Friday, October 9, 2009

Gov’t Mule - By A Thread (Released October 27th)

Warren Haynes' place in modern music is secure through the prodigious and tasteful hired-gun services he has offered The Allman Brothers Band and The Dead as well as his own substantial body of work as the leader of Gov’t Mule and as a solo artist. His pedigree as a live guitar hero and soulful singer of rare ability are only brought into question when one considers his history of less than satisfying albums. Most of his albums have fallen short either by failing to capture the fire of his live performance, or by being over-produced and not sounding like the real Warren. By A Thread remedies this problem when Haynes brings to the table the strongest, ballsiest album of guitar-driven blues-rock of his career. Beginning with the contribution of new bass player Jorgen Carlsson, the music is propelled by a fat, meaty tone, and the heaviest bottom end since the days when original bass player Allen Woody shook the plaster off every ceiling of every club across the country. The band performs like fist in glove throughout, but, as always, the real star of the show is Warren’s impeccable guitar soloing and honey and ash voice. On the first track, “Broke Down On The Brazos” he leads a guitar duet with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons that will immediately make you prick up your ears. Following is “Steppin’ Lightly” which ends with some truly great soloing. Next up is the traditional “Railroad Boy” which he takes into the stratosphere with a boiling arrangement that showcases keyboard player Danny Louis and drumming powerhouse Matt Abts’ supreme chops. Each selection shows great care in both the arranging and execution as the Mule offers up the strongest album of their career. Every song is a killer, with the highlight possibly being the mid-album barn-burner “Any Open Window” which sounds like a classic track from some long lost Led Zeppelin album and features Warren playing the shit out of that sunburst guitar. It will make you stand up and cheer. In fact this entire album will make you rejoice that Gov’t Mule has finally produced the album that should solidify their reputation as one of the best bands out there today.
Paul Epstein

1 comment:

Chris M said...

Dead on! I hear a lot of Zeppelin influence as well as others on this CD.

Their best work ever by a mile!