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Date: Wed 04 Aug, 2004 at 12:02
Headline: "Rising" Recommended
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Greetings & Salutations!

With the somewhat erratic hours I've been keeping this summer, I found myself once again completely unable to sleep at 2:00 this morning. I intended to come here to the site and do some rambling about this & that (much as I am now) which I had been putting off for a while, but iodynamics just happened to be down at the time. Damn.

So, I decided to throw myself into something else I had been putting off for some time -- watching the film Rising Low. The 2002 documentary chronicles the making of the album The Deep End, Govt Mule's all-star tribute to fallen Mule/Allman Bros bassist Allen Woody. Being as much an incurable addict of documentaries as I am of music in general, I was thrilled to run across this film on the Sundance Channel a couple of weeks ago and recorded it immediately, but then never really found the time to sit down and watch all of it. Glad I finally did, because it turned out to be much, much more than simply a story about recording an album.

Directed and narrated by Phish's Mike Gordon, it provides background info on Govt Mule (a band that I've only been peripherally aware of for the past decade or so), some nice personal insights into Woody by family, friends & various musical admirers, and of course has a lot of great footage of the band jamming with some great guest bassists (Bootsy Collins, Chris Squire, Flea, Larry Graham, John Entwistle, Les Claypool, Tony Levin, Jack Bruce, the list literally goes on and on...) in the studio. All cool stuff, but what I didn't expect was that the film is also a tribute to the bass itself, its place in music, and the people who are drawn to it, both to play and to listen.

As someone who has been in love with the instrument as far back as I can remember being aware of pop music -- and someone who willingly and eagerly chose to play bass, rather than being the cliched "demoted guitarist" -- it was fascinating, exciting, and oddly moving at times. I'm seriously considering grabbing the DVD at some point, as well as finally getting around checking out a Mule record or two.

bye for now
-Thom