Gov’t Mule To Rock Freeman Stage
via Coastal Point
Every child dreams of becoming a rock star, but there are a select few who maintain the passion to transform their dream of making music into a reality. The members of Gov’t Mule are among those few.
Those who wish to experience their passion for music are invited to enjoy “an Evening with Gov’t Mule” at Freeman Stage on Wednesday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m.
Inspired by classic jazz and blues artists, the band is known for their improvisational live performances and for unique concert setlists.
“We intentionally change the setlist every night so it’s fresh… [Songs] take on more life when you don’t play them constantly,” said Grammy-award winning vocalist and co-founder of the band Warren Haynes.
Gov’t Mule was formed in 1994 by Haynes and original bassist Allen Woody as a side project while they were performing in The Allman Brothers Band. They became a trio with drummer Matt Abts, who played with Haynes in the Dicky Betts Band. Their first album was released in 1995 and reflected their specific style – a blend of jazz, blues, rock and funk. After Woody’s tragic passing in 2000, Andy Hess and Danny Louis joined the band. Jorgen Carlsson later replaced Andy Hess in 2008. Through their increasing success, the band members have remained steadfast to the same philosophy of those early days when the band was something fun to do, and they were not pressured by the ever-changing music industry.
“We’ve been really lucky in a way that from the beginning we made ourselves happy and did exactly what we wanted to do,” Haynes said.
On June 9, 2017, the band released their 10th studio album, Revolution Come…Revolution Go. It is the first album the band recorded following their 20th anniversary. It symbolizes embarking on a new endeavor, although in some ways it suggests revisiting the past. The title track is reflective of that central message.
“It starts out as a swinging rock song, and then it goes into this blues shuffle that feels almost like a different composition altogether,” Haynes said, describing the title track. “It also has a jazz improv section, but ends up where it starts out. That’s indicative of what the message is: going through all of these changes and winding up where you began.”
The first day of recording the album was on election day in November 2016 at a studio in Austin, Texas. Although the album is not a political record, it does include observations of the political climate, specifically “Stone Cold Rage,” “Pressure Under Fire,” and “Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground.” The band’s storytelling captures the present, which is a common feature of rock ‘n’ roll music.
“I’m writing about what I see going on around me and reflecting on my life and relationships and changes,” Haynes said.
Gov’t Mule’s previous album, Shout!, incorporated 11 guest vocalists. The band decided to do the opposite on Revolution Come…Revolution Go, collaborating solely with Jimmie Vaughan on “Burning Point.”
The 18-song record is a seamless thread of soul, country and rock.
“One of our missions has always been to stay together as a band long enough to bring all of these different influences to the surface,” Haynes said. “Blues, funk, and soul are a part of what we do. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, the umbrella of rock music had room for so many different stylistic approaches – bands that were worlds apart were still considered ‘rock’ bands. We’ve always taken a cue from that. And although I’ve said it previously about other Gov’t Mule releases, this is probably the most diverse record we’ve ever made. That’s really important to us.”
The band’s impressive accomplishments include 16 studio and live albums, more than 120 million Pandora plays, over 60 million Spotify streams, 3 million downloads from their official website, and millions of album sales.
On their 2018 summer tour, Gov’t Mule will have six Dark Side of the Mule shows. The concept originated a decade ago when the band performed a set of Pink Floyd songs. After receiving requests from fans to continue covering Pink Floyd, the band decided to incorporate those special shows into the tour.
“Without an audience there would be no reason for us to be there,” Haynes said. “We cherish that people love our music the way we love our music.”
Tickets for the concert on Wednesday cost $45 and are required for infants and toddlers as well. Freeman Stage advises concertgoers to bring their own chairs.