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Author: Subject: "High & Mighty" Review

True Peach





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  posted on 8/20/2006 at 12:54 PM
From today's SF Chronicle:

GOV'T MULE-HIGH & MIGHTY-ATO-$18.98


The proto-metal blues-rock spirit of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience lives on in the music of Gov't Mule, albeit filtered through a Southern lens. Front man Warren Haynes is one of the guitar gods of the current jam-band world, a master of controlled feedback whose fast-fingered solo flights and slashing Duane Allman-inspired slide work are always tasteful and frequently spine-tingling. He sings in a soulful tenor on Endless Parade, one of 12 sometimes self-consciously literate Haynes originals on the band's 10th album. The meat, however, is in the quartet's grooves: throbbing rock, grinding reggae, Meters-imbued funk and Haynes' majestic guitar improvisations. Danny Louis' occasional organ and piano solos lack similar spontaneity.

-- Lee Hildebrand

LITTLE MAN RATING GUIDE


WILD APPLAUSE EXCELLENT

POLITE APPLAUSE VERY
GOOD

ALERT VIEWER GOOD

SNOOZING VIEWER BELOW AVERAGE

EMPTY CHAIR DON'T BOTHER

13 days until Red Rocks!!! (GM)
12 days until Red Rocks!!! (ABB)

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/20/2006 at 03:45 PM
From the AllMusic Guide. They gave it 4 stars out of 5.

Let's get this out of the way: Warren Haynes is a great guitar player. Gov't Mule was formed to showcase that talent, but over the years (and especially with the new lineup) the Mule has become more of a band with Haynes at the focus as opposed to just a rhythm section backing him. High & Mighty is the second release to feature Danny Louis and Andy Hess alongside Haynes and longtime drummer Matt Abts, and it continues on the course they charted with Déjà Voodoo. Playing with a myriad of bass players following the death of Allen Woody almost certainly helps push Gov't Mule in some new musical directions, and this new lineup keeps adding new elements to their sound. Sure, you get plenty of great guitar riffs and bluesy soloing, but the intro to "So Weak, So Strong" almost sounds like Ali Farka Toure (the dumbek of the first verse is a nice touch, too), and "Unring the Bell" is Mule-style reggae, complete with cavernous drums and trippy dub flourishes. There was also a certain funkiness that crept in on Déjà Voodoo, well manifested here in the bonus track, "3 String George," which sounds like an alternate universe Meters. And while there's nothing really overt, it seems that songs like "Like Flies" and "Unring the Bell" flirt with the political. Louis' keyboards play a mostly supporting role, though he gets a couple nice solos ("Brand New Angel" and "Brighter Days") and trades licks with Haynes on "Endless Parade." Of course, the rhythm section is rock-solid, but the star of the show is Warren Haynes with his soulful vocals and fantastic guitar playing. You won't get flashy showboating, just tough as nails playing free of rock guitar clichés. "Brand New Angel" and "Like Flies" both have some great meaty slide work too. Even though only three of the 12 tracks are shorter than five minutes, it's only on "Endless Parade" that one gets a sense that they're really stretching out thanks to Haynes' imaginative playing. There aren't many bands out there still working this type of tough rock & roll, and Haynes' talents put Gov't Mule at the top of that list.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/20/2006 at 03:48 PM
WOW!! I love them both!!

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 8/20/2006 at 04:24 PM
I think warrens slide reminds me more of dickey then it does duane... to me at least... and I think they had to throw an abb reference in just cause he's in the band so that was the one they made... whatever though...

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 8/20/2006 at 05:02 PM
quote:
From the AllMusic Guide. They gave it 4 stars out of 5.

Let's get this out of the way: Warren Haynes is a great guitar player. Gov't Mule was formed to showcase that talent, but over the years (and especially with the new lineup) the Mule has become more of a band with Haynes at the focus as opposed to just a rhythm section backing him. High & Mighty is the second release to feature Danny Louis and Andy Hess alongside Haynes and longtime drummer Matt Abts, and it continues on the course they charted with Déjà Voodoo. Playing with a myriad of bass players following the death of Allen Woody almost certainly helps push Gov't Mule in some new musical directions, and this new lineup keeps adding new elements to their sound. Sure, you get plenty of great guitar riffs and bluesy soloing, but the intro to "So Weak, So Strong" almost sounds like Ali Farka Toure (the dumbek of the first verse is a nice touch, too), and "Unring the Bell" is Mule-style reggae, complete with cavernous drums and trippy dub flourishes. There was also a certain funkiness that crept in on Déjà Voodoo, well manifested here in the bonus track, "3 String George," which sounds like an alternate universe Meters. And while there's nothing really overt, it seems that songs like "Like Flies" and "Unring the Bell" flirt with the political. Louis' keyboards play a mostly supporting role, though he gets a couple nice solos ("Brand New Angel" and "Brighter Days") and trades licks with Haynes on "Endless Parade." Of course, the rhythm section is rock-solid, but the star of the show is Warren Haynes with his soulful vocals and fantastic guitar playing. You won't get flashy showboating, just tough as nails playing free of rock guitar clichés. "Brand New Angel" and "Like Flies" both have some great meaty slide work too. Even though only three of the 12 tracks are shorter than five minutes, it's only on "Endless Parade" that one gets a sense that they're really stretching out thanks to Haynes' imaginative playing. There aren't many bands out there still working this type of tough rock & roll, and Haynes' talents put Gov't Mule at the top of that list.


Marley said it all! Good job!

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 8/20/2006 at 05:08 PM
Running to my mailbox each day in sweet anticipation of the pre-order arrival...

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 8/20/2006 at 07:11 PM
Yeah, I'm really looking forward to hearing this one. Thanks for the reviews, y'all.

 

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  posted on 8/20/2006 at 10:19 PM
Great review Marley...

I have been a HUGE Mule fan from the start, and let me just say that I think HIGH & MIGHTY is by far the best album since DOSE. That's saying a lot. I've loved ALL the albums, so I'm not trying to say anything bad about anything in between.

I just love the flow and feel of HIGH & MIGHTY, not to mention the songs are all incredibly strong, the sound is huge and clear. The album seems very versatile and the lyrics say a lot.

The band really clicks together and everyone gives some incredibly soulful performances.

 

True Peach



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  posted on 8/20/2006 at 10:34 PM
hey folks... that IS NOT Marley's review... he just posted what was on allmusic... the review was by Sean Westergaard... just an FYI

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 8/21/2006 at 03:26 PM
I cant wait.

 

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  posted on 8/21/2006 at 04:58 PM
Got the record and bonus disc in the mail today...THANK YOU GOV'T MULE!!!

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 11:48 AM
Just got mine before lunch at Borders for $14.99....sounds great... I like a few of the slower tunes....and Unring the Bell....I'll be listen in the Garden State Parrkway traffic going to the PNC show tonight (5th Row).....really nice weather.....should be FUN!!!!...Scranton on Sunday (7th Row) ....been waitin' all summer for this!!!!
 

True Peach



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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 12:03 PM
Mine came in today..................Looks like the neigbors down the street will be
hearing the Klipsch speakers again tonight.....................

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 12:24 PM
I guess you're not supposed to review an album while you're still on your first listen, but I do have this to say: WOW. This one has some of that old-school Mule brutality to it, maybe more than Life Before Insanity did - but with more diversity.

 

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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 02:02 PM
I preordered and mine still hasn't arrived though the mail has... looking like I'm the only one
 

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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 02:23 PM
I am not a Mule fan, just too hard for me. I do, however like Warren on some cuts.
I love the music he played with Dickey, his best I think, and as far as the slide thing goes, he has great moments. Not Duane, but damn good. I think his tone needs work, and to learn when to back off so as not to step on Derek too much. IMHO.

 

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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 02:30 PM
'' old school Mule brutality'' - always a good thing in my book.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 03:24 PM
quote:
I think warrens slide reminds me more of dickey then it does duane... to me at least... and I think they had to throw an abb reference in just cause he's in the band so that was the one they made... whatever though...


huh? To each their own but Derek has said Warren plays more like Duane as far as his natural style. Warren has said he tries to keep Dickey's sound and style alive in the ABB but Derek has said he is more of a melodic player and Warren is the blues rock guy. I believe that was in HTN not too long ago.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 03:25 PM
quote:
I preordered and mine still hasn't arrived though the mail has... looking like I'm the only one


they will come UPS. check your front door.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 03:43 PM
quote:
quote:
I think warrens slide reminds me more of dickey then it does duane... to me at least... and I think they had to throw an abb reference in just cause he's in the band so that was the one they made... whatever though...


huh? To each their own but Derek has said Warren plays more like Duane as far as his natural style. Warren has said he tries to keep Dickey's sound and style alive in the ABB but Derek has said he is more of a melodic player and Warren is the blues rock guy. I believe that was in HTN not too long ago.
it doesn't really matter what he says... it's what he sounds like to me... when I listen to derk and warren play together (I wasn't into the ABB in the 90's yet when it was Dickey and Warren) I will sometimes here derek play riffs that are spot on for duanes style... I never get that from warren... but I do hear dickey in his playing... it is to each their own, so it doesn't really matter...

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 07:00 PM
This is my favorite Mule record by far, but I say that every time a new one comes out, it's good to see them do a record like this and I am very very happy for these guys. Long Live the Mule, they Kick hard, Kick mighty, Kick Often, they KICK!!

 

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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 07:17 PM
Listening now...unbelievable that they just keep getting better...and different from CD to CD. (Although, I am feeling a harder edge than the last few...like DOSE- This is a good thing, in my opinion). Matt Abts is the John Bonham of his generation, and Warren has got to be the greatest song writer given the speed of putting these songs together and given his schedule...!

I cannot wait to hear this stuff live...I fell blessed that we have Warren and the boys to keep us interested, in this world of relatively uninteresting new music being made.

Now if we can just get some new ABB (heavy on the Warren and Derek, thank you)...

 

True Peach



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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 08:36 PM
Listening right now. Wow I am really digging this one! They did a fine job

 

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  posted on 8/22/2006 at 10:35 PM
It was great hearing and meeting the Mule last night. They are great guys and deserve all the success in the world.

Doug

 

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  posted on 8/23/2006 at 06:55 AM
quote:
I think his tone needs work,


In my opinion, that's pretty funny!! Now all we need is Dino to tell us how much Danny Louis sucks, and we're good to go!!!

 
 


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