Guitarist and vocalist Warren Haynes is a busy man, juggling roles in the Allman Brothers, the Dead and Gov't Mule, which he leads and founded with late Allmans bassist Allen Woody. Like the other bands Haynes is involved with, Gov't Mule is based on a classic-rock sound: hard, blues-drenched rock with a heavy bottom, epic scope centered around Haynes's blazing guitar work. But Mule is hardly one-dimensional, incorporating slivers of reggae, jazzy improvisation and R&B, while Haynes's vocals edge increasingly soulward. Now a quartet including longtime drummer Matt Abts, keyboardist Danny Louis and new bassist Jorgen Carlsson, Mule arrives in support of its first studio disc in three years, By a Thread. Mostly recorded at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio, Thread features all hard-driving, blues-informed stuff played with sweaty intensity and designed for braying at the moon.
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