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Gov't Mule

In Too 'Deep'

ElvisThree years after the death of founding bassist Allen Woody, Gov't Mule marks the end of an era -- and the start of a new one -- with the release this week of "The Deepest End" (ATO), a two-CD/DVD package documenting the band's six-hour concert May 3 at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans.

"The Deepest End" follows volumes one and two of the "Deep End" releases in 2001 and 2002, respectively, and Phish bassist Mike Gordon's "Rising Low," a documentary of the "Deep End" projects, on which Mule paid tribute to Woody with help from many of the bassists and musicians that influenced the band.

With 25 guest musicians, including 13 bass players, "The Deepest End" documents the complete May 3 concert, itself a comprehensive tour of Gov't Mule's myriad influences. Founding members Warren Haynes (guitar, vocals) and Matt Abts (drums), along with keyboardist Danny Louis, are joined by such guests as Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna), Les Claypool (Primus), Bela Fleck, Jason Newsted (Metallica), George Porter Jr. (the Meters), Bernie Worrell (Parliament/Funkadelic), Dave Schools (Widespread Panic) and Gordon.

"Working with a lot of these cats that are legends is in itself an experience," says Haynes, who formed Gov't Mule as a side project in 1994 when he and Woody were members of the Allman Brothers Band. "Musically, we always try to keep our ears open to wherever the music wants to go. These people are legends for a reason; they all have extremely strong musical personalities. So instead of doing the norm for us, which would be to drive the train the way we want it to go, we found ourselves listening a lot more to see where these people would take it.