Gov’t Mule | 11.03.07

haynes3.jpgThe first set was very mellow for Mule, but showcased the outstanding musicianship of not only Haynes but Grammy nominated drummer Matt Abts, keyboardist Danny Louis and bassist Andy Hess.

 

 

 

 

The Pageant, St. Louis

Warren Haynes, the long-haired, gruff-voiced leader of Gov’t Mule is easily one of the best rock guitarists playing today (named 23rd greatest of all time by Rolling Stone), not to mention one of the hardest working men in the business. I once saw Haynes, at Summerfest in Milwaukee, perform three sets in one day with three different bands: his own Gov’t Mule, The Allman Brothers Band and Phil Lesh & Friends (with whom he recorded a studio album in 2002. Currently, Haynes tours with Gov’t Mule, The Allman Brothers Band and on his own as an acoustic act, kicking ass and taking names in every incarnation.

I’ve had the opportunity to interview such musicians as G. Love, Sam Holt (The Outformation) and Sunny Ortiz (Widespread Panic); and when asked who some of their favorite performers were to share a stage with, they all named Haynes. His ability to slide easily into any musical setting or genre is incredible. While his roots are in blues and classic, southern rock, he often ventures outside of that mold, covering such unlikely tunes as U2’s "One," and The Beatles’ "She Said She Said;" infusing each with his own distinctive style.

After seeing a disappointing Phil Lesh & Friends sans Haynes last month, I was good and ready for my fix of his amazing slide guitar and achingly soulful voice. He didn’t disappoint, opening the show with a reggae version of crowd pleaser "Soulshine," which he recorded with the Allman Brothers Band on their 1994 gold certified record Where it All Begins.

The first set was very mellow for Mule, but showcased the outstanding musicianship of not only Haynes but Grammy nominated drummer Matt Abts, keyboardist Danny Louis and bassist Andy Hess. Highlights included a brief tease of "When the Levee Breaks" in the middle of "I Think You Know What I Mean.," as well as an emotion-filled version of oft-covered traditional "Death Don’t Have No Mercy."

Haynes showed his chops on a number of different guitars, which his roadie (who is a dead ringer for Haynes) swapped out from a lit case aside the stage throughout the show. There was little banter, as Haynes preferred to express himself through his music. Set two was a bit livelier than the first, ending on a high note with the signature tune, "Mule" from the band’s 1995 self-titled debut album.

It is my recommendation that any chance you get to see Warren Haynes pick up a guitar whether it’s with the Mule, solo or with the Allmans, do it. Then one day you can entertain your grandchildren with stories of how you saw a legend at the peak of his career. | Amy Burger

 

Set 1:
Reggae Soulshine
Banks Of The Deep End
Slackjaw Jezebel
I Think You Know What I Mean->
When The Levee Breaks->
I Think You Know What I Mean
No Need To Suffer
Devil Likes It Slow
Lucky->
Death Don’t Have No Mercy
Sco-Mule

Set 2:
Bad Man Walking
Perfect Shelter
About To Rage
Mr. Man
Like Flies->
Drums
The End
Thelonius Beck
Mule

Encore:
Child Of The Earth
I’ll Be The One

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