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Gov't Mule at DTE, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018

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Gov't Mule has certainly taken its fans on some musical trips over the past nearly 25 years.

This year's destination is a bit more special, however.

The group is doing a short summer tour under the guise of Dark Side of the Mule, which features a full repertoire of Pink Floyd covers -- not all from "The Dark Side of the Moon" album -- in addition to the band's regular material. It's getting help from tour partners the Avett Brothers and the Magpie salute, and the results should have fans feeling anything but comfortably numb...

• The Dark Side of the Mule concept was launched as part of a special Halloween show 10 years ago, when Gov't Mule played "a bunch of our favorite Pink Floyd songs" according to singer-guitarist Warren Haynes. The performance was eventually released, which created demand for the band to do it again. "It was meant to be a one-time thing," Haynes, 58, says by phone. "Five years later at Mountain Jam we were asked if we could do it again, so, 'OK, it's been five years, let's do it.' Now where it is 10 years later and we've gotten so much positive feedback and so many requests from people wanting to do that, we figured why don't we just do a handful of shows for the 10th anniversary. We start it out as a Mule show and then just kind of transform it into a Dark Side show."

• The Pink Floyd camp has yet to weigh in on the concept, however. "I've never heard from them and never expected to," Haynes says. "I'm sure it would be interesting to hear about it from their perspective. I'm not holding my breath, though."

• Gov't Mule's last studio album, "Revolution Come...Revolution Go," came out during June of 2017, and Haynes says the group is already considering its successor. "We started thinking a little bit as far as what kind of record we want to make. There's two songs we recorded for Record Store Day that are completely different from anything we did for (the album) -- one's kind of a country song, one's kind of an old jazz, bluesy, smoky bar kinda sounding thing. But they both sound like old recordings, and really different. I've been writing a lot but I haven't been focusing on whether it's Mule or something different. I think it's premature for that, but we'll see."

• Earlier this year Haynes served as supervising producer for an Allman Brothers Band concert anthology, "Peach Picks; Cream of the Crop 2003," which features 36 performances from the group's summer run that summer. "It was a really good time period for the band. “We had all the new material and we were reinventing a lot of old material and the band was on a high note at that point, so it just seemed like a good thing to go back and make (the recordings) available to folks."

• Since the deaths of Gregg Allman and ABB drummer Bruch Trucks in 2017, Haynes has kept in close touch with guitarist Derek Trucks as well as founding drummer Jai Johanny Johanson. "Derek and I have been communicating a lot since (Allman's death). Jaimoe and I just had a really long phone conversation the other day, and about an hour into it I realized that whatever it was we were calling each other about hadn't been broached, that we were just having a beautiful conversation that was long overdue. It's all been kind of a blur and we lost so many people in such a short period of time that it's almost impossible to process it all. So you make baby steps forward and you take baby steps backwards but try to just keep moving 'cause that's the best way to honor all these people is to keep playing."

If You Go:

• Gov't Mule, the Avett Brothers and the Magpie Salute

• 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.

• DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township.

• Tickets start at $25.

• Call 313-471-7000 or visit 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

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