Gov't Mule - 'Shout!'

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Gov't Mule - 'Shout!'

Most impressive.

Formed as a side project from the Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule have had a string of successful and popular albums to their name. 'Shout!' is their tenth studio record – and also their most unique.

An idea came to them during the recording about having guest vocalists make a cameo appearance, singing a small portion of a certain song. This idea then evolved into having a guest sing the whole song, until eventually the band settled on a groundbreaking idea – release a bonus disk featuring the entire album again, with each track featuring a guest singer.

'Shout!' is a great example of The Mule's work, with singer/guitarist Warren Haynes on great form. 'World Boss' is a blues rock powerhouse, the reggae of 'Scared To Live' proves very effective, as does the funky 'Stoop So Low'. There's more than enough here for existing fans of The Mule to be very happy indeed. Disk two is what will bring in people not yet converted to the cause.

The guest list for the bonus version of the album features a huge array of talent. Legends in the form of Glenn Hughes and Steve Winwood give typically great performances, while Elvis Costello owns the upbeat 'Funny Little Tragedy'. Myles Kennedy once again proves his versatility on 'Done Got Wise' and Dr John puts his own take on 'Stoop So Low'.

The band were keen to add newer names to the list of guests which prove just as successful. Grace Potter from The Nocturnals gives a great rendition of 'Whisper In Your Soul' while former 'Rock Star: INXS' hopeful Ty Taylor handles 'Bring On The Music'. Disk two features a different running order and some different arrangements – for example My Morning Jacket's Jim James delivers a superb version of 'Captured' which is four minutes shorter than the nine minute original version on disk one.

'Shout!' is a strong album anyway, with the bonus disk offering a totally different experience. Both disks are equally enjoyable on their own merit – packaged together they make a compelling case for immediate purchase. Most impressive!

James Gaden

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