Gov't Mule's response to their circumstance, 'Revolution Come...Revolution Go' is their most moving, fine-tuned, and soulful album yet
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While uncertainty loomed over America’s Election day, Southern rock/blues gem Gov’t Mule bravely commenced their 10th studio effort ‘Revolution Come…Revolution Go.’ It included an all-star lineup not seen since 2008. Former Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes on vocals, drummer Matt Abts, bassist Jorgen Carlsson, and keyboardist/guitarist Danny Louis.
However, what followed after November 8th, 2016, would prove not only pivotal for the country, but also for the course of the album. The passing of Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks, and a shaky political climate, for example. Not to mention Greg Allman’s death occurring a couple of weeks before the release. For all these reasons, Gov’t Mule’s response to their circumstance, ‘Revolution Come…Revolution Go’ is their most moving, fine-tuned, and soulful album yet.
The LP ‘s dooming opener ‘Stone Cold Rage’ starts off with Joe Satriani-like wah wah pedal effects, before getting into the gritty, bluesy, and funky strumming verse. Haynes powerful vocals are entrenched in Abts’ bass and Carlsson’s rock-solid groove. While the keys harmonize over the chorus, Haynes warns of an impending revolution. “Something’s happening in the backroom, spilling out like water.”
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Next, ‘Drawn That Way’ gives an arena 70’s rock n’ roll introduction. Then, it transforms into a more darker tune with some uptempo strokes from the guitar. Haynes vocals and blues embellishments puncture through the spiky, robust harmonies. Towards the end, it becomes all-out jam-band session. Both guitars compete their crisp solos back and forth. It is another example of Gov’t Mule’s virtuosity and musicianship.
Bends/arpeggios fade toward the third cut. In ‘Pressure Under Fire’, Haynes despondent croons ease up over a slower, lush, but still crunchy chord changes. He pleas to the public “we got to share the love.” ‘The Man I Want To Be,’ however, begins in some sort of jazz fusion prog-rock ballad. First, it starts with an elegant cascade of delicate guitar pitter-patter and drum patterns. Then, it transitions into a soulful, ‘Yellow Ledbetter’ meets Derek Trucks love song. Due to the lack of pressure on the fretboard, there’s an air-like sound quality to it. Until, the screaming keys, guitar and drums kick it into gear at the end.
Melodic ‘Traveling Tune’ is a tribute to the late Butch Trucks, but also to the tour/fandom Waynes experienced as being part of The Allman Brothers. The touching track adds some country twang, Grateful Dead-ness, and homage to The Allman Brothers sound. The moving “Dreams & Songs’ is a more laid-back, introspective rock take. Then, ‘Sarah Surrender’ adds flair to Gov’t Mule’s LP with circa 1970’s smooth jazz. It includes a strutting bass line and jazzy phrases from all the instrumentation.
However, Gov’t Mule’s top cut ‘Thorns of Life’ starts off with a jazzy ride cymbal in an avant-garde jazz soundscape. It then eases into repetitive, trance-like guitar riff, and Haynes’ soothing vocals. Gradually, it adds layers of other instrumentation, blues solos, and a hammering chorus. Another stand-out ‘Revolution Come, Revolution Go’ elevates with a gliding bass line and call-and-response from the guitars and keys. The title track gets into a jazz fusion pre-chorus, like that of Weather Report’s ‘Sweetnighter’ and a reprise of the bluesy flavor of ‘Drawn That Way.’
The Hendrix-y ‘Burning Point’ is one of the heaviest blues based tracks. Although, ‘Easy Times’ is slow and reflective, it still holds on to a tight groove. The abrasive, and howling “Dark Was The Night, Cold Was the Ground” closes the colossal album, and the band’s musical finesse.