Where’s My Mule? – In New Haven, CT

Last night my brother-in-law and I renewed our tradition of seeing Gov’t. Mule in concert. This was the 6th time we’ve witnessed the Mule and they never, ever disappoint. 😉

Truth be told I’ve seen Warren Haynes play guitar 11 times live. Six times with the Mule, three times with the Allman Bros. Band, once with the Grateful Dead and once at the 100 year Salute to the Blues with Gregg Allman.

The concert took place at the College Street Music Hall in New Haven. The converted Palace Theatre allows standing room for general audience down front. I don’t particularly care for the excessive concrete architecture of the venue. The sound is not bad but seating isn’t as comfortable as it once was. But enough about the aesthetics of the venue.

How was Gov’t. Mule you ask? In a word, fantastic! Warren Haynes was in a happy, energetic mood and it showed from the get go.

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Photo: Heath Robson

The concert began with “Where’s My Mule?” which defined the evening’s mood and temperament.  I love watching Warren Haynes play guitar. He is very skillful at his craft.

The band featuring Matt Abts on drums, Jorgen Carlsson bass guitar, Danny Louis on keyboards, trombone and guitar is a tight nucleus.  A fluid jam band with a rare instinctual feel for each other when they play their repertoire.

They were joined periodically by Steve Elson on alto, baritone sax and flute. He created a cool edge to the songs. He drove it forward well, meshing with the Mule as he did.

Set 1:
Where’s My Mule >
Banks Of The Deep End
Rocking Horse >
Birth Of The Mule with Hit The Road Jack tease
On Your Way Down > with Steve Elson
Sco-Mule with Steve Elson
Unring The Bell
Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home with Steve Elson & Give You All the Love (Inside of Me) lyrics

Set 2:
Thorazine Shuffle with Oye Como Va tease
Lively Up Yourself with Jessica tease
Game Face with American Bandstand, Birdland & Mountain Jam teases
Sad & Deep As You > with Steve Elson
Drums >
Kind Of Bird > with Steve Elson
In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed > with Steve Elson
Kind Of Bird > with Steve Elson
I’m A Ram with Glad tease

Encore:
Tastes Like Wine with Steve Elson
Just Got Paid

The Mule played two sets of music. My favorite was the second set. Gov’t. Mule extended the Allman Bros. classic “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” with “Kind of Bird” and “I’m A Ram”. That was the shining moment that knocked it out of the park for me.

When Gov’t. Mule released the album, “High & Mighty” followed by “Mighty High” they infused Jamaican Dub and Reggae with their jam band sound. This was a major pivot point for the Mule. I always love when Warren and company honor that tradition. I also enjoyed that they played “Unring the Bell” during the first set.

There is a great Mule Web page at Jam.Buzz with many of the songs hosted on YouTube. Thanks Steve Roche!

Tonight , 10/29 the Mule will do their annual Halloween, Mule-O-Ween show in Albany, NY. Warren asked the audience how many of you are coming. He got a favorable response to that question. This year’s Halloween classic features the music of Traffic. I know that will be bitchin’ as I saw them perform “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” three years ago at Ives Park in Danbury. If you’re going you are in for a trick or treat.

 

I now have two Mule 2016 concerts to download from Mule Tracks, Cool!

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