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Gov't Mule 

With Ekoostik Hookah and the Benevento Russo Duo. Thursday, June 23, at the Scene Pavilion.

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No group in the jam-band genre polarizes fans the way Gov't Mule does. Depending on whom you ask, it's either the best southern rock band of all time or the living embodiment of everything that's wrong with pointless noodling. But there's one thing everyone can agree on: Warren Haynes, the band's frontman, is one of the best guitarists playing today. His lyrical lead lines, when fully unleashed, are legendary -- especially after Haynes' recent stints in both the Allman Brothers and the Dead, where he came as close to replacing Jerry Garcia as anyone ever will.

The band's new EP, Mo Voodoo, could win Mule some converts, mostly because the band keeps things concise. The addition of keyboardist Danny Louis to the power-trio lineup also helps. Louis forces his bandmates -- rounded out by drummer Matt Abts and bassist Andy Hess -- to concentrate on the songs, letting "I'll Be the One" breathe and giving a cover of David Grey's "My Oh My" a bit of grit without making it feel dusty. At the Scene Pavillion on Thursday, those songs will surely be extended, and for at least half the jam-band nation, that'll go down like iced tea with mint -- super-southern and flavored just right.

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