Gov't Mule - Live... With a Little Help From Our Friends

Wow, it’s been a while since I last listened to this one. Not because I don’t love it, but it’s a real commitment of both time and attention. Clocking in at about 4 hours, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Recorded New Year’s Eve 1998, it’s just what the title says it is, Gov’t Mule captured live with a load of special guests. It’s a nice mix of their own songs along with some epic covers of songs by Free, Little Feat, Black Sabbath, Robert Johnson, Neil Young, and more. I think only Gov’t Mule could end such a show with a thirty minute version of Afro-Blue.

I enjoyed listening to this again because it reminded me of just how much I love this band, particularly in a live setting. I’ve got a ton of their live shows that they allow to be openly taped and traded but I admittedly haven’t listened to them in a while.

This is available in two versions. Completists will want the Limited Edition four CD Deluxe set if you can find it. The rest of you will probably be satisfied with the 2 1/2 hour 2 CD set that is readily available and also streaming on Spotify.

Gov’t Mule is one of my favorite bands and this is a pretty good representation of what you might expect from them, particularly at one of their sprawling NYE shows. It captures them, warts and all, and that’s a real good thing.

Scott Blitstein @scoblitz