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Published: 2012/01/01
by Sam Robertson

Mad (Gov’t) Mules & Englishmen

Photos by Dino Perrucci

Gov’t Mule returned to the historic Beacon Theatre for their tenth annual New York City New Year’s Eve celebration and greeted the New Year by covering Joe Cocker’s classic Mad Dogs & Englishmen live album. The band’s first set featured hard-hitting originals as they opened with “Railroad Boy” before stretching things out with “Thorazine Shuffle” and closing the set with a lively “St. Stephen > Eternity’s Breath > Trane.”

At 11:30 the band emerged with frequent collaborators the Chronic Horns (Pam Fleming on trumpet, Jenny Hill on saxophone and Buford O’Sullivan on trombone) and The Assets on vocals (Machan Taylor, Mint Carlsson and Warren Haynes Band’s Alicia Shakur). They launched into Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen and, as the clock approached midnight, keyboardist Danny Louis led the band through a soulful cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Bird On A Wire” that moved into “Auld Lang Syne” as balloons dropped from the Beacon’s rafters. Mule and guests welcomed in 2012 with “Feelin’ Alright” and continued to play their way through the entire double album. Warren Haynes Band’s Nigel Hall joined in for an impassioned “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” which featured Haynes voicing support for the Occupy movement.

After a short setbreak, the band returned for a third set, with good friend Oz Noy joining on guitar for an exploratory “Sco-Mule.” The band closed the night with a gospel take on “Soulshine” starring Warren Haynes Band members Hall, Shakur and Ron Johnson before Haynes invited out all the night’s guests for a heartwarming encore of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.”

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

Set 1
Railroad Boy >
Thorazine Shuffle
Brighter Days >
Like Flies
Lay Your Burden Down
About To Rage
Slackjaw Jezebel
King’s Highway >
St. Stephen Jam >
Eternity’s Breath >
Trane (with Norwegian Wood Tease)

Set 2 Mad Mules & Englishmen with The Assets (Machan Taylor, Mini Carlsson & Alicia Shakur) & Chronic Horns (Buford O’Sullivan, Pam Fleming & Jenny Hill)

Intro >
Honky Tonk Women
Sticks & Stones
Cry Me A River
Bird On A Wire
New Years Countdown
Feelin’ Alright
Intro >
Let’s Go Get Stoned
Blue Medley: I’ll Drown in My Own Tears/When Something Is Wrong with My Baby/I’ve Been Loving You Too Long
Girl From The North Country
Give Peace A Chance
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
Space Captain
The Letter
Delta Lady

Set 3
Sco-Mule (with Oz Noy)
I Believe To My Soul (with Nigel Hall)
Soulshine (with Nigel Hall, Alicia Shakur & Ron Johnson, without Jorgen Carlsson)


I Shall Be Released (with The Assets, Nigel Hall, Ron Johnson & Oz Noy)


There are 5 comments associated with this post

Tony Chiarelli January 1, 2012, 17:47:44

One of the most magical and soulful nights of music I’ve ever experienced! The audience felt like a sincere part of the show. Absolutley amazing

Jim Blair January 2, 2012, 04:49:33

Saw this weekends show with Govt. Mule at the Beacon. We had caught last years show and loved it so much that we had to get to this years shows. By comparison – I can say without a doubt that this years show was the best ever. Warren and the band seemed to all grow musically in the past year – without doubt as a result of their solo touring efforts in 2011. Fridays first set was as hard a rocking of the Mule that I have ever heard. Saturday nights show was as diversified a musical evening that I have ever heard a single band do. Chears to 2012 and hoping that we here more from this band together than we did in 2011.

Adam January 2, 2012, 11:51:27

Have you seen or heard any of the pre-2010 Mule NYE Sets? This doesn’t top NYE 05

Mike January 3, 2012, 18:42:28

checked out 05 set list….not crazy on paper, especially if you’ve been to the last 5 mountain jams…check out those set lists, also this isn’t a competition is it? if you’re looking for one, go to and talk about the 100+ shows u’ve been to and how 1998 fluffhead was better than 1999 because trey says “powerfull pills” better…this is mule and they were spectacular, definitely as hard rockin as ever Jim…btw wasn’t hess on bass for 05?? nothing like Jorgen’s sound that he’s brought to the table

Johnny Balls January 5, 2012, 05:58:18

definitely not a “competition” but it’s great to see the band grow musically. The line up they have now is simply incredible. Warren has become a band leader, as opposed to a front man. The way he lays back at times and then steps up to kick ass is magical. He makes every band he plays in better. if you have seen POA, then you have to agree that while Matt and Jorgen are awesome musicians in their own right, Warren takes them to another level! It was obvious in 2010 that Warren was burnt out on Mule. He’s back with a vengence and has NEVER sounded better. I hope they tour this year. Has anyone heard anything other than Mountain Jam?

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