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Published: 2012/12/31

Bill Kreutzmann, Bill Evans, Hook Herrera and Jimmy Vivino Join Gov’t Mule

Photos by Dino Perrucci

Gov’t Mule welcomed several guests over the weekend. The shows were part of the band’s four-night New Year’s run.

The band’s New Year’s celebration kicked off at Upper Darby, PA’s Tower Theater on Friday. The evening opened with a tribute to Levon Helm in the form of a cover of The Band’s “The Shape I’m In.” At the end of their first set, they nodded to the holidays with teases of “Ode To Joy” and “2001” during “Thorazine Shuffle.” Later in the evening, they debuted a cover of Bill Withers’ “Hope She’ll Be Happier.”

Gov’t Mule returned to the Tower Theater on Saturday. During that show, longtime Mule collaborator Hook Herrera played harmonica on “Smokestack Lightning” and “Lay Your Burden Down” at the end of the quartet’s first set. He returned partway through Gov’t Mule’s second set “Get Behind The Mule” and “32/20 Blues.”

The real onslaught of sit ins took place last night when Gov’t Mule returned to New York’s Beacon Theatre. Saxophonist Bill Evans stepped out first for “Birth Of The Mule” and “Devil Likes It Slow” during the group’s first set. Then, Herrera appeared at the end of Gov’t Mule’s first set for “When The Levee Breaks.”
Evans returned during Gov’t Mule’s second set for “Trouble Every Day.” He remained onstage as Herrera and Fab Faux/ Conan guitarist Jimmy Vivino emerged for “John The Revelator” (Vivino’s December 30 appearances with Gov’t Mule are an annual tradition.) The evening’s biggest surprise came next: Grateful Dead co-founder and drummer Bill Kreutzmann subbed for Mule drummer Matt Abts. First, he joined Herrera, Vivino and the members of Mule for “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl.” Then, the drummer backed Vivino and the members of Mule on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Long As I Can See The Light.” Though based in Hawaii, Kreutzmann is in New York for the holidays and rumored to attend both Phish and the Disco Biscuits’ performances this evening.

Many of the evening’s special guests returned during Gov’t Mule’s encore. Evans, Herrera, Vivino and Dickey Betts & Great Southern guitarist Andy Aledort all took the stage for “Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home.”

Gov’t Mule will return to the Beacon this evening. Their New Year’s show will celebrate B.B King, Freddie King and Albert King.

Here’s a look at this weekend’s setlists via

Friday, December 28, Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA

Set I: The Shape I’m In > Gameface (with Birdland, Little Martha & Mountain Jam Teases), Temporary Saint, Little Toy Brain, Larger Than Life (with I Feel Good Lyrics), Presence Of The Lord, Lively Up Yourself (with Black Dog & Get Up, Stand Up Teases), Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, Thorazine Shuffle (with Ode To Joy & 2001 Teases)

Set II: King’s Highway > I’m A Ram > 54/46 Was My Number > I’m A Ram, No Need To Suffer, Hope She’ll Be Happier* > Drums > Time To Confess (with Shakedown St. Tease), Slackjaw Jezebel > Mule

E: When The Music’s Over

*First time played

Saturday, December 29, Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA

Set I: Steppin’ Lightly > Any Open Window, Inside Outside Woman Blues, Brand New Angel, Far Away, One Rainy Wish > Angel, Lay Your Burden Down (with Get Up, Stand Up Tease) > Smokestack Lightning* > Lay Your Burden Down*

Set II: Working Class Hero*, Patchwork Quilt, Captured, No Reward > Drums > Get Behind The Mule*, 32/20 Blues*, Effigy > Folsom Prison Blues Jam > Effigy

E: Maggot Brain > Morning Dew

*with Hook Herrera

Sunday, December 30, Beacon Theater, New York, NY

Set I: Railroad Boy > 30 Days In The Hole, Rocking Horse, Banks Of The Deep End, Painted Silver Light, Birth Of The Mule* > Devil Likes It Slow*, I Think You Know What I Mean > When The Levee Breaks^

Set II: Mr. Man, Broke Down On The Brazos > Tributary Jam, Trouble Every Day*, John The Revelator^^, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl%, Long As I Can See The Light%%, Blind Man In The Dark (with Pygmy Twylyte Tease)*

E: Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home (with Let Me Have It All Lyrics)**

*with Bill Evans
^with Hook Herrera
^^with Bill Evans, Hook Herrera and Jimmy Vivino
%with Hook Herrera, Jimmy Vivino & Bill Kreutzmann; without Matt Abts
%%with Jimmy Vivino & Bill Kreutzmann; without Matt Abts **with Bill Evans, Hook Herrera, Jimmy Vivino & Andy Aledort

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