Classic Mule Tracks: The Roxy - Atlanta, Georgia 2/27/98 Gov't Mule
Review by Mike D'Ariano
/ 10/2005

Track listing
1. Blind Man 2. Thorazine Shuffle 3. Thelonius Beck 4. Game Face 5. Towering Fool
6. Birth Of The Mule 7. John The Revelator 8. She Said She Said/Tomorrow Never Knows jam
9. Larger Than Life 10. Raven Black Night 11. I Shall Return 12. Almost Cut My Hair
13. Afro Blue 14. She's Nineteen Years Old 15. Goin' Out West 16. She Caught The Katy
17. I Shall Be Released 18. Gonna Send You Back To Georgia

Okay, after roughly nine months of operation, Gov't Mule's Mule Tracks website has finally come to term. After nine months of offering just about every show the band played during that time period for download just a few days after the shows, the site has evolved and now offers "Classic" Mule tracks.

Classic Mule Tracks as you might have guessed are older shows released from the Mule vaults for the first time. According to the site, whenever Mule is not on tour that's now by the way they will release a new classic live show once a week. The first installment of the series really shines both in the actual performance, and in putting the spotlight on just how good the pool for choosing the archival releases can be.

The show was recorded in Atlanta just three days after the release of the Mule's second studio album, Dose. For the first set, Woody, Warren and Matt, played the then new album from start to finish; something I saw the band mimic several years later when they played Deja Voodoo from start to finish at Roseland in NYC the day before it came out. To this day, Dose is probably still my favorite Gov't Mule album, so I was very happy to get a hold of this unique live version of it. It's very strong, and would make this a worthwhile download by itself.

Then the second set, which I was just looking at as icing when I decided to buy the show, comes on and the band just lets it all out. For the record, at the beginning of Set #1, Warren does announce that if anyone leaves before the second set, they'll be sorry.

Set #2 consists of five songs, the shortest of which is over 7 minutes long, and then is followed by a two-song encore featuring an 18-minute rendition of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" and a 15-minute version of Hound Dog Taylor's "Gonna Send You Back To Georgia." Whoa . . .

Oh, there's a few guest stars in the second set too. Let's see there's Chuck Leavell (Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones), Dave Schools and Jo-Jo Hermann (Widespread Panic), Derek Trucks (Allman Brothers Band, The Derek Trucks Band) and Jimmy Herring (Allman Brothers Band, Jazz Is Dead, The Dead). Again, whoa . . .

The show is fantastic, and I can't wait to see what comes out of the vault next.

Especially good tracks: "Towering Fool," "She Said She Said/Tomorrow Never Knows Jam," "She Caught the Katy," "I Shall Return."