Photo Credits (C) Anna Webber
Rock torchbearers Gov’t Mule are celebrating their 20th anniversary with a series of dynamic live archival releases that highlight the group’s versatility and epic, fearless live performances.
Last month Gov’t Mule released ‘Dark Side of the Mule’, now it’s time for the second instalment of their 20th anniversary celebration: ‘Sco-Mule’ has been in the pipeline for over a decade and will now see the light of day on 26th January 2015 on 2CD/Double vinyl. In September 1999 Gov’t Mule was a little over 5 years old and began embracing and exploring personal influences which weren’t quite present in the music at that stage. They had written and recorded jazz-influenced instrumentals such as ‘Trane’, ‘Birth of the Mule’ and ‘Thelonius Beck’, but had never, at that point, done any “live” performances that were predominantly made up of instrumental songs.
At this point, enter jazz-rock guitarist John Scofield, who has previously played and collaborated with legends such as Charlie Mingus, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Chet Baker amongst others. Gov’t Mule had begun including more guests into the live shows and were joined by Scofield for two shows; one in Atlanta and the other in Athens, Georgia – this was after only one full rehearsal.
Talking about the shows Warren Haynes reflects; “We came out and played what would be the equivalent, time-wise, of a first set filled with hard-rocking Mule staples. Then we were joined by John Scofield and special guest keyboardist Dr. Dan Matrazzo for our first-ever all instrumental “sets”. In some ways this was the beginning of a new outlook for Gov’t Mule as we were constantly looking for new directions to explore. Less than a year later Allen Woody passed away and after a period we didn’t know if we would even continue.”
No two Gov’t Mule shows are the same, and like recent release ‘Dark Side of the Mule’, ‘Sco-Mule’ also reflects the breath and eclecticism of their talent with their ability to transform themselves continuously in a live setting. The band can draw on more than 300 songs in their repertoire (and often a host of special guests) to create a unique experience each and every time. The deep chemistry and steely confidence shared by the current line-up of guitarist-singer Warren Haynes, drummer Matt Abts, bassist Jorgen Carlsson and multi-instrumentalist Danny Louis also allows them to tackle any form of music and stamp it with their own identity. The series of new live archival releases really drives this point home with the third (‘Dub Side of the Mule’) and final instalment (‘Stoned Side of the Mule’) still to come.
Sco-Mule will be released on 26th January 2015 via Provogue/Mascot Label Group
GOV’T MULE – “Sco-Mule”
Tracklist 2CD version
Doing It To Death
Birth Of The Mule
Kind Of Bird