I would be glad to attend a halloween show at some point, I just don't track down the recordings anymore. I'm for sure downloading 12/30 but will pass on 12/31.

Of all the cover sets, which are your favorites ? Right now the 2008 Floyd set stands out but I haven't really listened to the Who set from last year. I'm a huge Stones fan and they halloween 2009 set was a bit of a let down except for a few tunes.

Just my thoughts on the Mule heading into 2012. I'm so glad they're back. I really enjoyed the WHB as a break from things but the Mule is a whole different level and a more powerful concert experience IMO.

 
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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 10:15 AM
My view is never a popular one here, but the ability of Warren/Mule to play everything keeps them from a true stylistic direction IMHO. Just my two cents; know most everyone here disagrees with me. Glad you enjoyed it.
 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 10:20 AM
I LOVED NYE and my favorite cover night would have to be Pink Floyd which I did not attend but somewhere have a cd of

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 10:31 AM
Not a particularly big Cocker fan. Other than the 1st set, I thought NYE was rather lame.
 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 10:37 AM
quote:
My view is never a popular one here, but the ability of Warren/Mule to play everything keeps them from a true stylistic direction IMHO. Just my two cents; know most everyone here disagrees with me. Glad you enjoyed it.


So would you rather see the Mule drop some of the paths they've pursued to focus on a more singular sound? (Not trying to be argumentative; genuinely curious.)

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 10:40 AM
I was at the 12/30 show and was amazed at the One of These Days transition into Fearless. I think Fearless may be one of my favorite Floyd songs so that may have swayed my decision Either way the whole show was above and beyond what I had hoped for.

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 10:42 AM
From the looks of it, the 12/30 show was much better than the NYE show. My opinion.
 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 10:44 AM
quote:
I was pretty much blown away by the sound they had going at the beacon on 12/30. To break out everything from Hubert Sumlin style on Smokestack and then go to a full Floyd assault was crazy. I know everyone loves their covers but I was really impressed with Little Toy Brain and Brand New Angel. A lot of casual fans seemed to use these tunes as bathroom or beer run breaks but I thought they were stellar along with Game Face.

This had me revisiting the Deja Voodoo and High and Mighty studio releases this week while working. I recall these records not being too well received when they came out. We know the Mule is better live but listening to these records now, I think they sound great. I think first 3 Mule records were so awesome, each in their own way that anything after them without Woody was sort of a let down at first since the fans look so forward to new records that they expect to be blown away right off the bat.

I recall not liking Dose at first but it soon became one of my favorite records of all time. Giving these records a listening and giving the live shows a break for bit has been really cool. I'm going to give By a Thread a spin today. So far I think High and Mighty might be the best of the post Deep End era Mule. Although I'm not all that into the overtly political tunes ,they've grown on me a bit musically.

I did not attend New Years . I like the Mad Dogs and Englishmen record but I think these type of sets are more fun to be at than listen to recordings of. I always get excited when I hear they are doing all Stones or all Floyd on Halloween but when I hear them, they sound rushed and you can tell Warren is reading the lyrics. I'm not trying to sound critical, just giving my opinion on the music. I would be glad to attend a halloween show at some point, I just don't track down the recordings anymore. I'm for sure downloading 12/30 but will pass on 12/31.

Of all the cover sets, which are your favorites ? Right now the 2008 Floyd set stands out but I haven't really listened to the Who set from last year. I'm a huge Stones fan and they halloween 2009 set was a bit of a let down except for a few tunes.

Just my thoughts on the Mule heading into 2012. I'm so glad they're back. I really enjoyed the WHB as a break from things but the Mule is a whole different level and a more powerful concert experience IMO.


I never have tried to track down every recording, even the big NYE and Halloween shows, so maybe I'm not qualified to answer. But my personal favorite covers set was the "Temple of the Mule" grunge show from 08>09, I believe. That's my favorite, like, SET of covers, I mean.

Gov't Mule plays so many awesome covers that it'd be hard to pick a personal favorite, but I'd go with "Have Mercy On The Criminal". I think Warren does an awesome job with that.

I can't believe anyone considers "Brand New Angel" a good time to go take a whiz, but to each his own. I love that song!

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 10:47 AM
quote:
From the looks of it, the 12/30 show was much better than the NYE show. My opinion.


Agree...although I enjoy the covers and diversity,sometimes just Mule doing Mule is cool....

I like most if not all their albums....different eras different emphasis musically....

Jorgen is the one of the finest bass players in music today...combines melodic style with heavy thunder in a real sweet way....

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 10:53 AM
quote:
quote:
My view is never a popular one here, but the ability of Warren/Mule to play everything keeps them from a true stylistic direction IMHO. Just my two cents; know most everyone here disagrees with me. Glad you enjoyed it.


So would you rather see the Mule drop some of the paths they've pursued to focus on a more singular sound? (Not trying to be argumentative; genuinely curious.)


Their path choice is their choice. Just saying that to me, the truly great bands are recognizable instantly by their sound. I just don't feel that way about the Mule

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 11:03 AM
The only path I didn't like was the reggae detour around 07 or so. I like a few jams they do like Lively up Yourself but the dub record was kind of dissapointing. I like bands to take chances but that one left me wondering why the even put it out. It just seemed sloppy. Overall, I think the Mule is the best thing out there right now in terms of bang for your buck live music.

Agreed on Brand New Angel not being a break tune but I was right by the door in the last row of the floor on 12/30 and people bolted for the bar during that one. It might have been the timing of where it was in the set though. To me it was one of the best tunes of the night.

[Edited on 1/6/2012 by tommars]

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 11:09 AM
The dub album was extremely subpar, in my opinion. Reminded me of African Child.
 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 11:24 AM
I won't consider the dub album an actual release. Warren said it was just them taking High and Mighty and messing around. I'm A Ram smokes and I love the their versions of the Band classic The Shape I'm In and the Stones "Play With Fire". The rest of the album is Warren having fun.
 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 11:29 AM
quote:
I won't consider the dub album an actual release. Warren said it was just them taking High and Mighty and messing around. I'm A Ram smokes and I love the their versions of the Band classic The Shape I'm In and the Stones "Play With Fire". The rest of the album is Warren having fun.


IIRC the rest of the album is pretty much stoned-out versions of "I'm a Ram". I agree with you, though, I'm a Ram kicks ass, I love their Shape I'm In and Play With Fire and the whole CD, really. I think it's a cool disc.

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 11:40 AM
quote:
The dub album was extremely subpar, in my opinion. Reminded me of African Child.
Absolutely classic!!!

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 12:08 PM
quote:
I was pretty much blown away by the sound they had going at the beacon on 12/30. To break out everything from Hubert Sumlin style on Smokestack and then go to a full Floyd assault was crazy. I know everyone loves their covers but I was really impressed with Little Toy Brain and Brand New Angel. A lot of casual fans seemed to use these tunes as bathroom or beer run breaks but I thought they were stellar along with Game Face.

This had me revisiting the Deja Voodoo and High and Mighty studio releases this week while working. I recall these records not being too well received when they came out. We know the Mule is better live but listening to these records now, I think they sound great. I think first 3 Mule records were so awesome, each in their own way that anything after them without Woody was sort of a let down at first since the fans look so forward to new records that they expect to be blown away right off the bat.

I recall not liking Dose at first but it soon became one of my favorite records of all time. Giving these records a listening and giving the live shows a break for bit has been really cool. I'm going to give By a Thread a spin today. So far I think High and Mighty might be the best of the post Deep End era Mule. Although I'm not all that into the overtly political tunes ,they've grown on me a bit musically.

I did not attend New Years . I like the Mad Dogs and Englishmen record but I think these type of sets are more fun to be at than listen to recordings of. I always get excited when I hear they are doing all Stones or all Floyd on Halloween but when I hear them, they sound rushed and you can tell Warren is reading the lyrics. I'm not trying to sound critical, just giving my opinion on the music. I would be glad to attend a halloween show at some point, I just don't track down the recordings anymore. I'm for sure downloading 12/30 but will pass on 12/31.

Of all the cover sets, which are your favorites ? Right now the 2008 Floyd set stands out but I haven't really listened to the Who set from last year. I'm a huge Stones fan and they halloween 2009 set was a bit of a let down except for a few tunes.

Just my thoughts on the Mule heading into 2012. I'm so glad they're back. I really enjoyed the WHB as a break from things but the Mule is a whole different level and a more powerful concert experience IMO.


I loved Gov't Mule from the start. HIGH & MIGHTY is one of my favorite albums. I don't think DOSE will ever be topped for me personally, but there are so many personal reasons for that... But HIGH & MIGHTY is right there with it.

I have liked everything they have done. Although I like some albums more than others and I could technically nitpick certain things, it has all been great in my opinion.

I for one like a band to be versatile. I don't like when a band just does the same thing over and over. As a musician myself, I can't even understand how you can do that. Even when certain twists and turns sometimes throw me off and I don't immediately adapt, I'd rather see a band all over the place then settle into a boring routine.

And likewise, why anyone would leave during "Brand New Angel" is a mystery to me. I mean, if you gotta go you gotta go no matter what... but it would surprise me that someone would like the Mule's sound and think that song sucks...

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 12:18 PM
quote:
I was pretty much blown away by the sound they had going at the beacon on 12/30. To break out everything from Hubert Sumlin style on Smokestack and then go to a full Floyd assault was crazy. I know everyone loves their covers but I was really impressed with Little Toy Brain and Brand New Angel. A lot of casual fans seemed to use these tunes as bathroom or beer run breaks but I thought they were stellar along with Game Face.

This had me revisiting the Deja Voodoo and High and Mighty studio releases this week while working. I recall these records not being too well received when they came out. We know the Mule is better live but listening to these records now, I think they sound great. I think first 3 Mule records were so awesome, each in their own way that anything after them without Woody was sort of a let down at first since the fans look so forward to new records that they expect to be blown away right off the bat.

I recall not liking Dose at first but it soon became one of my favorite records of all time. Giving these records a listening and giving the live shows a break for bit has been really cool. I'm going to give By a Thread a spin today. So far I think High and Mighty might be the best of the post Deep End era Mule. Although I'm not all that into the overtly political tunes ,they've grown on me a bit musically.

I did not attend New Years . I like the Mad Dogs and Englishmen record but I think these type of sets are more fun to be at than listen to recordings of. I always get excited when I hear they are doing all Stones or all Floyd on Halloween but when I hear them, they sound rushed and you can tell Warren is reading the lyrics. I'm not trying to sound critical, just giving my opinion on the music. I would be glad to attend a halloween show at some point, I just don't track down the recordings anymore. I'm for sure downloading 12/30 but will pass on 12/31.

Of all the cover sets, which are your favorites ? Right now the 2008 Floyd set stands out but I haven't really listened to the Who set from last year. I'm a huge Stones fan and they halloween 2009 set was a bit of a let down except for a few tunes.

Just my thoughts on the Mule heading into 2012. I'm so glad they're back. I really enjoyed the WHB as a break from things but the Mule is a whole different level and a more powerful concert experience IMO.


I agree with much of what you say. I happen to think Deja Voodoo is an excellent album and now that I don't hear it's songs played quite as often I like it even more. New World Blues is an especially excellent and underrated song. As for the covers, I love the Mule covers and yes some of the special theme shows do sound under-rehearsed but actually I thought this one sounded really terrific. Some of this has to do with the fact that Mule and Warren have done a number of these in the past. In particular, the Letter was a setlist staple for quite a few years. I loved the Stones and the Floyd Halloween show. The Who one was not as great as I expected. And finally, it is simply the unpredictability of a live Mule show that makes each one a mind blowing event.

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 12:33 PM
I attended 12/30 too, as you know Tom. I thought they tore the roof off the place. The transition from Smokestack into John the Revelator with Danny and Jimmy Vivino playing horns was fantastic.

I think they sound more like the orginal Mule than ever before, perhaps because Jorgen is Woody incarnate. He is unreal. I had a chance to see him up close at the Brooklyn Bowl during Planet of the Abts and he blew me away.

The first set reminded me so much of the late 90s at Irving Plaza. I mean, when was the last time you heard them bust out Maggot Brain, let alone to open the show? I also can't get Little Toy Brain out of my head. I thought that was beautifully done the other night. Kind of Bird to end the first set was also out of sight. Brand New Angel is one of my favorites too. That may have been the first time I heard Fool's Moon played live too. I also can't seem to get enough of the intro they do to Blind Man in the Dark.

One last thing, is it me or does David Hidalgo sound like Winwood?

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 12:34 PM

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 02:11 PM
quote:
Not a particularly big Cocker fan. Other than the 1st set, I thought NYE was rather lame.


I didn't think it was lame, I thought it was very good, but the way the guy sitting in front of me described it the best when he turned to me after the NYE set and said he felt like he just saw a first set of Gov't Mule followed by a second set of the Warren Haynes Band. That is the way it felt to me as well.

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 02:13 PM
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I was at the 12/30 show and was amazed at the One of These Days transition into Fearless. I think Fearless may be one of my favorite Floyd songs so that may have swayed my decision Either way the whole show was above and beyond what I had hoped for.


I thought for the second year in a row that the 12-30 show was better than the NYE show. The jamming and sit ins in the second set were crazy good!!! I did like NYE too though.

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 02:15 PM
quote:
quote:
From the looks of it, the 12/30 show was much better than the NYE show. My opinion.


Agree...although I enjoy the covers and diversity,sometimes just Mule doing Mule is cool....

I like most if not all their albums....different eras different emphasis musically....

Jorgen is the one of the finest bass players in music today...combines melodic style with heavy thunder in a real sweet way....



Couldn't agree more about Jorgen!!! (((Happy New Year Effie and family!!!)))

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 02:16 PM
quote:
I attended 12/30 too, as you know Tom. I thought they tore the roof off the place. The transition from Smokestack into John the Revelator with Danny and Jimmy Vivino playing horns was fantastic.

I think they sound more like the orginal Mule than ever before, perhaps because Jorgen is Woody incarnate. He is unreal. I had a chance to see him up close at the Brooklyn Bowl during Planet of the Abts and he blew me away.

The first set reminded me so much of the late 90s at Irving Plaza. I mean, when was the last time you heard them bust out Maggot Brain, let alone to open the show? I also can't get Little Toy Brain out of my head. I thought that was beautifully done the other night. Kind of Bird to end the first set was also out of sight. Brand New Angel is one of my favorites too. That may have been the first time I heard Fool's Moon played live too. I also can't seem to get enough of the intro they do to Blind Man in the Dark.

One last thing, is it me or does David Hidalgo sound like Winwood?


He sounds like a poor man's Winwood. I heard him sing Presence of the Lord on 12/30/10. He had trouble hitting all the notes.

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 02:20 PM
I went to the NYE show this year and was disappointed. I didn't expect them to do the whole Mad Dogs album. if i knew that ahead of time I would not have gone, except that there's an energy to NYC on NYE that's interesting. i was sitting through a lot of set 2 hoping it would be over soon and that I'd be rewarded with a fat 3rd set of Mule, which never really came. the first set was off the hook. I loved it. I guess I was spoiled by 2010/11 NYE with the Mule past, present future theme which was spectacular all the way through.

I thought the Mad Dogs was a theme like usual on NYE. I thought they'd play some of it and maybe other songs from the era or maybe Leon Russell tunes or something. I didn't expect it to be almost 2 hours long and totally deficient of incendiary guitar and bass jams (I too love Jorgen and feel he brings Woody's energy back to the Mule). my wife said it was a total disappointment and the worst Mule shows she has seen. It was certainly my least favorite. i liked it but it got to be too much. They sounded great but I wouldn't pay to see Joe Cocker because I'm not a fan and I would certainly never pay to see a Joe Cocker cover band which I feel is what I got duped into doing.

As far as their covers go in general, I think they do some great covers but they have so many of their own songs to do it baffles me why they still do so many covers. i can see doing them for special occasions. I saw the Stones Halloween show which was great fun, especially when Jorgen played drums, Danny played bass and Matt sang. that was hysterical and sounded damned good too. My favorite so far are the Led Zeppelin covers, as I see Mule as an extension of 69-73 Led Zep. Blues oriented, folky crunchy rock. I thought their version of Houses Of The Holy was fantastic and when they do Since I've Been Loving You, that's always a corker too.

I too noticed they were playing a bunch of tunes from Deja Voodoo & High & Mighty and I went back and listened to those again too. I've always liked them but haven't given them a good listen in a while. It was quite refreshing. There's a lot of great material on them. I don't understand why people slagged them so much. Warren is a riffmeister and there are plenty examples on those two albums.

As an aside about Jorgen, I saw the Mule with Jorgen for the first time at House Of Blues in Atlantic City on August 8, 2009. We got there early and we were up front in the center. i couldn't hear Danny at all and it was like the original Mule had returned. The show is burned into my brain. All I kept thinking was that the Mule was back. I didn't realize how much was missing between Woody's death and Jorgen's induction. I thanked him at a show in Philly. He didn't seem to know what to say. lol

 

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  posted on 1/6/2012 at 02:51 PM
quote:
My view is never a popular one here, but the ability of Warren/Mule to play everything keeps them from a true stylistic direction IMHO. Just my two cents; know most everyone here disagrees with me. Glad you enjoyed it.


I agree to a degree . I think Mule is the best thing going in rock music today . However , I started to grow weary of their " all over the place " approach a few years ago , and I didn't care for Haynes' recent solo record either . To me , all of these things have been a distraction . It had been two decades since rock had seen a band that possessed so much ability and power ebodied by Woody , Abts , and Haynes .

I can't think of any band that could kick your a$$ the way that the Mule could ( including The Black Crowes ) . With Jorgen on board , they now have the potential to return to the form that put them on everyone's radar . Who the hell am I to say that ? Well , I'm a guy that recognizes a monster of a band when I see one , and really hate when its members dabble in other bands or other types of music ...Dance with who 'brung ya , and hit it hard .

 

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