Born: New Orleans, LA
Instruments: Fender Telecaster, Fender Stratocaster, Dean Resonator Steel
The name Chris Mulé might not be instantly recognizable to the casual music lover. But in his native New Orleans, he is well known among the musical cognoscenti. He has carved out a career as an ace sideman in a city crawling with gifted musicians. Adept at a variety of styles, the guitarist has played with dozens of local and national acts and established a busy solo career, and is now poised for a major breakout with Honey Island Swamp Band.
Reporting from April of 2004, Keith Spera, the pop critic for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans said, “Chris Mulé has ingratiated himself with the local scene as a utility electric guitarist fluent in a number of roots music styles.”
Mulé’s eclectic style draws on the influences of a variety of local legends including the finger-picking of Snooks Eaglin and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and the chicken scratch playing of Leo Nocentelli of the legendary funk band, the Meters. His other influences, particularly on the slide guitar, begin with another Southern six-stringer, the late Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers. He also cites blues guitarists like Robert Johnson, Bukka White and Albert King in addition to psychedelic warhorses like Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix as having impacted his playing.
The traditional sounds of New Orleans, including jazz and brass band music have also seeped into the stew due to his regular affiliation with stalwarts of the local scene such as Kirk Joseph, the revolutionary sousaphonist and founding member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dr. John and jazz saxophonist, Donald Harrison, Jr. The traditional sounds of the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans and the zydeco of the Louisiana countryside have influenced his development as well.
Besides playing a mean slide, Mulé has also developed into a keen and insightful songwriter. Honey Island Swamp Band’s albums feature many of these compositions, and the band’s live sets further showcase his range as a writer and his soulful singing voice. Mulé’s songwriting covers a wide range and includes bluesy jams, roots rockers as well as honky tonk romps.
Mulé has appeared on recordings by a slew of New Orleans acts, and has extensive touring experience as a bandleader as well as a sideman, having criss-crossed the United States and parts of Canada. He has also appeared in Japan.
- Eric Lindell & Company
- Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown
- Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove
- Lynn Drury Band
- Rockin Jake Band
- Terrance Simien
- All That
- Honey Island Swamp Band, Good To You, 2010
- Honey Island Swamp Band, Wishing Well, 2009
- Eric Lindell, Low on Cash, Rich in Love, 2008
- Honey Island Swamp Band, Honey Island Swamp Band, 2007
- Eric Lindell, Change in the Weather, 2006
- Eric Lindell, Tragic Magic, 2005
- Chris Mulé, The Unmentionables, 2004
- Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove, Sousafunk Avenue, 2004
- Lynn Drury, Spun, 2003
- Lynn Drury, Blackberry Winter, 2002
- Lynn Drury, Crossing Frequencies, 2001
- Juice, Fortified, 2000
- Smiley Ricks and the Indians of the Nation, Feathercraft, 1999