Album Reviews

Gov’t Mule

Revolution Come… Revolution Go

Artist:     Gov’t Mule

Album:     Revolution Come… Revolution Go

Label:     Fantasy

Release Date:     06.09.2017

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As it ebbs and flows in intensity, Revolution Come… Revolution Go exposes some of the finest rewards yet of the ten Gov’t Mule studio albums. Leader Warren Haynes long ago distinguished himself, back in his days playing guitar with country outlaw David Allan Coe and writing songs even Garth Brooks picked to record. He sure had a big hand in The Allman Brothers Band.

Haynes writes incredibly insightful and crafty words, and his melodies—especially when played as they are here with drummer Matt Abts, keyboardist Danny Louis, and bassist Jorgen Carlsson—change within a song like switchbacks to some glorious rock bastion. Modes and styles sweep past with dazzling effect over these eighty minutes, ending with a re-tooled ancient blues like no other. Ideas and ideals click, and the hooks grab tight. Every second brims with soul.

“Stone Cold Rage” kicks it off with a blue metallic clang, the neck-snapping groove blowing off hot as hell steam, which brings to light another thing about Haynes. When he writes of society and politics, he doles out his beliefs through brilliant innuendo, metaphor, and musical phrase, without personal affront. That takes a tremendous amount of talent. But he and his mates did let loose a bit more than usual here (the sessions began on Election Day). The words in the sharp “Drawn That Way” (“Cartoon savoir, you’re not really a man of God, you’re just drawn that way”) are spectacularly ambiguous—but also of course, not. “Pressure Under Fire,” a heaping, burning stack of soul, thankfully accentuates a positive outlook no matter the conditions.

Haynes sings with burnt embers in his voice, and he also plays guitar better than most. His string plucks at the outset of the contemplative “Easy Times” are as impressive as the sledgehammer squawking in “Burning Point,” the jazz-fusion-y swipes in “Thorns of Life,” or the Duane Allman-like slide in “Dreams & Songs.” On the latter, and in the complex soul of “The Man I Want to Be,” he gets personal. But in the voice of Warren Haynes and through the music of Gov’t Mule, every notion presented becomes straightaway universal, and massively triumphant.

—Tom Clarke

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