It’s been a while since I’ve discovered a gem in my own music library – one that I don’t recall ever hearing. I’ve listened to Gov’t Mule’s 2003 live album (Deepest End: Live in Concert) before, but I don’t remember hearing what I heard tonight: a slow and bluesy “When Doves Cry” sung by Warren Haynes. Prince’s classic tune bookends the tune “Beautifully Broken”. Only the chorus is sung, but the way it weaves its way into the full song makes it one of the best interpretations of a Prince tune I’ve heard.
I’m sure there are a few groups in the jam band scene that have tackled Prince’s music. The only cover that comes to mind is Phish’s take on “Purple Rain”, which always seemed like more of an attempt to be humorous than a respectful and heartfelt interpretation of the work (must be the vacuum cleaner solo).
With an artist like Warren Haynes though, you can bet that he’ll put his heart and soul into any song he performs – and it’s evident here with “When Doves Cry” and “Beautifully Broken”. There’s a passion in the vocals and every pluck of his guitar string. And with a heavy duty powerhouse like Gov’t Mule backing it all up – well – I’m damn sure I’ll have this on regular rotation for some time to come.