Top 10 Gov’t Mule Songs

Gov't Mule Songs

Photo: Carl Lender / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Our Top 10 Gov’t Mule songs list takes a look at the catalog of this great band formed by the brilliant guitarist, singer and songwriter Warren Haynes. In the late 1980s, Dickey Betts released a solo album entitled Pattern Disruptive. It was one of the best, if not best records Dickey Betts had ever released outside of the Allman Brothers Band. The secret weapon on that record turned out to be a very talented songwriter and guitar player named Warren Haynes. When the Allman Brothers Band reformed in 1990, the Allman Brothers Band asked that secret weapon to join the group. There is no doubt that the talents of Warren Haynes played a major role in the revival of the Allman Brothers Band and the bands continued success in the 1990s up until the mid 2010s when the band played their final shows.

Warren Haynes talents and drive were far too powerful to just work as a sideman, even if it was in the legendary Allman Brothers Band. In 1994, Warren Haynes and bassist Allan Woody formed their own band called Gov’t Mule to fill in the space between Allman Brothers Band projects. However, it was more than just filling space, the group served as a spectacular outlet for Warren Haynes to record his songs and take the lead vocal mic. The band would quickly formulate their own cult following aided nicely by all The Allman Brothers Band fans who were keenly aware of Warren Haynes skills. The group’s first album was released in 1995 entitled simply Gov’t Mule. The band would feature Warren Haynes on guitars, Allan Woody on bass and Matt Abts on drums.

Gov’t Mule followed up their debut album with a live record in 1996 entitled Live at Roseland Ballroom. The following year in 1997, Warren Haynes and Alan Woody left The Allman Brothers Band to concentrate fully on their band Gov’t Mule. The group would release the albums Dose in 1998, Live… With a Little Help from Our Friends in 1999, and Life Before Insanity in 2000. Tragedy struck the band shortly after the release of Life Before Insanity when Allan Woody died of a heroin overdose.

Warren Haynes would rejoin the Allman Brothers Band in 2001 after the departure of Dickey Betts from the band. From 2001 to 2003, three Gov’t Mule Deep End albums were released entitled The Deep End, Volume 1, The Deep End, Volume 2 and The Deepest End, Live in Concert. In 2006, Gov’t Mule released the album entitled Déjà Voodoo which would include Warren Haynes on vocals and guitar, Matt Abts on drums, Danny Louis on keyboards and Andy Hess on bass. An EP entitled Mo’ Voodoowas released the following year. It would eventually be packaged with Déjà Voodoo. In 2006 the band released the album High & Mighty, that was followed by the reggae album Mighty High in 2007.

Gov’t Mule has also enjoyed playing shows at times that covered legendary albums by bands such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. In 2008, Gov’t Mule released the live album Holy Haunted House that featured the band covering Led Zeppelin’s Houses Of The Holy album. In 2009 , the band had a lineup change as Jorgen Carlsson replaced Andy Hess on bass. The new lineup would release the absolutely stunning album By A Thread. In 2010, Gov’t Mule released the live album MulenniumThe band’s next studio album and tenth overall was released in 2013 entitled Shout!  In 2014, Gov’t Mule released a live album that showcased their versions of famous Pink Floyd songs entitled Dark Side Of The Mule. The album was released in multiple configurations as the band’s cult following eagerly ate up anything the band released, simply because everything the band released was almost ten times better than any other rock and roll out there at the time. Especially in 2014.

Gov’t Mule would become one of the most prolific band of the 21st century. In similar fashion to many 1960s bands that released multiple albums a year sometimes even three a year like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and so many others, Gov’t Mule released three new albums in 2015 entitled, Sco-Mule (feat. John Scofield), Dub Side of the Mule, and Stoned Side of the Mule Vol. 1 & 2. Continuing with their prolific release schedule, Gov’t Mule released the The Tel-Star Sessions CD in 2016. The band released one of their strongest studio albums to date in 2017 with the fantastic album Revolution Come…Revolution Go. The album reached the top 10 on the Billboard Rock album charts in 2017.  Gov’t Mule’s most recent release as of this writing in 2020 was the great live record Bring On The Music:Live From The Capitol Theatre. The album was released in 2019.

Our Top 10 Gov’t Mule songs list takes a fun look at their catalog choosing a mixture of popular choices and deep album tracks. We tried to cover as much ground as we could while limiting ourselves to choosing only ten songs. We hope this Top 10 Gov’t Mules songs list serves as an inspiration to check out all the bands great albums.

# 10 – Mule

There is no better Gov’t Mule song to open this list up with than with the great track “Mule.” The track was released on the band’s first album entitled Gov’t Mule.

# 9 – I’m A Ram

While there were many fans that were like WTF? when Gov’t Mule released a reggae and dub album, the fact of the matter was this record was killer. Just take a listen to the record’s smoking track “I’m A Ram.” The album featured many guests including Willi Williams,  Michael Franti and Toots Hibbert. The album also featured Pamela Fleming on trumpet.

# 8 – When The World Gets Small (with Steven  Winwood)

On this great track Gov’t Mule meets Traffic, or at least Steve Winwood. Nonetheless, this one is obviously a tribute to the great band Traffic and there is no better musician to have on a Traffic tribute than the great Steve Winwood. This killer slow grooving tune closed out their fabulous 2013 album Shout? Listen to Warren’s soulful sweet tasting solo at 3.25 while Steve Winwood’s organ hovers underneath.

# 7 – Hottentot- (with John Scofield)

What a pairing this was. One of the all time legendary jazz fusion guitarists and the great Gov’t Mule. We are big John Scofield fans here at classicrockhistory.com. The pairing of these two major talents worked perfectly. Every track on this record is to die for. From the album Sco-Mule (feat. John Scofield).

# 6 – Endless Parade

One of our favorite Gov’t Mule albums was the incredible record High & MightyThe amazing piece of music “Endless Parade,” was the closing track on the album. Warren Haynes performance on this one is almost indescribable. While the band can tear it up with the best of them on their barn burners, it these slow numbers that cut right through to your heart.

# 5 – Bad Little Doggie

“Bad Little Doggie,” is a real popular Gov’t Mule song taken from the album Life Before Insanity. The song was written by Warren Haynes, Allen Woody and Matt Abts. Listen to that opening guitar riff. It just screams classic rock.

# 4 – Thorazine Shuffle

While this list at times digs a little deeper, we cant ignore some of the classics. Everyone loves the  grooving “Thorazine Shuffle.” With a bass line that kills, a soulful drum groove and Hayes bluesy lighting guitar strikes, the song stands as on of the band’s most captivating listens. From the great album Dose .

# 3 – Broke Down on the Brazos

With Billy Gibbon of ZZ Top on board this track, there just no losing. Listen to Warren Haynes and Billy Gibbons duke it out on this smoking cut. From the album By A Thread.

# 2 – Stone Cold Rage

“Stone Cold Rage,” is the opening track From the album Revolution Come…Revolution Go. The band tears it up on this rocking Gov’t Mule song. And speaking of Rocking, we wish we had room to fit “Rocking Horse,” which is a great Gov’t Mule song that we left of this list along with Soulshine because they were both also released on Allman Brothers Band albums.

# 1 – Banks of the Deep End

We close out or top 10 Gov’t Mule songs list with the great song “Banks Of The Deep End.” The song was released on the album The Deep End, Volume 1. This great tune sounds like it could have been recorded in 1969. It simply defines the heart, spirit and soul of the voice and pen of Warren Haynes so deeply.

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