Music » Critics' Picks

Gov't Mule

8 p.m. Saturday, February 6. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard.

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Gov't Mule was the first jam band, and maybe it should have been the last one. What started out as an Allman Brothers spinoff has become a potent and durable boogie-rock institution — one undergirded by Warren Haynes' instantly identifiable sustained guitar and dirty-white-boy-with-the-blues vocal exertions. As a songwriter, Haynes has rarely shown the classic touch of his friends in the Dead or the Allmans or of his blues and Southern rock idols. However, backed by original (and vastly underrated) drummer Matt Abts, demonic organ player Danny Louis and relative newcomer Jorgen Carlsson on bass, Gov't Mule defines what's best about the jam style: It's instrumentally adventurous but never proggy and compulsively groovy but never mindless. After fifteen years together, the Mule is still heavy and still soaked to the bone in blues.

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