JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

November 10, 2013
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Kat Sugg
Photos by Michael Insuaste

Gov't Mule - Gov't Mule, Vintage Trouble

Hard Working Mule Brings Vintage Trouble To The Dallas HOB

There are two times to see a touring act that will guarantee a stellar performance - the first and last shows of a tour. Regardless of the venue, the energy that is attached to these two dates will only gain momentum as the evening progresses. Gov't Mule ended their fall run at House of Blues in Dallas on Sunday, November 10th with two sets of high energy performances that captivated the local audience. The fall run to support the latest Mule release, Shout began on September 5th at the Lockn' Festival in Arrington, Virginia and criss-crossed the Mississippi for three months, picking up supporting act, Vintage Trouble in Salt Lake City on November 4th to bring the band eastward and home.

Vintage Trouble opened the evening with their unique fusion of sound that encompasses big band rhythm and blues served with a side of rockin' gospel. The quartet features Ty Taylor on vocals, Nalle Colt on guitar, Richard Danielson keeping the beat as he follows the bass player, Rick Barrio Dill. Though Vintage Trouble is relatively new to the scene, having been formed in 2010, they are rising stars in the music industry which is begging for something fresh, something real. The band, packaged in their vintage clothing, made themselves available to a growing fan base, signing autographs and taking pictures with anyone who asked. What makes Vintage Trouble so appealing is the compassion factor evident in songs like "Nobody Told Me" and "Not Alright By Me" countered  with the hard rocking "Run Like The River" and "Pelvis Pusher" that bring a unique aural experience to the listener. Warren Haynes joined the band for a number as Vintage Trouble closed out their set. If you haven't discovered Vintage Trouble yet, there is a large collection of videos available on YouTube for your research.

Warren Haynes. What can I say? Warren is like a brilliant cut diamond; he shines from every possible angle. He may very well be the busiest man in the music industry. Between his solo career, Gov't Mule and all his associated acts, he is always on the go, yet that never stops him from delivering a stellar performance. Backed by drummer and co-founder Matt Abts, the music is complemented by the multitasking keyboardist, Danny Louis who pulls double duty as the horn section and the occasional second guitar. Bassist Jorgen Carlsson has filled the slot left open with the passing of original trio member, Allen Woody.

Appearing for the second time in the evening, Haynes took the stage dressed in black and armed with a Gibson Firebird. The set list for the evening began with "Bad Little Doggie,". Four tracks from Shout wereinterspersed with Mule standards like "Soulshine," "Broke Down On The Brazos," and "Mule." Shout is the first album for the band in four years. "No Reward" and "Funny Little Tragedy" feature the newest additions to the guitar arsenal, two baritone Paul Reed Smith guitars. The baritones, aptly named Berry One and Berry Two, were acquired and used for the recording of Shout. Haynes is primarily a Gibson man, so the appearance the two Berrys, naturally roused my curiosity. In talking with guitar tech, Brian Farmer, I learned the different tunings for the guitars and the general statistics on the 27" neck which produces a deeper, richly, mellow tone.

During the course of my conversation with Farmer, I discovered the set was decorated with all kinds of action figures and little notes like "Who's your Farmer" strategically placed everywhere. When asked what the decorations were all about, Farmer explained that the band spent so much of their time on the road, his one goal was to "fuck with his boss" wherever and whenever possible. Sure enough, Chuck Norris stood watching Warren from the top of his amp head while the drummer was kept in check with the pack of plastic rats watching his every move.

As the evening wound down and drew to a close, the band was ecstatic at the thought of going home. Fall tour ended with the last of the ringing sustain of Matt's cymbal. I can still feel the vibration on the drums as the echo bounced off the riser. A rigorous three month stretch on the road came to an end. The show culminated in a three song encore, Mule favorite "John The Revelator," "Ventilator Blues," and was catapulted into the climax of "Whole Lotta Love."

The 25th annual Christmas Jam will be held in Asheville, North Carolina on December 13th and 14th.