Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gov't Mule is a southern rock jam band formed in 1994 as an Allman Brothers Band side project, but has taken on a life of its own. Like many jam bands, Gov't Mule does not get a lot of radio airplay but is popular because of its constant touring. Many popular rock musicians claim Gov't Mule as their favorite band including James Hetfield of Metallica.
When the Allman Brothers Band reformed in 1989 in response to the popularity of the Dreams box set, Warren Haynes was added on lead guitar and Allen Woody was added on bass. The two shared a love for 60s power trios, like Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, and James Gang. With no bands making similar music in the 90s, Haynes, Woody, and former Dickey Betts drummer Matt Abts came together as Gov't Mule during Allman Brothers' breaks. They released their debut CD Gov't Mule in 1995. It was followed by Live At Rosland Ballroom.
When it became apparent that the Allman Brothers weren't planning on recording any new material, Haynes and Woody left to concentrate full-time on Gov't Mule in 1997. Their second studio CD followed shortly after. They were joined by members of the Allman Brothers, the Black Crowes, and Parliament for their 1997 New Year's Eve concert. This was released in both a two and four CD version as Live ... With A Little Help From Our Friends. It included Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, and Dave Mason covers.
In 2000, the band released Life Before Insanity to critical praise. Many thought that this would be Gov't Mule's breakthrough CD. However, Woody was found dead in New York city in August. Haynes and Abts considered breaking up the band but did stage a concert called "One for Woody" to raise money for his daughter's education. The Allman Brothers, the Black Crowes, members of the Grateful Dead, and other friends of Woody also performed at the concert.
The next year, Haynes and Abts began to record a tribute CD using Woody's favorite bass players. These sessions resulted in two CDs The Deep End, Volume 1 (2001) and The Deep End, Volume 2 (2002). A documentary of the recording sessions was also made by Phish bassist Mike Gordon called Rising Low. Bass contributions to the CDs came from Jack Bruce of Cream, John Entwisle of The Who, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Chris Squire of Yes among others.
When it came to touring in support of the Deep End CDs, Haynes and Abts used a revolving door of keyboardists and bassists. Keyboardists included Chuck Leavell from the Allman Brothers and the Rolling Stones, Rob Baccaro, and Danny Louis. Bassists included Dave Schools of Widespread Panic, Oteil Burbridge of the Allman Brothers, and Andy Hess of the Black Crowes. Louis and Hess were eventually added as permanent members of Gov't Mule.
The first CD with Louis and Hess Deja Voodoo was released in September 2004.
- Govt Mule, 1995
- Live From Rosland Ballroom , 1996
- Dose, 1998
- Live ... With A Little Help From Our Friends, 1998
- Life Before Insanity, 2000
- The Deep End, Volume 1, 2001
- The Deep End, Volume 2, 2002
- The Deepest End, Live In Concert, 2003
- Deja Voodoo, 2004
- Matt Abts - drums, percussion (1994-present)
- Warren Haynes - guitar, vocals (1994-present)
- Andy Hess - bass (2003-present)
- Danny Louis - keyboards, vocals (2002-present)
- Allen Woody - bass, vocals (1994-2000)
Contributors to the Group
- Michael Barbiero - producer
- Mike Gordon - bass player, film maker
- Stefani Scamardo - manager
- Dave Schools - bass player
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