Words & Images by: Dino Perrucci
Gov't Mule Island Exodus :: 01.15 - 01.19 :: Negril, Jamaica
Gov't Mule held its first ever Island Exodus at the all-inclusive Grand Lido Resort in Negril, Jamaica. The event featured three headlining shows from Gov't Mule as well as a Warren Haynes solo show, three sets from Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, guests Ron Holloway (sax), "Mean" Willie Green (drums) and DJ Logic. The weekend fiesta also featured a golf outing, Drum Clinic with Matt Abts, road stories from Warren Haynes' guitar tech Brian Farmer and much more.
|Gov't Mule :: 01.18 :: Jamaica|
With a stage located right next to the water on a beautiful sandy beach, the table was set for the experience of a lifetime. The Gov't Mule sets throughout the weekend offered a great mix of songs from the new release By A Thread mixed with old favorites and island themed covers. Friday nights opener "Jam-Aica" > "The Joker" (Steve Miller cover) set the tone for what was to come. By the end of the set when Ron Holloway stepped out for "Dirty Work" (Steely Dan cover) and the set closer "Sco-Mule," the beach was on fire.
Saturday night opened with a nod to local hero Toots Hibbert with a cover of the Maytals' "54-46" that led into "I'm A Ram." The strong show was topped off with multiple guests joining for encores of "32/20 Blues" featuring Willie Green and Ron Holloway, followed by "Stop That Train" with Willie Green, Ron Holloway, Grace Potter and Nocturnals guitarist Scott Tournet.
Sunday evening featured a big Nocturnals set and two full sets of Warren Haynes solo. Though somewhat marred by rain and the ensuing sound problems, the show still provided some of the finest musical moments of the weekend. Monday night's final set was one for the ages. High energy from the start, things really took off once "Rocking Horse" led into a "Beat It" jam with Warren ripping the Eddie Van Halen solo through the Jamaican night. "Beat It" also featured the stage debut of Sean Carlsson (Jorgen's son) and his robot dance. The second set opened with Matt Abts on vocals leading the band through a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Shattered" with Jorgen Carlsson on drums and Danny Louis on bass. It's worth noting that over the course of the weekend Danny Louis, while usually seated behind the keys, also stepped out to play trumpet, guitar, bass and even joined Abts on Drums. The "Many Rivers To Cross" that opened the encore saw many goose-bumps and more than a few tears. I couldn't help while standing there in paradise but to think for a moment that not too far away in Haiti there is a whole country with many, many rivers to cross. Ending the night with a rousing "Southern Man" (Neil Young cover), everyone walked away with big smiles on their faces.
In the end, fans and musicians alike seemed to agree that this was one of the most memorable times any of us have ever spent together.
Continue reading for lots more pics of Gov't Mule's Island Exodus...