The Mule grabbed my attention a few weeks ago when it was announced that bassist Andy Hess left the band to engage in other life pursuits. He’s been replaced by one Jorgen Carlsson, who apparently brings a style of play that falls somewhere in between that of original bassist Allen Woody and the recently departed Hess. Personally, I’m pretty damned excited about this change. It’s not that I had anything against Hess, but I was used to Woody’s work. He had such a distinctive sound and approach to the instrument that Hess simply couldn’t match. So, the band developed a somewhat different sound because of it. Gov’t Mule has always been one of those bands that couldn’t be completely categorized as southern rock or jam rock or whatever, but Carlsson’s addition should bring the band closer to their original sound. Watch for them on tour starting on October 30th in Burlington, Vermont (rumored to be near a coat factory or something) and running through November as they make their way to the west coast. It also appears that they’ll be playing four gigs in New York City to ring in the New Year. If you haven’t caught Gov’t Mule live yet, do yourself the favor of doing it now. C’mon . . . Warren Haynes . . . Matt Abts . . . I could kick back and listen to those two play for hours by themselves. Phenomenal musicians! www.myspace.com/govtmule
Our favorite Icelandic group, Brain Police, had to put the kibosh on their latest European tour due to the massive financial crisis that has hit their homeland. From what I understand of the situation, the band had set aside a bunch of money to cover the cost of the tour, however, with the economy of Iceland also hitting the shitter, the money devaluated by almost half of its original worth. Talk about a pisser! See . . . it’s the actions of a few that fuck things up for everybody else. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brain Police were interested in that earlier trampoline idea. And I, for one, would be happy to help them cart the trampolines around. Hang in there, fellas . . . things will eventually turn around for the better. www.myspace.com/brainpolice
Our favorite son of Tennessee has built himself a second MySpace page. Why is this important? Coz’ it’s Eric Hamilton, and if you still haven’t gone out and listened to this cat, brothers and sisters . . . I can only lead you to water. This second page features a bunch of tunes that never made it to any of his albums and show some rootsy stuff. One tune features a collaboration with Wesley Orbison, yeah . . . that Orbison, and another tune with John Carter Cash. The tune that put the biggest smile on my mug was “Courtin’ Courtney,” that happened to be a left over from the Keep the Change sessions. Do I bring up Eric Hamilton too much? I don’t care. I love his music. ‘nuff said. www.myspace.com/bigehamilton
It’s already all over the place in Europe, and it’s gonna’ be released stateside on the 28th of October. Yes . . . I speak of Vertebrae from Norway’s Enslaved. I was planning on telling y’all that the band had posted the album on their page in a streaming format so that you could experience the new disc prior to purchase. But, apparently, that was a temporary event, for I have since visited the page and there are only three tracks that you can listen to on their player. I don’t know . . . my appetite was whetted when I first heard the album was being recorded. After listening to the tunes, I’m a puddle of ooze. This sounds so good and I’ll be standing in line as Lou’s Records opens their doors on the 28th. I look at it in two ways, I get the album the day it’s released and I help the last of the independent record stores keep their doors open.
Also being released on the 28th of October is my new favorite band. You may have just read my review of their album Farmer’s Almanac, and yes, I raved and raved and raved, but it’s all true. East of the Wall are the next coming. I’ve already got my copy of the album, but I’m thinking that you all need to meet me at Lou’s on Tuesday morning. We can all have a CD buying freakout. It’ll be the Waveriders way of giving the f’d up economy a big middle finger! www.myspace.com/eastofthewall
News from the John Wesley camp was extremely interesting. For those who don’t remember, John Wesley is the touring guitarist for the prog rockin’ masters Porcupine Tree. Well, it seems that he and Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree/Blackfield) got together and worked on some guitar tracks for Steven’s upcoming solo album. A downloadable version of the album is rumored to be available in November. Also, in August, Mr. Wesley rejoined the rhythm section featured on John’s last album Shiver and rehearsed for a solo gig or two. During that time, John was putting pen to paper, pick to string, and working on songs for a new solo album. Time frame on that one is unknown, but stay tuned. The moment I know something, I’ll be sure to stand on my rooftop and shout it out to all whole listen. www.myspace.com/johnwesleymusic