Mule gives artful performance



Smooth and satisfying as a swig of tea on a sultry day, Gov’t Mule opened with a purifying blues beat that had everyone moving and grooving in the dusty pit at Stubb’s.

With the first note, Warren Haynes took over our worlds in a flash of purple and blue light. We were not at Stubb’s anymore, but at the Church of Warren Haynes, being blessed by his redemptive guitar playing.

Haynes summoned forth every watt of power the guitar could possibly possess. He was creating a masterpiece right then and there. His solos, like paint splashed on the canvas that was the audience, kept us on our toes as he took us on a journey. His solos spoke many stories of the human experience.

Ranging from delicate as morning dew to harsh and raw as a torrential downpour, bassist Jorgen Carlsson’s diverse bass lines provided the key element—the foundation—of each song. His playing was like some primal, roaring beast, often about to free itself from his grasp, yet always returned to cool, calm control.

If a metronome could play drums, its name would be Matt Abts. He pounded out a 15 minute drum solo and still left the crowd wanting more. Using every piece of his extensive set, his refreshing performance was characterized by smooth, delicate crescendos and decrescendos.

The final key to Gov’t Mule’s genius was keyboardist and guitarist Danny Louis. Louis often traded off solos with Haynes, being as great as a keyboardist as Haynes was a guitarist.

Rarely does one see each member contribute so much to a band; any less effort would have fundamentally altered the music. Gov’t Mule endowed me with a new musical education—it was like listening to music again for the first time.