2006 Artist Lineup

Gov’t Mule

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Gov’t Mule formed in 1994 when new school Allman Brothers Band brethren Warren Haynes and Allen Woody decided to explore a simultaneous but alternate creative outlet. The power trio, Woody casually noted, was conspicuously absent in modern music. Perhaps it was time to bring it back. But who would round out their threesome? Having played with him in Allman guitarist Dickey Betts side-project, Haynes suggested Matt Abts as the group’s drummer. An impromptu jam session after an Allmans gig in 1994 cinched it: the three immediately clicked. The group wasted no time, hitting the road and releasing their self-titled album on Relativity Records in 1995, followed by the concert-capturing record “Live at Roseland Ballroom” on Foundation Records. For the next several years the band toured and recorded relentlessly, building a massive fanbase along the way. However in August 2000 Allen Woody passed away which changed the band in both profound and fundamental ways. Haynes and Abts discussed their options. They held the cathartic six-hour “One For Woody” concert at New York’s Roseland Ballroom, then they dove head first into the Deep End. In the process, they attracted some high-profile amazing bass players: John Entwistle (the Who), Chris Squire (Yes), Les Claypool (Primus), Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone, Prince), Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE), Rocco Prestia (Tower of Power), George Porter (the Meters), and Bootsy Collins (P-Funk). So in September 2003, when Haynes and Abts decided it was time for Gov’t Mule to move beyond the Deep End and select a permanent bass player, they just knew that bassist Andy Hess was their guy. With keyboardist Danny Louis now a permanent member of the band, the power trio has officially turned quartet. “When a band loses such a strong musical personality, the last thing you want to do is try to clone that person,” Haynes says. “We look back to when Woody and I were in the Allman Brothers. They weren’t asking us to clone Duane Allman or Barry Oakley. They hired us because we could interject our own strong personalities into that music. That’s what we’re doing here. And Andy’s really proven that. We’re opening a new chapter. We’re respecting the past and being influenced by the past, but at the same time acknowledging the future.”

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