Best Cover Band Ever? (Pt. 2)

Ok, just to get the answer out of the way first – no. Gov’t Mule is not a contender for the best cover band ever. I’d put them in roughly the same category as the Dead (and they do tend to play together, amusingly covering a Metallica tune together, and Sugaree) as cover artists – jam band, excellent covers. But unlike the Ramones, Nirvana, etc – not really definitive or radical re-interpretations that give pause to the originals. (Chris – feel free to disagree and make your case.)

But still, Gov’t Mule is totally fucking ace, primarily due to the awesomeness of Warren Haynes. I first heard of Warren about a decade ago when watching a taped Allman Bros. at the Beacon concert. (Has anyone done a post on the end of the Allmans at the Beacon? Tragic.) Even with the amazing Derek Trucks on guitar, Warren still stood stood out with his blues guitar work. (He’s a full time member of the Allman Bros, as well as front man for his own Gov’t Mule.) When Warren sang, i got kind of bummed when it was Gregg’s turn to sing again.

So an appreciation then. Not everyone can convincingly cover James Brown, Sabbath, Neil Young, Metallica, the Stones, the Dead, Led Zep, Humble Pie, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and many, many more.

If anyone wants to make a case for their own choice for the Best Cover Band Ever, feel free to do your own post.

33 thoughts on “Best Cover Band Ever? (Pt. 2)

    • I’m starting to revise my initial determination, after listening to Whiter Shade of Pale, maybe they are a contender for best cover band ever.

  1. I know many people do not value cover versions. But I actually find them really interesting. I really enjoy to see the different interpretations of the the different artists.

    Actually in music the idea that the artist who wrote the track is automatically the best performer of it is quite a recent thing I think so and particularly in the rock genre.

    In Jazz or blues or folk there are many songs that are standard and hundreds of versions of them exist. The track is seen as a means of the artist expressing themselves and not as a finished perfect product.

    I really enjoyed all the tracks posted by Gov’t Mule.

    Actually with the challenge this week and Pairubu post of Japanese cover versions there is an interesting selection of tracks and ideas this week!!!!

  2. I may (or may not) take up your challenge later, amy, but I just wanted to ensure that you’re aware of Warren Haynes’ many appearances with Phil Lesh & Friends and The Dead, as a Jerry-a-like.

    • Sorry, amy, I read your ‘playing together’ as ‘on the same bill as’.

      In truth, the GD only did covers of songs that would fit into their performances without significant alteration, so they would never have covered, say, a Metallica song or Whiter Shade Of Pale.

      Which doesn’t mean that they were averse to completely changing a song to suit them better, e.g. Me & My Uncle. This is John Phillips’ original:

      The GD changed the key, chord sequence, melody, tempo and some of the words, to produce this:

  3. Yahoo, there are more Govt. Mule fans in the world! I have yet to meet anyone who knew of them before I introduced their brand of blues to them. Setting up for a fun Friday night out? Bang on the Mullenium album at volume R for Raucous. Shame Mrs Fugit doesn’t share my enthusiasm.

  4. a mate of mine lent me some Govt Mule and Warren Haynes CD’s a while ago….to be honest they weren’t really my cup of tea, but I kept them in my iTunes anyway and do dip in now and again. A bit of axe-wankery is always welcome!

    The version of “It’s a Man’s World” is pretty amazing BTW!

      • GnR – can’t think of any covers where I’ve preferred theirs to the original, and that’s saying something as one of the ones I’m recalling is by Wings.

      • No no no!! The Spaghetti Incident was a whole album of covers, most of them pretty damn good! Although I think that was Duff McKagan’s little pet project, as he sings on quite a few tracks.

        I personally like their version of “Knockin’ On Heavens Door” too………the Wings one is a bit shite though!

    • btw Panther –

      I’m sure i’m going to find lots of use in the future for the term “axe-wankery”.

      Although i tend to think of the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai as the main culprits.

      • It just sums it up so well!

        I used to be vehemently anti-axe-wank, pouring righteous scorn on any kind of self-indulgent widdlyness, but i’m digging a bit of jammin’ more and more as I get older

    • Yeah, Phish was sort of like the Dead for the next generation. I haven’t really listened to them, but i knew some of the younger kids that used to follow them around like my generation and earlier used to follow the Dead.

  5. Govt Mule are on hiatus for now, so didn’t get to see them. Couple of my friends are rabid fans. Think my fave Southern Rockers are The North Mississippi Allstars – just prefer Luthor’s more slidey guitar style.

    • Hmm, interesting comparison, Shoey; not sure which way I’d swing on that two-way choice.

      Do I really need to say which my fave band of Southern rockers are?


      • Wouldn’t disagree – appreciate the fact that DBT rock without the unnecessary cliches & overindulgent baggage that come with the territory. Prefer there earlier stuff, though.

    • I suppose properly the Mona doesn’t count as a cover, since Bo Diddley is there. But I included it for two reasons:
      1 TP sings most of it himself and
      2 I love it. Especially TP’s ‘hey, Bo Diddley’s on stage with my band!’ expression.

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