freedom78 | Indiana | 02/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On this, their self-titled debut, Gov't Mule prove without a doubt that they're far from a simple "side-project." With more emotion, more blues, and more soul in one guitar lick or one vocal line than the sum of most popular music from the last ten years, Gov't Mule demands to be heard by anyone and everyone who demands more from music and musicians. Cheap, ripped off and repeating riffs don't exist here. Snotty, "I'm too cool to care" vocals cannot be found. What can be found, however, is a band that simply sweats and bleeds emotion into its music.
From the first soulful moments of the a capella "Grinnin' in Your Face," which bleeds right into the gut-wrenching guitar playing of Warren Haynes on "Mother Earth," it's very evident that this is not the same old thing. This album (and all of Mule's work, really) is filled to the brim with great instrumental work, amazingly soulful and powerful vocals, and incredibly potent songwriting. I simply cannot say anything bad about this album."
Where It All Began - Govt Mule
Richard Thompson | El Paso, Texas | 05/06/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gov't Mule - Gov't Mule (1995) 12 Tracks **** (69:55)
Warren Haynes (guitar) and Allen Woody (bass) were both members of the reincarnated Allman Brothers Band that toured in the early 90's. Haynes and Woody got together with Matt Abts (drums) and created Gov't Mule as a side project when not touring with the Allman Bros. Band. They released their debut album Gov't Mule in 1995. Out of a dozen studio and Live albums put out by the Mule, this debut remains the most popular by Amazon reviewers. I don't think it's some kind of masterpiece, but there certainly are no weak songs on here. My favorite is the slow, bluesy second track Mother Earth. It's also a good long song (which I like) at over 8 minutes.
There is a good bit of variety on here and some notable guest appearances by the likes of John Popper and Hook Herrera. John Popper (Blues Traveler) provides his unmistakable harmonica playing to Mule, and Hook Herrera plays harmonica on Left Coast Groovies. You've got a couple of instrumentals and an acoustic song too. In fact, this album starts off with an "acappella" track called "Grinnin' in Your Face" which eventually segues into Mother Earth. On Monkey Hill, Warren tries out some "vocal effects" that I don't particularly like, but his guitar playing far and away makes up for that little short-coming.
On track six, Trane, which is an instrumental, you can really hear pieces of that Allman Bros/Duane Allman sound coming thru with a distinct and beautiful tone and fingering style. The last track is also another slower, bluesy, almost atmospheric song.
Obviously Warren Haynes and Co. were on a slightly tight budget on this debut, as the cd booklet is a simple opening bi-fold with some photos and liner notes, but no lyrics.
Over-all this is very good debut album. Although there are not a lot of really outstanding tracks, just about every one earned 4 to 4 ½ stars on my personal rating system. Recommended.
First Mule release and it is excellent!
M. Costa | earth | 07/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recording quality may not be as good as later releases such as Deja Voodoo but this disc is raw and rocks hard. It may be my favorite. Get it without question."