Government Mule is an American rock band that began in 1994. Members of the original band were Matt Abts as drummer, Allen Woody on bass guitar, and Warren Haynes as singer and lead guitar. In 2000, Woody was found dead in his hotel in New York City from an unknown cause. Andy Hess and Danny Louis eventually joined the band after Woody’s death.
The group plays a mixture of rock, blues, and jazz with a Southern twist. Two of the members, Woody and Haynes, had previously performed together in the Allman Brothers Band. They were the originators of the group who wanted to find more chances to develop their individual style in music.
Drummer Matt Abts joined Woody and Haynes after several jam sessions together. When they realized that their performance was what they had been looking for, Woody and Haynes left the Allman Brothers Band to devote their time to Government Mule. Their band name was also the title of their first album, Government Mule which they released in 1995. Shortly after that, their second album, Lived From Roseland Ballroom was released in 1996. In addition, Dose followed that in 1998. One of their most unique recordings was on New Year’s Eve at a concert that included the Black Crowes and Parliament/Funkadelic and resulted as a two and four album Live…With a Little Help From Our Friends.
After Woody’s death, Government Mule released tribute albums dedicated to Woody entitled The Deep End, Volume 1 and The Deep End, Volume 2 in 2001 and 2002. Shortly afterwards, Hess and Louis joined the group to produce their first album with Abts and Haynes entitled, Deja Voodoo in 2004 and Mo’ Voodoo the following year. They continued to release new albums regularly, such as High & Mighty and Mighty High in 2005 and 2006.
Government Mule often performs at music festivals across America and has developed a following of fans who attend as many of their performances as they can. Among these are the New Orleans Jazzfest where 17 other musicians appeared with them in a six hour performance. They also play at the Annual Christmas Jam in Asheville, North Carolina each year, along with other performers. The band continued to tour and record new albums including By a Thread in 2009. Their special concerts included a Halloween performance in Philadelphia and Jamaica in 2010.
Current band members include Warren Haynes and Matt Abts who were original members of the group along with Danny Louis. When Andy Hess left the group, Jorgen Carlsson took his place and is still currently a member of the Government Mule group.
Singer, writer, and guitarist Warren Haynes was born in 1960 in Asheville, North Carolina. His specialty is hard rock, Southern rock, and other genres related to these. Matt Abts, born in 1953, specializes in blues and blues-rock. Danny Louis, keyboardist, is a current member of Government Mule and has been with the group since shortly after the death of guitarist Allen Woody.
With hundreds of performances under their belts, Government Mule is a group that is loved by many who purchase their albums and faithfully follow them to concerts.