In the past, Gov’t Mule has been known for featuring some of the best musicians in the industry on their albums, and Shout provides just that. This star-studded list of musicians includes the likes of Ben Harper, Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Dave Matthews, Grace Potter, Jim James, Steve Winwood, and several others. This gives the listeners a reason to hold on to the edge of their seats with anticipation.
The album opens with the track “World Boss.” Its classic jams and wild guitar licks make the audience hungry for more. “Captured” slows the album down with a serene melodic grace. The lyrics talk about the need to forget life’s troubles and to do the best to move on from them. Gov’t Mule picks up the mood once more with “Stoop So Low.” The track appeals to all walks of life with its relatable lyrical content; yet at the same time, the incredible energy of the tune will have you dancing in the street.
The last track from this first set of songs, “Bring On the Music,” is a slow rocking fixation that incorporates whispering guitar melodies, and lyrics that preach the ideology of music bringing all people together.
The second side of the album actually contains the same songs as the first, but each song adds a featured artist and a new instrumental arrangement. This half of the album presents the incredible versatility of Gov’t Mule by taking them out of their southern rock element and placing them in unfamiliar territory. For example, British legend Elvis Costello spices up the jam “Funny Little Tragedy ” and sounds as youthful as he ever has. He puts a new wave spin on the original track, delightfully showcasing the range of Gov’t Mule. It is amazing that they can shift gears with such expertise.
But among all of the featured artists, New Orleans legend Dr. John is the undeniable winning guest. He completely dominates the album with his one appearance on the song “Stoop So Low.” His musical edge is sharp, with the rasp of a god and the funk of a phenomenon. While his voice may have imperfections, they are exactly the reason his singing is so powerful: his shifting tones create a soulful freedom to his words. The guitar solos in “Stoop So Low” would make any music lover melt. Operating in a blues-funk style, the rifts are tight, yet liquid. Gov’t Mule play this song as a southern classic, but Dr. John brings his New Orleans background to it with a howling cry from his inner spirit.
Gov’t Mule continually astonishes its audiences with excellence in the genre of southern rock. They always are consistent, while at the same time, never afraid to try something new. Shout is a testament to that fact. The incorporation of featured artists on their second set of songs not only brings great innovation to the record, but also allows for the band’s range of musicianship to be showcased in a fluid manner. If you are looking for a new southern rock experience to inspire for some time to come, Gov’t Mule will surely suit your fancy.
To be part of the essence which Gov’t Mule embodies, check out their albums on iTunes and watch their live performances on Youtube.
Article by Autumn Leigh