Gov’t Mule could have given a bow and said goodnight in August 2000 when founding member Allen Woody died. But instead, the band has flourished with the help of friends who stepped in early to add the bottom end to the Mule while it saddled up again with a permanent lineup. Since Woody’s passing, the group has grown from bars to amphitheaters, establishing itself as one of the preeminent rock and roll acts playing today.
But even with the continued success, some fans – this writer included – will always view those years with Woody as the pinnacle of Gov’t Mule. And for those fans (and surely for those unfamiliar with the Woody sound), Mulennium captures the trio at its finest, rearing its head on New Year’s Eve 1999 at the Roxy in Atlanta, Georgia.
Widely circulated among fans, this show is now remixed and remastered, and it sounds better than ever. Over three discs, the Mule delivers blistering originals (“Blind Man in the Dark,” “Towering Fool”), soaring cover songs (“21st Century Schizoid Man,” “We’re Not Going to Take It,” “Sometimes Salvation”), and a coveted selection of blues numbers with the legendary Little Milton at center stage (“When the Blues Comes Knockin’,” “I Can’t Quit You Babe,” “Blues is Alright”). This show is all things Mule; from its rock and blues influences to its own classics, Warren Haynes, Matt Abts and Allen Woody prove their power.
Mulennium is the first live Gov’t Mule recording featuring the original lineup released since Allen Woody’s death, and the night in question – December 31, 1999 – is a fitting one. Had the Y2K that many feared taken hold, ending the world as we knew it, this set of music would have been a fine, fine way to go out with a bang.
Mulennium is out now on Evil Teen Records.