Yet another stellar review of the new Mule disc.....

Review: "High & Mighty" by Gov't Mule (August 25, 2006)
by Brian D. Holland

High & Mighty is Gov't Mule's follow-up to 2004's Deja Voodoo, a release fans thought would be hard to beat. This prophecy was no doubt an underestimation of Warren Haynes because his creativity is still on the rise and he has been on quite a roll for some time now. For guitar aficionados of that sought after quality Gibson and Marshall sound, the tracks throughout are pure ear candy. Heavenly tones of sonic crunch and mellifluous smoothness, sometimes liquid-like, other times hard as rocks and everything in between, maintain from start to finish.

The album opens with a riff laden `Mr. High & Mighty', a track comparable to the power and excitement the band exerted in the former `Bad Little Doggie'. The guitar tone is ripping and the band rocks. `Brand New Angel' opens with funky rhythm chops. The chorus gets downright hot and nasty, and the solo and bridge sections have that Zeppelin ambience, funky and rocked up to the max. `So Weak, So Strong' begins in a mellower mode. A glassy and melodic chordal arrangement encompasses this starry-eyed ballad. Warren's wah-wah solo is brilliant. The band, as a whole, gets it going strong in `Streamline Woman'. They're definitely in a Zeppelin mode in this one as well, as `Achilles Last Stand' and `The Wanton Song' both come to mind. This is more than tolerable, as the arrangement is all Haynes. `Child Of The Earth' is a beautiful rock creation. You've got to listen to the rhythm section of longtime drummer Matt Apts and bassist Andy Hess on this one. The group effort is outstanding. Danny Louis, on guitar and keyboards, seems to be fitting in pretty good as well. The album isn't lost for diversity in song arrangement either, as `Unring The Bell' can substantiate. Haynes' fine rhythm chops and wah-wah tone move this reggae-like tune along nicely. Hess' bass chops flow perfectly in style.

Keep in mind that Gov't Mule has been the avenue for the Haynes aptitude, the machine he uses to display his immense talent and songwriting ability. As exceptional as the whole band is, it's Haynes' show. His diversity and showmanship is the best there is these days, and he's at the top of his own game. His guitar tone, whether it's slide, (listen to `Brighter Days'), lead or rhythm, is elegant and perfect. His soulful, Gospel-like voice seems to be getting even better, as it fits every track flawlessly. It takes the atmosphere deeper as sweetness vibrates from each guitar string. A perfect example of this is `Endless Parade', done in that Hendrix/SRV mode. It's comparable to Cream as well, because each member stands out uniformly. In other words, the exceptional soloist never overshadows the equally exceptional rhythm section. `3 String George' is a brilliant instrumental bonus track. The album was recorded at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studios in Austin, Texas, in early 2006, with further sessions done at Hoboken's Water Music.

Don't be surprised when, further on down the road, High & Mighty is considered on a pedestal with the likes of Led Zeppelin II and Eat A Peach in rock and roll greatness. It may take time, as it usually does, but it's quite possible. This is an excellent rock and roll record.