Center for the Arts and Funtime Presents to feature Gov't Mule

Special Guest Grace Potter and the Nocturnals also will perform

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: September 14, 2007 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts at the University at Buffalo and Funtime Presents will present Gov't Mule at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10 in the Mainstage theater in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. The opening act will be Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Big riffs, massive grooves, and expansive improvisations are the hallmarks of Gov't Mule's legendary live shows. Likewise, their well-crafted songs feature larger-than-life characters bearing life's heaviest burdens, performed by four musicians -- guitarist/vocalist Warren Haynes, drummer Matt Abts, keyboard player Danny Louis, and bassist Andy Hess -- whose powerful musicianship and chemistry along with their tireless work ethic have earned them the respect of their peers.

Gov't Mule is a democracy of four, in which each member inspires the others to greater heights of creativity and pushing the music into as many directions as possible. That interplay is what Gov't Mule's legion of devoted fans crave. Haynes says that Gov't Mule is "blessed with an amazing fan base. They not only allow us to experiment onstage, they encourage it, to the extent that we can feel that encouragement coming from the crowd. I trust the band implicitly, and I trust our audience, because they want to be a part of the experience. They didn't come to hear the records, they didn't come to hear the same show we played last night, they came to be part of a moment in time, and that's what we are there for. It's an experience that we all share together. A high percentage of our audience is deeply in tune with our music, and that is the most you can ask for."

That unique relationship is something Gov't Mule has cultivated since its formation in 1994 as a power trio offshoot of the Allman Brothers Band.

Their self-titled debut was released in 1995; in 1997 Haynes and bassist Allen Woody followed their collective muse and Gov't Mule became a full-time band. After Woody's death in 2000, Haynes and Abts performed and recorded with over 30 bass players for the celebrated "Deep End" projects. Longtime acquaintance Danny Louis joined the band on keyboards in 2002, and the following year Andy Hess became the band's permanent bass player.

"Moment by moment, this current band is the most exciting ensemble that I've ever worked with," says Haynes. "There are constant surprises, and the interplay is borderline telepathic. It's just one of those unspoken things that happens when you get these four musicians together. Something can be really good, or it can be beyond that, and what we've discovered and kindled goes way, way beyond."

In early 2003, "Sco-Mule," a funky instrumental track from "The Deep End Vol. 1 featuring jazz guitarist John Scofield, was nominated for a Grammy Award. This marked Haynes' seventh overall Grammy nomination; in 1995 he accepted an award along with the Allman Brothers Band for an incendiary live take on the band's classic "Jessica."

In 2004, Gov't Mule celebrated its 1,000th live show. The past year has seen the band headline venues across the nation that include Colorado's famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre and multiple nights at New York's historic Beacon Theatre. In 2005 Warren Haynes was ranked No. 23 in Rolling Stone's list of all-time top guitarists, elevating him into the prestigious upper echelon of six-string heroes.

Tickets for Gov't Mule are $30, students $25. Tickets are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Center for the Arts Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations, including Kaufmann's. To charge tickets, call 852-5000; in Canada, call 1-416-870-8000. For group sales, call 645-6771. For more information, call 645-ARTS. Students (of any school) must present valid student ID at the Center Box Office to receive discount.