Preview: An Evening with Gov’t Mule at Red Butte Garden

Calling all Deadheads and jam band fans: Gov’t Mule is hosting a late spring southern rock and blues party at The Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre on Tuesday, June 13, 2023.

Gov’t Mule formed in 1994 as a side project of the Allman Brothers Band by guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody. They added drummer Matt Abts and in 1995 released their self-titled debut album. “Mule,” as they’re affectionately known by their fans, has emerged as a quintessential southern rock and blues jam band, playing festivals across the globe.

With a dozen studio records and nearly as many live albums to their credit, Gov’t Mule is best experienced live since their eclectic setlist changes with each performance. They mix homespun tunes with selected covers to create an evening of freewheeling, southern rock. 

On their latest Grammy-nominated, full-length album Heavy Load Blues (Deluxe Edition) released in 2022, Warren Haynes and the Mule set out to make a more traditional blues record with equal parts original material and reworked standards. They filter Howlin’ Wolf’s 1956  “I Asked for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)” through a Jimi Hendrix Experience for a stunning 9-minute musical foray. They also dug up blues-inspired treasures like Elton John/Bernie Taupin’s 1973 deep cut “Have Mercy on the Criminal” from Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player. Fans of early EJ, like me, can appreciate how the Mule gave this long-forgotten gem a new coat of vinyl. They applied a smoother, bluesy spin on Tom Waits experimental rock “Make it Rain.” I certainly hope their setlist at the Red Butte Garden show includes a heavy load from this remarkable blues record.

Gov’t Mule is set to release another record this summer. The full-length album, Peace…Like A River, is influenced by what Haynes calls the golden era of rock, soul, jazz and blues–the 1970s. As advertised, the first two recently released singles “Same As It Ever Was” and “Dreaming Out Loud,” have a distinctively ‘70s retro rock and soul sound.

Look for me on June 13th, picnic basket in hand and wearing my best tie dye.   

Who: Gov’t Mule
What: An Evening with Gov’t Mule
Where: Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
When: June 13, 2023
Tickets and info:

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John Nelson
John Nelson
John Nelson covers the local music scene for Salt Lake magazine. He is a 20-year veteran of Uncle Sam’s Flying Circus with a lifelong addiction to American roots music, live music venues, craft beer and baseball.

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