Gov't Mule

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Gov't Mule
Mule performing in 2008; Left to right: Warren Haynes, Matt Abts, Andy Hess, and Danny Louis
Mule performing in 2008; Left to right: Warren Haynes, Matt Abts, Andy Hess, and Danny Louis
Background information
OriginAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Years active1994–present
LabelsRelativity, Foundation, Capricorn, ATO, Evil Teen, Provogue, Fantasy, MunckMix Live Recordings
Spinoff ofThe Allman Brothers Band
MembersWarren Haynes
Matt Abts
Danny Louis
Kevin Scott
Past membersAllen Woody
Andy Hess
Jorgen Carlsson

Gov't Mule (pronounced "Government Mule") is an American Southern rock jam band, formed in 1994 as a side project of the Allman Brothers Band by guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody. Fans often refer to Gov't Mule simply as Mule.

The band released their debut album, Gov't Mule, in 1995, and have since released an additional nine studio albums, plus numerous EPs and live releases. Gov't Mule has become a staple act at music festivals across North America, with both its members and frequent guests from other notable bands adding various funk and blues rock elements to the band's sound.



When the Allman Brothers Band reformed in 1989, partially in response to the popularity of their Dreams box set, Warren Haynes was added as a permanent lead guitarist and vocalist, and Allen Woody was recruited as bass guitarist. The two shared a love for 1960s power trios like Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the James Gang, and Mountain.[1][2] Haynes, Woody, and drummer Matt Abts, who played with Haynes in Dickey Betts' band, came together as Gov't Mule during Allman Brothers breaks. They released their debut album, Gov't Mule, produced by Michael Barbiero, in 1995. Live at Roseland Ballroom was released in 1996, consisting of their 1995 New Year's Eve set opening for Blues Traveler.

When the Allman Brothers Band were not forthcoming with any new material, Haynes and Woody left to concentrate full-time on Gov't Mule in 1997. Their second studio effort, Dose, also produced by Barbiero, was released in early 1998. They were joined by members of the Allman Brothers, the Black Crowes, Parliament/Funkadelic and the Derek Trucks Band for their 1998 New Year's Eve concert, released both in a two and four CD version as Live... With a Little Help from Our Friends. The performances exposed some of the bands' influences, covering Neil Young, Free, Traffic, Jimi Hendrix, Little Feat, Humble Pie and Black Sabbath.

Death of Allen Woody[edit]

The original lineup of Gov't Mule performing an acoustic set at a record store in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. From left: Warren Haynes, Matt Abts, and Allen Woody.

In February 2000, the band released Life Before Insanity, to critical praise,[3] and although the band had already experienced previous successes, they anticipated a greater commercial success with this album. Unfortunately, Allen Woody was found dead in New York City on August 26 of that year.[4] On September 21, 2000, a benefit concert was organized called "One for Woody",[5] with the proceeds going to Woody's daughter, Savannah Woody, intended for her education. The Allman Brothers, the Black Crowes, Phil Lesh and Friends, Jimmy Herring, Edwin McCain and several more of Woody's friends also performed at the concert. Haynes and Abts continued to do limited touring in the Fall of 2000 supporting Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals as an homage to Woody. Their subsequent "Smile at Half Mast Tour" that followed was named in reference to a poem Haynes wrote for Woody's funeral.

At the "One for Woody" performance and subsequently at other shows, Haynes began appearing with the Allman Brothers Band again. With Dickey Betts' departure from the Allmans, Haynes came back full-time to the band at the beginning of 2001 and has continued splitting his time between the Allman Brothers, Gov't Mule and for a period Phil Lesh and Friends and other re-formed Grateful Dead bands.

The next year, Barbiero, Haynes and Abts began to record a tribute album.[6] using some of Woody's favorite bass players. These sessions resulted in two CDs The Deep End, Volume 1 (2001) and The Deep End, Volume 2 (2002). A documentary of the recording sessions was also made by Phish bassist Mike Gordon called Rising Low. Bass contributions to the CDs came from Jack Bruce, formerly of Cream, John Entwistle of the Who, Mike Watt of Minutemen, Les Claypool of Primus, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chris Squire of Yes and Stefan Lessard of Dave Matthews Band among others.

A revolving door of keyboardists and bassists were used to fulfill touring engagements in support of the Deep End recordings. Keyboardists included Chuck Leavell, Rob Barraco, Page McConnell and Danny Louis. Bassists included, among others, Dave Schools of Widespread Panic, Oteil Burbridge who already had filled Woody's former place in the Allman Brothers, Les Claypool of Primus, Victor Wooten of the Flecktones, George Porter Jr. of the Meters, Jason Newsted (formerly of Metallica), Greg Rzab formerly of the Black Crowes and the Buddy Guy Band, and Andy Hess, also formerly of the Black Crowes. Louis and Hess were eventually named as permanent members[7][8] of Gov't Mule.

Beginnings of the Quartet[edit]

Matt Abts with Gov't Mule in 2008

The first CD with Louis and Hess, Deja Voodoo, was released in September 2004. The album won the Jammy award for Best Album and was the last studio album involving Michael Barbiero as producer and engineer. Additional material from those sessions was released in 2005 as Mo' Voodoo. The new lineup's second full release, High & Mighty, was released on August 22, 2006, and it was followed in 2007 by a dub/reggae album called Mighty High – including versions of covers and original songs with special guest appearances by Michael Franti, Toots Hibbert, and Willi Williams.

Gov't Mule continues to tour extensively and has become a staple act at many music festivals including Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, Mountain Jam, Vegoose, All Good, and their annual New Orleans Jazzfest night show, where they filmed and recorded the last show of the Deepest End tours, with 17 guest musicians in a six-hour show.

Every year since 1989, Warren Haynes hosts the Annual Christmas Jam in his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina.[9] The concert usually takes place the first weekend in December at the Asheville Civic Center, as a fundraiser for Habitat For Humanity. Many artists who play at the Christmas Jam also perform separate gigs in various Asheville clubs, usually the day before the Jam proper. The Pre-Jam, as it is called, features many of the same artists, in smaller clubs. The 19th edition of the Jam took place on December 15, 2007[10] with performances by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Shelly Colvin, Jason Isbell, Jackson Browne, G. Love, Bruce Hornsby, Peter Frampton, and others. Gov't Mule headlined.

On June 28, 2008, while keyboardist Danny Louis was drafted by Cheap Trick[11] to revisit Sgt. Pepper at the Hollywood Bowl, Gov't Mule performed as a power trio[12] for the first time since 2000, this time with its regular bassist Andy Hess. The band titled their set "Old School Mule" and ran through some of their older songs such as "Wandering Child" and "Thorazine Shuffle".

On September 15, 2008, Haynes' wife, Stefani Scamardo [13] announced on her Sirius radio show[14] that Andy Hess would be leaving the band and a new bassist would be in place for the fall tour. Hess was subsequently replaced by Jorgen Carlsson,[15] who had been rehearsing with the band for six months.

Enter Carlsson[edit]

Danny Louis at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2010
Gov't Mule at Fabrik Hamburg in Germany in 2015
Gov't Mule at Leverkusener Jazztage in Germany in 2017

On August 17, 2009, it was announced on the band's official website that Gov't Mule's eighth studio album, By a Thread,[16] would be released on October 27, 2009.[17] On the same date, the first track of the new album, "Broke Down on the Brazos", featuring Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, was made available for listening on the website.[18]

On October 31, 2009, Gov't Mule gave a special Halloween concert at the Tower Theater outside Philadelphia. From the Gov't Mule web site: "Following in the tradition of 2007's Holy Haunted House and last year's Pink Floyd spectacular, the band, once again, has something very special planned for the occasion."[19] This third in their series of Halloween shows featured a first set of over two hours, composed entirely of Rolling Stones covers. Previous sold-out shows had featured covers of Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy and an assortment of Pink Floyd compositions.

Gov't Mule played at the "Island Exodus" in Negril, Jamaica in January 2010, at the all-inclusive resort The Grand Lido Negril. The First Island Exodus consisted of three Gov't Mule shows and a Warren Haynes solo show. Also appearing at this event were Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Ron Holloway, and DJ Logic.[20]

Gov't Mule also played at the Hangout Music festival on Saturday, May 15, 2010, and at the Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, on June 24, 2010. The band also opened up for the Dave Matthews Band on Friday, July 30, 2010, at Cruzan Amphitheatre, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

In October 2010, Gov't Mule celebrated Halloween at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California. Warren Haynes and company used their first set to cover the Who's album Who's Next in its entirety.

Except for its regular festival appearances, the band was mostly on hiatus during the early part of the decade while band members pursued other projects, particularly Haynes and his Warren Haynes Band. In the summer of 2013, the band gave details on their album Shout!, their first studio album in four years and their first release on Blue Note Records, which was released on September 24 of that year. In what Haynes contends is a first, the album included a bonus disc consisting of covers of the album's tracks by artists including Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Grace Potter and Steve Winwood.[21]

On December 31, 2013, Gov't Mule performed with Robby Krieger, the guitarist from the Doors, at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.[22]

The following year, they performed at the Beacon Theatre again with Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge. They performed 18 classic AC/DC songs in a second set with Kennedy on vocals for the New Year's Eve "Back at the Beacon" show.[23]

Recent years[edit]

On June 9, 2017, Gov't Mule released their tenth studio album Revolution Come... Revolution Go on Fantasy Records. Following the Rolling Stone premiere of "Stone Cold Rage", "Sarah, Surrender" was premiered exclusively at KBCO, and the album launched for pre-orders on April 12. When talking about "Stone Cold Rage", Haynes points out that the song represents "the divide that's going on in our country right now." He explains that "even though it was written before the election, it was written knowing that whichever way the results went, we were going to have close to fifty percent of the nation very angry. Musically, it's an aggressive up-tempo rock song that reflects the anger of the lyrics, but with a sense of sarcasm and humor."[24]

On the heels of the release of their new record, Revolution Come... Revolution Go, Gov't Mule kicked off their extensive tour, including stops at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with Soulive, New York and Philadelphia with Chris Robinson Brotherhood, a return to Europe, 14 dates with Galactic up and down the East Coast/Mid-West, a night at Red Rocks, festival sets at The Peach Music Festival, Lockn' Festival, Summer Camp Music Festival and Del Fest, and four shows with Blackberry Smoke. Appearing as festival-closing headliner for the King Biscuit Blues Festival, the band was joined in a 40-minute encore by blues musicians Larry McCray and Bob Margolin. In 2019, the Mule released a full-length concert film and accompanying recording, Bring on the Music, which was recorded at Port Chester, New York's Capitol Theatre.[25]

Peace... Like a River followed in 2023.[26] Days prior to the release, Jorgen Carlsson announced he was departing the band, to be replaced on tour by Kevin Scott.[27]


Current members

  • Warren Haynes – guitar, lead vocals (1994–present)
  • Matt Abts – drums, percussion, vocals (1994–present)
  • Danny Louis – keyboards, guitar, trumpet, vocals (2002–present)
  • Kevin Scott – bass (2023–present; touring 2022-2023)[27]

Former members



Following is a listing of Gov't Mule's major releases. Nearly every concert that Gov't Mule plays is recorded and sold online in both high- and low-resolution MP3 format, and in the lossless FLAC format.[28]

Overview of Gov't Mule albums
Title Album details Chart peak positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
US Ind.
US Rock


Gov't Mule
Live at Roseland Ballroom
  • Released: October 22, 1996
  • Label: Foundation
  • Format: CD, CS
  • Released: February 24, 1998
  • Label: Volcano
  • Format: CD, CS
Live... With a Little Help from Our Friends
  • Released: March 23, 1999
  • Label: Volcano
  • Format: CD
Life Before Insanity
  • Released: February 15, 2000
  • Label: Volcano
  • Format: CD, CS
The Deep End, Volume 1
  • Released: October 23, 2001
  • Label: ATO
  • Format: CD
The Deep End, Volume 2
  • Released: October 8, 2002
  • Label: ATO
  • Format: CD
The Deepest End, Live in Concert
  • Released: October 7, 2003
  • Label: ATO
  • Format: CD
Déjà Voodoo
  • Released: September 14, 2004
  • Label: ATO
  • Format: CD
Mo' Voodoo (EP)
  • Released:
  • Label:
  • Format:
High & Mighty
  • Released: August 22, 2006
  • Label: ATO/RED
  • Format: CD
62 3
Mighty High
  • Released: October 16, 2007
  • Label: ATO
  • Format: CD
106 9
Holy Haunted House
  • Released: June 2008
  • Label:
  • Format:
By a Thread
  • Released: October 27, 2009
  • Label: Evil Teen
  • Format: CD, LP
34 5 13
  • Released: August 3, 2010
  • Label: Evil Teen
  • Format: CD
49 8 19
The Georgia Bootleg Box[40][41][42]
  • Released: October 16, 2012
  • Label: Evil Teen
  • Format: CD
  • Released: September 24, 2013
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Format: CD
32 11 28 100 116 69 16 66 36
Dark Side of the Mule[43] 99 7 10 161 55 91 65
Sco-Mule (featuring John Scofield)
  • Released: January 27, 2015
  • Label: Evil Teen
  • Format: CD
96 14 16 52 95 106 158 37 48 50
Dub Side of the Mule
  • Released: April 3, 2015
  • Label: Mascot Label Group
  • Format: CD
23 38 60 165 135 28 81
Stoned Side of the Mule Vol. 1 & 2
  • Released: April 17, 2015
  • Label: Mascot Label Group
  • Format: LP
54 190 35 91
The Tel-Star Sessions
  • Released: August 5, 2016
  • Label: Evil Teen
  • Format: CD
104 6 11 28 91 145 24 93 35
Revolution Come...Revolution Go
  • Released: June 9, 2017[44]
  • Label: Fantasy
  • Format: CD
35 5 44 101 121 165 20 67 19
Bring On the Music: Live at the Capitol Theatre
  • Released: June 20, 2019
  • Format: CD, DVD, vinyl
30 38 83 64 121 11 87 49
Heavy Load Blues
  • Released: November 12, 2021[45][46]
  • Label: Fantasy
  • Format: CD, vinyl
158 27 22 25 72 102 126 16 70 33
Peace... Like a River
  • Released: June 16, 2023[26]
  • Label: Fantasy
20 95 154 140 12 8
"—" denotes albums that were released but did not chart.


  1. ^ "Gibson Backstage Pass Holiday Double Issue 2006". Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  2. ^ [1] Archived January 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
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  4. ^ "Musician Allen Woody Found Dead – ABC News". Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  5. ^ "ONE FOR WOODY – 9.21.2000, NEW YORK". JamBase. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
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  7. ^ [2] Archived August 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Need We Say More? – News – Govt Mule Announces Permanent Bassist". September 12, 2003. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  9. ^ "20th annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam is gonna rock Asheville". Archived from the original on September 26, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  10. ^ "Warren Haynes Presents Christmas Jam". Archived from the original on October 9, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  11. ^ "Sgt. Pepper's at 40…a Beatles Celebration featuring Cheap Trick". Hollywood Bowl. May 14, 2012. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  12. ^ "Mule Tracks All Downloads | Majestic Ventura Theater Ventura, CA 06.28.08 | Shop the Mule Tracks Official Store". Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  13. ^ "Evil Teen Records". Archived from the original on October 9, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  14. ^ "Welcome to the world of satellite radio – SiriusXM Radio". Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  15. ^ "Gov't Mule New Bassist Band Welcomes Jorgen Carlsson". Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  16. ^ Jurek, Thom (October 27, 2009). "By a Thread – Gov't Mule". AllMusic. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  17. ^ "Gov't Mule: New Album By A Thread out 10/27 on JamBase". JamBase. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  18. ^ "News". Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  19. ^ "Tour Dates". Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  20. ^ "Gov'T Mule'S Island Exodus Iii". January 1, 2007. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  21. ^ Brandle, Lars (July 11, 2013). "Gov't Mule 'Shout' Out to All-Stars On New Album". Billboard. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  22. ^ "Gov't Mule's New Year's Eve Show 12/31/2013". January 8, 2015. Archived from the original on January 8, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  23. ^ "Gov't Mule's New Year's Eve Show 12/31/2014". January 8, 2015. Archived from the original on January 8, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  24. ^ "News". Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  25. ^ "The Core: Gov't Mule". December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  26. ^ a b "Listen Now: Gov't Mule Channel Beatles Influence on New Single "Made My Peace"". June 2, 2023. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  27. ^ a b Bernstein, Scott (June 8, 2023). "Bassist Jorgen Carlsson Departs Gov't Mule, Kevin Scott Aboard For Summer Tour". Music Industry News. Jambase. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  28. ^ "Mule Tracks". Mule Tracks. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  29. ^ "Gov't Mule Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  30. ^ "Gov't Mule Chart History: Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 3, 2023.
  31. ^ "Gov't Mule Chart History: Top Rock Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 3, 2023.
  32. ^ "Discographie Gov't Mule". (in German). Retrieved September 3, 2023.
  33. ^ "Gov't Mule". Ultratop (in Dutch). Retrieved September 3, 2023.
  34. ^ "Gov't Mule". Ultratop (in French). Retrieved September 3, 2023.
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  36. ^ "Discographie von Gov't Mule". (in German). Retrieved September 3, 2023.
  37. ^ "Discografie Gov't Mule". (in Dutch). Retrieved September 3, 2023.
  38. ^ "Gov't Mule – Shout!". (in German). Retrieved September 3, 2023.
  39. ^ "American certifications – Gov't Mule – The Deepest End". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
  40. ^ Jurek, Thom. "The Georgia Bootleg Box: Gov't Mule". AllMusic. Retrieved December 23, 2023.
  41. ^ "Gov't Mule: 65-track Georgia Bootleg Box Set". JamBase. August 14, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2023.
  42. ^ Paul, Alan (October 29, 2012). "Interview: Warren Haynes Discusses Gov't Mule's New 6-CD Box Set, 'The Georgia Bootleg Box'". Guitar World. Retrieved December 23, 2023.
  43. ^ DeRiso, Nick (May 30, 2015). "Gov't Mule, 'Dark Side of the Mule' – Album Review". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  44. ^ "Revolution Come...Revolution Go (Deluxe Edition), by Gov't Mule". Gov't Mule. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  45. ^ "Heavy Load Blues (Hi Res), by Gov't Mule". Gov't Mule. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  46. ^ "GOV'T MULE Announces First-Ever Blues Album 'Heavy Load Blues'". September 9, 2021. Retrieved December 24, 2021.

External links[edit]