Gov't Mule

Friday

ACL Music Fest Live Shots
Photo By Gary Miller

Gov't Mule

Zilker Park, Sept. 23

The death of founding bassist Allen Woody in 2000 decelerated the now 10-year momentum of this Allman Brothers-esque outfit. Here, a family death kept keyboardist Danny Louis from joining drummer Matt Abts, strummer/singer Warren Haynes, and bassist Andy Hess. Luckily, James Hetfield's favorite band enlisted John Medeski to pinch hit on keyboards. Fundamentally a live act, GM is built upon the serious chops of Allmans guitarist Haynes, the alien love child of Jerry Garcia and Duane Allman. That said, it wasn't until halfway through the band's seven-song set that this bird took flight, Haynes intertwining with Medeski, who offered up one of his trademark, all-arm keyboard solos. The Mule peppered originals with festival fare, like Van Morrison's "I've Been Working" and snippets of Santana and "Smoke on the Water." For a band that's experienced so much loss, Haynes' original from the Allmans' Where It All Begins, "Soulshine," hit like sweet tea on a scorching day in the closing slot: "Let your soul shine, it's better than sunshine."

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