Personnel: Warren Haynes (vocals, guitar); Danny Louis (guitar, keyboards, background vocals); Matt Abts (drums, percussion).
Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY; Carriage House Studios, Stamford, CT; Command Studios, Valencia, CA; Engine Room Audio, New York, NY; Haunted Hollow Studios, Charlottesville, VA; Music Shed Studios, New Orleans, LA; Reggae Center, Kingston, Jamaica; Rogers Boat Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Studio Guillaume Tell, Paris, France; The Magic Shop, New York, NY; Wincraft Studios, The Cotswalds, England.
Gov't Mule's Shout!, their first album of new studio material in four years, marks the band's debut for Blue Note. Warren Haynes composed five of these 11 tracks; his bandmates collaborated with him on the rest. Permanent bassist Jorgen Carlsson and keyboardist Danny Louis fit seamlessly with Haynes and drummer Matt Abts, adding new grooves and sonic textures. The production ante has been upped considerably, without sacrificing GM's forceful attack. Haynes produced much of the record; his bandmates and Gordie Johnson assisted elsewhere. Shout! goes deep and wide. "No Reward" is funky blues-rock with a nasty clavinet and B-3 under greasy guitar riffs and a monstrous bassline. "Whisper in Your Soul" commences slow and moody, with syrupy, elastic keyboard lines, psychedelic guitars, and martial tom-toms that erupt into a joyous, gritty R&B refrain, then reverse again. The nine-minute "Captured" will likely please old-school GM fans most with Haynes' extended soloing; its vamp borrows heavily from Neil Young's "Down by the River." Carlsson's whomping bassline introduces the deep, nasty groove on "Stoop So Low." With a souled-out female gospel chorus behind Haynes, it's an album highlight. The slippery slide guitar and clavinet blues-funk in "Done Got Wise" reveal a new R&B dimension in GM's music. "Funny Little Tragedy" emulates -- and updates -- Elvis Costello & the Attractions' sound circa This Year's Model. The 11-minute closer, "Bring on the Music," is a subtle yet sprawling blues that builds gradually, and offers some of Haynes' most melodic playing. The bonus disc features the same tracks in different order, with the band fronted by a host of all-star guests including Dr. John, Toots Hibbert, Jim James, Grace Potter, Dave Matthews, Ty Taylor, Steve Winwood, Myles Kennedy, Ben Harper, and Costello. ~ Thom Jurek