McDowell Mountain Music Festival Day 3 review: Jamming good with Gov’t Mule, Lettuce, Railroad Earth
Gov’t Mule brought the day to a triumphant close with a headlining set that made a solid case — again — for Warren Haynes as one of rock’s most heroic guitarists. By the time he formed Gov’t Mule in 1994, he’d already established himself as a jaw-dropping talent to watch as a major force behind the Allman Brothers Band’s return to form. Haynes and founding drummer Matt Abts rocked the stage with Danny Louis and Jorgen Carlsson rounding out the lineup.
It was a brilliant performance that reached an early peak when Haynes started quoting the Allman Brothers’ “Mountain Jam” in the middle of an epic “Game Face.” It peaked again when they covered Led Zeppelin’s “How Many More Times” and Haynes instead sang the lyrics to the Howlin’ Wolf song on which it was based (or from which it was stolen, depending on who’s talking), “How Many More Years.” After starting the encore with a haunting rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep,” Haynes his tenure with the Allmans by blowing the dust a glorious “Soulshine,” which he wrote.