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Published: 2011/12/10

Phil & Friends and Gov’t Mule Return at Pre-Jam

Photos by Dino Perrucci

Phil Lesh & Friends and Gov’t Mule, two veteran bands who have been on ice for much of the year, took the stage last night. The performances took place at Asheville, NC’s Orange Peel as part of Warren Haynes’ annual Christmas Jam Pre-Jam. Lesh has not performed under the Phil & Friends moniker since 2008 while Gov’t Mule has only played a few select shows in 2011.

As is tradition, Haynes opened the show with some solo selections: “River’s Gonna Rise” and “A Friend to You.” Planet of The Abts, the new project featuring Mule drummer Matt Abts and Mule bassist Jorgen Carlsson, then took the stage for a brief set that boasted a sit in from Mule’s Danny Louis on “Planet Pt. 1.”

The next part of the evening featured a few super groups comprised mostly of Christmas Jam regulars. The most interesting of these ensembles was Jackie Greene & Friends, which featured Carrlson, Louis, Mike Barnes, Jeff Chimenti and Joe Russo. Haynes also joined the group for a take on The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down.” Meanwhile, Kevin Kinney rounded up some of the weekend’s Christmas Jam By Day performers for a Christmas Jamboree featuring Louis, Greene, Rocky Lindsley, Johnny Irion, Sarah Lee Guthrie, Carlsson and Mike Barnes.

Banjo ace Bela Fleck and drummer Jeff Sipe then led saxophonist Bill Evans, bassist Taylor Lee and touring Flecktones fiddler Casey Driessen through a set of tunes, and Los Lobos took the stage for a marquee set that featured Haynes on guitar for “300 Pounds Of Joy” and “Killing Floor.”

The evening’s first reunion was next as Gov’t Mule took the stage for “Trane” and segued into “Eternity’s Breath” and “Goin’ Out West.” Fleck then returned for “Come On Into My Kitchen” while Evans appeared on “Devil Likes It Slow.” Lesh, Los Lobos guitarist David Hidalgo and Furthur keyboardist Jeff Chimenti then all emerged for the classic “Dear Mr. Fantasy.”

Mule’s set segued into the debut of a new Phil Lesh & Friends lineup as Abts, Louis, Carlsson and Hidalgo left the stage and Greene and Furthur drummer Joe Russo emerged. Phil & Friends offered a brief performance that included “New Speedway Boggie,” “All Along The Watchtower” and “Franklin’s Tower.” The Phil & Friends lineup of Lesh, Haynes, Greene, Chimenti and Russo is slated to perform at Christmas Jam tonight.

Here’s a look at last night’s setlist via

Warren Haynes
River’s Gonna Rise
A Friend To You

Planet Of The Abts
Planet (Pt. 2)
Deep Into Self
Off The Hook
Planet (Pt. 1) with Danny Louis
Dressed Up, Looking Fine

Kevin Kinney’s Christmas Jamboree (With Danny Louis, Jackie Greene, Rocky Lindsley, Johnny Irion, Sarah Lee Guthrie, Jorgen Carlsson & Mike Barnes)

Here Come The Regulars
A Good Country Mile

Jackie Greene & Friends (with Jorgen Carrlson, Danny Louis, Mike Barnes, Jeff Chimenti & Joe Russo)
Eyesight To The Blind
Don’t Let Me Down with Warren Haynes

Bela Fleck/Jeff Sipe (with Bill Evans, Taylor Lee & Casey Driessen)
Monkey See
Spanish Point
Flapperette >
Improv >
Balled Of Jed Clampett

Los Lobos
Venganza de Los Pelados
Bird’s Gonna Fly
Yo Can Tu
300 Pounds Of Joy with Warren Haynes
Killing Floor with Warren Haynes
Mas Y Mas

Gov’t Mule
Trane >
Eternity’s Breath >
Going Out West
Come On Into My Kitchen with Bela Fleck
Devil Likes It Slow with Bill Evans
Dear Mr. Fantasy with Phil Lesh, David Hidalgo & Jeff Chimenti

Phil Lesh & Friends (With Warren Haynes, Jackie Greene, Jeff Chimenti & Joe Russo)
New Speedway Boggie >
All Along The Watchtower >
Franklin’s Tower

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