Gov’t Mule :: By a Thread

Written by on February 18, 2010 in February 18, 2010, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Gov’t Mule :: By a Thread

Label: Provogue Records

I would have to say the latest release from Warren Haynes and the boys is the Mule’s best studio album to date. “By A Thread” touches all their familiar bases and then some. It’s a work of remarkable variety and maturity which never loses sight of the band’s southern rock roots.

Proceedings start with a bang, the rocking ‘Broke Down On The Brazos’ given one mighty turbo charge by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons – his most blistering guitar work in recent memory. ‘Any Open Window’ also keeps the pedal to the metal whilst other highlights include the grimy sleazy blues of ‘Inside Outside Woman Blues #3’, ‘Railroad Boy’ – a Warren Haynes arrangement of a traditional English murder ballad and the jazz-rock / psychedelic ‘Scenes From A Troubled Mind’. There’s even room for a gentle ballad ‘Forevermore’ providing colour and texture to a strong and well-balanced set that shows a band unafraid of stepping outside its comfort zone. In my opinion, Warren Haynes has got to be one of the most hard working and talented musicians around. If you love Free, Humble Pie, Allmann Bros, Mountain, Crowes etc you’ll love this. They’ve never released a poor album yet. Haynes has a fantastic voice and he plays a mean Gibson to boot! ‘By A Thread’ is an amazing record, as good (or better) than Deja Voodoo. And considering it was co-produced by Gordie Johnson (leader of Canada’s underwhelming, overly loud Big Sugar, now defunct) that’s no small matter.