The Tel-Star Sessions by GOV’T MULE

The inspirational Southern rock jam band, formed in 1994 as a side project of The Allman Brothers Band by guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody and known as GOV’T MULE [or just ‘Mule‘ in some camps] are about to please fans and aficionados with their 2016 tour schedule and the release of a new archival album entitled The Tel-Star Sessions — the band’s very first, and never-released demos — created in June 1994 at the Tel-Star Studios outside Sarasota, Florida.

Govt Mule - newly mixed and mastered recordings from 1994 Tel-Star Sessions ...
Govt Mule – newly mixed and mastered recordings from 1994 Tel-Star Sessions …

These newly mixed and mastered recordings [originally intended to be the band’s debut album, but subsequently shelved] feature the original line-up: Warren Haynes, Allen Woody and Matt Abts

Blind Man In The Dark” is a slice of hocus.

Slim lines of psychedelic groove al la Jimi Hendrix with darker mustier vocals than the Experience might offer. But this has those golden rinds of squelchy guitar a-plenty and those loose jazzy rhythms and gurgling attitude we might expect.

The bass thumps and runs here: Hayes says, “Allen Woody had plenty of ideas in that department — starting with simultaneously bringing back the ‘rock bass’ sound. Along with our discussions about the ‘power trio’ being missing from the current musical landscape were the discussions of how the sound of the bass guitar had gotten progressively ‘cleaner’ since the ’80s (or late ’70s), and how that affected the overall feeling of the music. So, when we went in to the studio to do our first recording sessions, part of our mission was to capture an old familiar sound as well.”

The ZZ Top cover “Just Got Paid” has already been released as an incentive track. This has gritty swarf and muscular attitude. The vocals are stubborn and the guitars fizz and squirm. The bass is like a dry jerk rub… peppery, spicy and fruity it buzzes as it marinates the skewers of fiery guitar and adds flavour to the soupy patterns.


Words: Neil Mach 2016 ©


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