Life Before Insanity

Life Before Insanity

5.0 1
by Gov't Mule
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In order to stretch out, most bands have to lie down -- but not this brawny power trio. While Gov't Mule is normally filed (not altogether unfairly) with the new generation of so-called jam bands, there's nothing terribly laid-back or spacey about the sinewy, blues-rooted rock that's their bread and butter. Guitarist Warren Haynes can bring it hot and nasty (as on…  See more details below

Overview

In order to stretch out, most bands have to lie down -- but not this brawny power trio. While Gov't Mule is normally filed (not altogether unfairly) with the new generation of so-called jam bands, there's nothing terribly laid-back or spacey about the sinewy, blues-rooted rock that's their bread and butter. Guitarist Warren Haynes can bring it hot and nasty (as on the leering "Bad Little Doggie") or searingly spiritual (an extended cover of Robert Johnson's "If I Had Possession over Judgment Day"), giving his bandmates ample room to strut their rhythmic stuff. This time around, the core trio is joined by a choice crew of guests, including keyboardist Johnny Neel and rock shaman Ben Harper, who pitches in with vocals and second guitar on "Lay Your Burden Down." Those additions, however, are but the gravy on this stick-to-your-ribs sonic platter -- a feast that'd do any roadhouse proud.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael B. Smith
This could very easily be the album that puts Gov't Mule over the top. They've been over the top for several years now in the eyes of their legions of fans, but commercial success has not yet been a part of their vocabulary. Sure, both guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody have enjoyed major success during their eight-year tenure as members of the South's most enduring group, the Allman Brothers Band, but those days are now behind them, and the power-trio, which also features the apt Matt Abts on drums, has headed into the trenches loaded down with full artillery. Hot on the heels of last summer's collector's edition re-release of Live with a Little Help from Our Friends -- which chronicled the band's unprecedented New Year's Eve 1998 performance in Atlanta, GA in a two-disc set released in March 1999, only to be reissued in its full-length, uncut four-disc glory later that year -- the Mule recorded what by all accounts seems to be their most creative and intelligent studio album to date. Produced by Michael Barbiero (Blues Traveler, Guns n' Roses), Life Before Insanity includes several songs that fans have been hearing in concert for well over a year, including the haunting title track and "Wandering Child," a powerful tune that has opened many Gov't Mule shows with its distinctive bassline, oddball time signature, and powerful dynamics. "No Need to Suffer" is another Warren Haynes-penned gem. It's been a regular on the Mule set list for a while, as has "Lay Your Burden Down," which sounds quite a bit different here than it did live. Both versions are great, but on the CD, Haynes shares vocals with the plenary Ben Harper, making this one a real treat. Other special guests on the album are former Allman Brothers bandmate Johnny Neel, who plays the keyboards with bucket loads of soul and finesse, and Hook Herrera, a master of the harmonica. Both "Tastes Like Wine" and "In My Life" (a Haynes original, not the Lennon-McCartney song) are highly effective ballads, and "Fallen Down" blends influences from early Traffic with Mule originality to create a song that is destined for radio, filled with magnetic hook lines, such as "Amazing grace is such a lonely place to heroes like you and me." Already receiving airplay, the first single from the album is "Bad Little Doggie," a rocker heavily reminiscent of early ZZ Top. All 11 of the tracks are good. Actually, there are 12 if you include the "hidden" track "If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day," a blues rocker on which Haynes sings through some sort of megaphone sounding device.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
02/15/2000
Label:
Volcano
UPC:
0614223648927
catalogNumber:
36489

Related Subjects

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gov't Mule   Primary Artist
Warren Haynes   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Slide Guitar
Matt Abts   Drums,Djembe,Ashiko Drum
Michael Barbiero   Glockenspiel
Ben Harper   Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar
Allen Woody   Bass,Mandolin,Rhythm Guitar,Fretless Bass Guitar,Electric Upright Bass,Dulcitone
Johnny Neel   Organ,Background Vocals,Wurlitzer
Hook Herrera   Harmonica

Technical Credits

Ray Martin   Engineer
Michael Barbiero   Producer,Engineer
Charles Hart   Engineer
Rich Borge   Illustrations
Kent Bruce   Engineer
Christer Manning   Art Direction
Brodie Hutcheson   Engineer
Dan Jurow   Engineer
Brandon Mason   Engineer
Matt Kane   Engineer

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Life Before Insanity 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago