Gov’t Mule made its triumphant return to the stage with a show in frontman Warren Haynes‘ hometown of Asheville, NC on Friday. The outdoor show at Salvage Station saw the Southern rockers welcome a number of special guests throughout the evening, including drummer Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit) and guitarist Mike Barnes (Derek Trucks, John Scofield).
Friday’s event marked Mule’s first time onstage since Haynes fractured his scapula in Costa Rica back in March. The shoulder injury forced the band to miss its entire spring tour, including a slot at the SweetWater 420 Fest Thursday pre-party, which the band had taken on after moe. bowed out following guitarist Chuck Garvey‘s stroke last fall. Though Haynes was ready to play on Friday, that could not be said for the rest of Mule as bassist Jorgen Carlsson missed the show due to a positive COVID test. Kevin Scott (John McLaughlin & Jimmy Herring, Wednesday Night Titans) took his place for the entirety of the concert.
The show began with a set from rising hometown favorites Travers Brothership. Led by titular Travers brothers Eric (drums, vocals) and Kyle (guitar, vocals), the group staged its second concert with its newly retooled lineup comprised of keyboardist Marcus White and bassist Oliver Snow alongside a horn section of trumpeter Alex Bradley, saxophonist Kyle Snuffer, and Jonathon Lloyd, who pulls double duty on trombone and auxiliary percussion, as well as saxophonist Ben Colvin, who was on hand for Friday’s performance.
Travers Brothership – “Long Overdue” – 6/3/22
Asheville’s native son Warren Haynes was greeted by a sold-out crowd when Mule took the stage, opening with “Thorazine Shuffle”. The first set touched on the band’s extended catalog with takes on “Mule”, “Larger Than Life”, “Banks of the Deep End”, and more. Gov’t Mule closed the first frame with its patented take on Junior Wells‘ “Snatch It Back And Hold It“—with the original “Hold It Back” jam breakdown—featured on last year’s Heavy Load Blues.
As the sun dipped in Western North Carolina the stars came out for set two, beginning with Sipe who joined in on the opening cover of Funkadelic‘s “Maggot Brain”. The covers continued following Sipe’s departure with Neil Young‘s “Cortez The Killer”, proceeded by a reach back to Warren’s Allman Brothers Band days with “Soulshine” for a stellar trio of songs to start the second frame. Later on, Haynes squared off with Barnes on “Sco-Mule” before a take on Howlin’ Wolf‘s “I Asked Her For Water” closed the second set. Returning to the Salvage Station stage one more time, Gov’t Mule finished the show with Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Effigy”.
Check out a gallery of photos from Gov’t Mule and Travers Brothership at Salvage Station courtesy of Steve Wittenberg/MeanPony Productions and a collection of fan-shot videos from YouTube user Got Mule? Full-show audio of Travers Brothership’s set is available thanks to taper Zmanatl. Gov’t Mule’s tour continues on June 7th in Jefferson City, MO. For tickets and a full list of tour dates head here.
Travers Brothership – Salvage Station – Asheville, NC – 6/3/22
Travers Brothership – “Fighting For Peace” (Cory Henry) – 6/3/22
Gov’t Mule – “Thorazine Shuffle” – 6/3/22
Gov’t Mule – “Banks of the Deep End” – 6/3/22
Gov’t Mule, Jeff Sipe – “Maggot Brain” (Funkadelic) – 6/3/22
Gov’t Mule – “Cortez The Killer” (Neil Young) – 6/3/22
Gov’t Mule – “Soulshine” – 6/3/22
Gov’t Mule – “I Asked Her For Water” (Howlin’ Wolf) – 6/3/22
Setlist: Gov’t Mule | Salvage Station | Asheville, NC | 6/3/22
Set One: Thorazine Shuffle, Mule, Larger Than Life, Banks of the Deep End, Make It Rain, Gameface, Snatch It Back And Hold It -> Hold It Back -> Snatch It Back And Hold It
Set Two: Maggot Brain , Cortez The Killer, Soulshine, Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home, Sco-Mule , I Asked Her For Water
Kevin Scott on bass for entire show.
 w/ Jeff Sipe
 w/ Mike Barnes