The name Chris Mule 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.
Mule’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.