Epic Album of the Week – Gov’t Mule’s ‘Live at Roseland Ballroom’
Written by Ian Gerber for The Soda Shop
The first thing that draws me to most of the ‘stoner rock’ sound is the room for giant guitar sounds. This is also good news if you are bass player. Less is less. Of course, having a kick ass drummer never hurt a thing if you are trying to play extended pieces of improvisational music. Live at Roseland Ballroom is a fantastic example of a power trio playing far beyond the realms of what most modern rock bands. By now, just about any rock fan knows who Warren Haynes is, whether its from his time with The Allman Brothers Band, Phil Lesh and Friends, The Dead, or sitting in with just about any rocking jam band around. Before the super stardom developed, they were paying their dues. In this case, opening for Blues Traveler, which to be fair, was probably a kick ass gig to have. Perfectly complimenting Hayne’s guitar fireworks, was Allen Woody on bass. I really wish he was still alive today. He could show the modern generation a thing or two about playing some incredible heavy bass. Don’t get it confused though, there are few who could play 70’s inspired hard as well as Woody, he was first and foremost a groove monster who knew when to hit the gas and when to use the cruise control.
Classic rock fans, jazz heads, guitar dorks, and headbangers all get their due on this record. From the driving, jazz rock composition opener, ‘Mule’ to there rather inciting cover of Steppenwolf’s ‘Don’t Step on the Grass, Sam’, these guy’s earned there stripes.
While this wasn’t the same show, we can all appreciate a good Sabbath cover.