A Mule To Ride

by | May 18, 2008

photo by Chris Rushin

B Getz of Jambase was where I wasn’t, catching the sickest of the sick. Reading his account is actually painful to me, in a longing kind of way.

It is hard to believe that it has been five years since the mammoth Gov’t Mule “Deepest End” concert at Jazz Fest 2003, and it has become an annual Mule celebration of sorts when the boys hit Jazz Fest. This year saw numerous guests join the band on both Friday and Saturday nights at the Contemporary Arts Center. Mike Gordon teamed up with Particle’s Steve Molitz for a huge “Loser” > Terrapin Station Jam > Loser” sandwich during Friday’s second set. Umphrey’s Jake Cinninger got a head start on his own late night festivities by joining in on “Dear Prudence.” New Orleans got in on the fun when the Dirty Dozen Brass Band appeared, as did Henry Butler and Roosevelt Collier. Opener Grace Potter helped on covers of Ike & Tina’s “Nutbush City Limits” and Zep’s “Whole Lotta Love.” Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington, Ivan Neville and Papa Mali got in on the act, too, and Cyril Neville closed out the numerous sit-ins on night one.

The second night of the Mule was just as electrifying, as the parade of guests and stellar playing continued. George Porter Jr. and Ivan Neville joined the band for several songs including “Fortunate Son.” Owen Biddle and Capt. Kirk Douglas of the legendary Roots crew, fresh off their blistering Fairgrounds performance (with Ludacris!), got their Zeppelin on with “When the Levee Breaks” (a poignant song choice in these parts). Sonny Landreth, Eric McFadden and Grace Potter got involved as well. The second set on Saturday night was one of those legendary NOLA Mule sets, beginning with “Africa” featuring Cyrille and Ivan Neville, Eric Krasno and Stanton Moore. Henry Butler, as well as Kofi Burbridge, amongst others, also made their way into the Mule stew. Appropriately, it was the core four Mule brethren onstage for the final number, the quintessential “Soulshine.” Not enough can ever be said for the beauty, integrity and sheer eloquence that Warren Haynes, Danny Louis, Andy Hess and Matt Abts bring to a NOLA stage.

Thankfully, both nights are available on Mule Tracks. Check out the set list from night one:

1. Smokestack Lightning w/ John Butler
2. Wandering Child
3. Dear Prudence w/ Jake Cinninger
4. That’s What Love Will Make You Do w/ Henry Butler & Rosevelt Collier
5. Perfect Shelter
6. Spanish Moon w/ Dirty Dozen Brass Band & DJ Logic
7. Death Don’t Have No Mercy w/ Dirty Dozen Brass Band & DJ Logic
8. Brighter Days

1. Child of The Earth
2. Grinnin’ In Your Face w/ Ruthie Foster
3. Million Miles From Yesterday w/ Ruthie Foster
4. Nutbush City Limits w/ Grace Potter & Scott Tournet
5. Whole Lotta Love w/ Grace Potter & Scott Tournet
6. Ain’t No Love In The Heart of The City w/ Walter Wolfman Washington
7. Streamline Woman
8. Brand New Angel
9. Loser> w/ Mike Gordon & Steve Molitz
10. Terrapin Station Jam> w/ Mike Gordon & Steve Molitz
11. Loser w/ Mike Gordon & Steve Molitz
12. I’m A Ram

1. Unblow Your Horn/Reblow Your Mind w/ Cyril Neville
2. I Walk on Guilded Splinters w/ Papa Mali, Ian Neville & Cyril Neville
3. Fortune Teller w/ Cyril Neville & Papa Mali
4. Larger Than Life
5. Sco-Mule w/ Tim Greene
6. Guilded Intro> w/ Tim Greene
7. Mule w/ Tim Greene

[MP3 Offering] “That’s What Love Will Make You Do” by Gov’t Mule w/ Henry Butler & Rosevelt Collier