The 1st 2 nights of Government Mule have been amazing. Both nights, the 2nd set seemed to come up a notch.
I actually made it early on Fri, so I decided to check out Keller Williams. He's a 1 man band with some sampling and recorded stuff to make it all work. I could get into the music and it was kind of fun for a while. It did start getting old after a while and I thought an hour was a bit long. I think he would do well if he expanded himself a bit by doing projects with different people now and then. Kind of like Papa Mali. I couldn't help but wonder how someone could go to such effort to be able to just play on his own. He did sit in with Mule later and that was enjoyable. I'm being more critical because I remember meeting someone at a festival who kept raving about him and thought he was one of the best acts ever. I had that kind of question in my head when I was watching him.
Mule was awesome with the 2nd set even surpassing the 1st. They did some good covers, including Led Zep. The drum solo was off the hook amazing. I could have listened to those drums forever. It was really great.
It was awesome and I decided to skip Kinninger at Blue Note since I can overdo that if I go to much. I didn't want to ruin how good I felt from that show.
I caught the whole Tea Leaf Green set on Sat. That was great. I'm not super crazy about the singers, but they aren't bad, either. My favorite was the funky instrumental song they did about 1/2 way through the set. They also sat in with Mule during the 1st set and that was great.
The whole first set was great, with the 2nd set being even greater. I thought Sat was even better than Fri. It cinched for me that there is no way I'm not going up there NYE. I will start there, and I still think there's a slight chance I will leave and head over to The Join for a bit. I kind of doubt it, though. It it's anything like the past 2 nights, I probably won't be able to pull myself away.
Andy Hess is amazing. I had a bad moment with the sound at ACL one year and wrote how I kept trying to get away from the bass. I've been trying to make up for that since then. The guy blows me away every time since then, so I'm not sure what was going on that time.
George Porter Jr. sat in for a couple of songs 2nd set, confirming that he is the funkiest one around. No question. They did some super funky Little Feat cover and then Hey Pocky Way. I love Matt Abts and I'm not that big a fan of Russel Batiste these days. Still, I was missing him a little on Hey Pocky Way, although I think it was the old him, the one who used to play at Tramps and had me with my mouth wide open, jaw-dropped awe of his playing. It was still awesome and I will take Matt any day, I was just missing something familiar with that song and the drums that I didn't get at that show.
The one really disappointing thing, which didn't ruin it, but was super disappointing was this horn section they brought out 2nd set. They had no business being up there and I keep wondering where they even got them. I am very spoiled with horns, but those 3 just weren't up to par to play with a band of that calibar for an audience that is used to so much better. It was even more disappointing when they showed up later at the Porter birthday bash. I never thought I'd be sad about horns showing up. I mean, they could have done better by picking up some kids from the school Dirty Dozen was always bringing them out from. Or, off the street in NOLA or down in the subway. It wasn't awful, it was just they weren't powerful enough and didn't really add anything to the show. And, their playing kind of subtracted from the rest of the band's playing. We didn't need them at all.
Anyway, that was only a minor disappointment as the show was THAT good. The highlight was when George and Brian came out to play, but the whole thing was phenomenal.