Govt Mule Show Review
Saturday night I trekked down to the 930 Club to see one of my all time favorite live bands; Govt Mule. For those of you unfamiliar with the Mule, let me some up; you are missing out big time. End transmission.
As I’ve mentioned before, this band is an offshoot of the Allman Bros…which, if you’ve ever seen them live should give you an idea of what you’re in for when you check them out live. It’s super tight, raucous Southern Blues. It’s gritty as all hell and comes straight from the heart, each and every note. It’s not about glitz and glam and all the layers of crap that entertainers want to throw on top of their music to make it a show. Screw that. With the Mule, the music is the show.
There are lots of bands that I’ve seen more than say, 5 times. I’ve seen Clapton at least twice that much. CSN (& occasionally “Y”), too. I’ve seen Tool that many times and probably Sting, too. You know what keeps me coming back to see acts like that over and over again? The purity. What they do isn’t created in a studio with a few bars of something that turns into 250 digital layers…oh no. What they do is created on an acoustic guitar or a piano. It’s mapped out and you can trace it back from the finished product back to that moment where it became a living breathing thing. And when they play it live for you that purity is what comes roaring out.
Seeing Govt Mule this weekend reminded me of why I picked up the guitar in the first place.
It’s that process building up to that release. And this past Saturday the Mule walked out on stage at 9:15 or so and from the opening note they laid it down. There wasn’t a lot of talking, absolutely no choreography, and the only “light show” to speak of was the subtle shifts of color that would come down on the boys as they did their thing. The highlight,. for me, was a rousing, raucus, and clearly aimed at Louisiana version of Southern Manthat had the entire audience screaming along.
Shows like this are refreshing. Sure I love a good spectacle from time to time (Tool shows fill that niche for me rather perfectly) but more often than not, it’s the smaller venue, straight ahead shows that get me. I’ve often said “If you can’t do it live, you can’t really say it’s your song”. I think the addendum to that is, for me; if you can’t do it in your living room, it’s not really your song, either. When you see Warren and the boys play live, you get the feeling that they’d do it for free on a street corner if it came down to that…and people would stop and listen.