Written by Andrew Howie
Gov’t Mule was always going to be a special band.
As an offshoot of the Allman Brothers spearheaded by guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody, they had a built in diehard fan base who was used to the rigors of following bands around the country on tour. Recently, I saw Gov’t Mule play at Summer Camp Music Festival just hours after Gregg Allman’s passing, and it was a fiery, passionate performance full of raw emotion and shredding Southern jam rock. The new album from Mule, Revolution Come, Revolution Go, is full of this same emphatic heaviness spiced up with bluesy, soulful guitar work.
The album starts out nice and full, getting right to the point and kicking you in the teeth in a very Gov’t Mule fashion, before quickly devolving into a dueling guitar jamfest, much like a Mule show would open with. Haynes’s howling vocals are equal parts Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Bell, with just the right amount of twang. The drums, bass, and organ all anchor the stomping, massive jams, barely holding back an explosive cacophony of southern psychedelia.
If you’ve seen Mule live, you know how Haynes gets going, and this album provides some excellent vehicles for some stretched-out Haynes jams. Songs like “Traveling Tune,” “Stone Cold Rage,” “Thorns of Life,” and especially the title track are ripe for the jamming, and indeed the studio tracks feature Haynes’s signature rasp over some seriously tasty, extra crispy extended blues jams.
While there may not exactly be any new musical ground on Revolution Come, Revolution Go, this is one of those cases where the old proverb “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind. Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule have been doing their thing since 1994, and Warren’s musical career stretches back decades beyond that, and he knows his niche. For those looking for the collaborative nature of Mule’s live performances, Jimmie Vaughan guests on “Burning Point,” adding a different shade of blues to the mix.
Perfect for a backyard barbeque, on the jukebox at a rowdy bar, or rocking a main stage at a major music festival, Revolution Come, Revolution Go finds Gov’t Mule right in the pocket: kicking out some comfortable jams, howling at the moon, and aching in their souls. Bluesy, crunchy southern jam rock at its finest, folks. This might just be your new summer soundtrack.
Gov’t Mule Revolution Come, Revolution Go Rating: 8 out of 10