Top critical review
A NOT BAD SOLO ALBUM BY A GREAT ROCK GUITARIST
on June 27, 2014
GOVT. MULE. Shout! Blue Note. 2 CDs. 2013.
HAYNES, Warren. Man in Motion. Stax. 2011. WH, guit, voc, comp.
Here are two CDs by the longstanding Allman Brothers spin-off band Govt. Mule and another, the solo outing of the band’s lead guitarist Warren Haynes. I’m happy to announce all three are good, and one, the second disc in the Govt. Mule duo, is exceptional. This is the sixteenth album by Govt. Mule. By now they know their act and do it well. What makes this two-disc release is exceptional is the second disc on which guest artists, ranging from Elvis Costello, Dr. John and Toots Hibbert to Dave Matthews and Steve Winwood, play the exact same songs in the same arrangements as on disc one, but what a difference it makes! The best cut on the album? Elvis Costello’s version of Govt. Mule‘s “Funny Little Tragedy,” which reminds you what an extraordinarily tight singer Elvis was in his early years with the Attractions. These are very good albums.
I don’t have much to say about Haynes’s solo album except that it’s good. It’s hard to break out of a group with as strong a musical identity as Govt. Mule has but Haynes has the talent to do it.