Live Music Daily – The Major Rager Review
By: Barry Brandow, Live Music Daily
If the music and entertainment world held a tournament similar to The Masters, GOV’T MULE would probably have a walk-in size closet full of green jackets (the jacket awarded to The Masters champion every year). They have been in the upper echelon of the live music scene for a long time and are on top of their game…with no signs of slowing down. The amazingly vast portfolio of music that they perform covers several genres and styles with the highest level of precision and energy. Their loyal FaMuley of fans come from all over and will travel near and far to have their faces melted for several hours. You never know what to expect on any night, but you know you’re in for something special. When the most ambitious touring band in the world takes the stage, it is led by the beloved and accomplished front man and guitarist, Warren Haynes. Mule also has one of the best casts to complete the foursome; Jorgen Carlsson on bass, Danny Louis on keys, horns and guitar and Matt Abts on percussion. All four are tops in their class. The fully charged set began with the song, ‘Bad Little Doggie’ and picked up steam into the heart thumping jam, ‘Game Face’. As many moments of smooth guitar solos fulfilled any Mule fans appetite, those who weren’t familiar with the bands’ music had a sense of familiarity during the little ‘Mountain Jam’ tease made most memorable by The Allman Brothers. If that wasn’t familiar enough, the next song, ‘Rocking Horse’ also made unforgettable by both ABB and MULE mesmerized everyone in The Augusta Commons. During the next few songs; ‘Banks of the Deep End’, ‘Broke Down on the Brazos’ and ‘Whisper in your Soul’, I noticed several prominent musicians and guests congregating around the stairway up to the stage. As I hoped and suspected, guest of honor Danny Ray (James Brown’s famous ‘cape guy’) is one of them. Along with Mr. Ray, trumpet player, Craig Sorrells and members of Lettuce; Neil Evans, Eric Bloom and Ryan Zoidis joined MULE. While holding one of James Brown’s vintage capes, Danny Ray addressed the massive crowd. After graciously thanking everyone in attendance and all the bands that played, MULE and their special guests tore into a spectacular version of the JB’s ‘Doin it to Death’. If there was one James Brown song that I though fit best with Warrens’ passionate vocal expression it was the song that followed, ‘It’s a Man’s World’. For me without a doubt it was the highlight of the night.
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