Gov’t Mule Kicks Off Island Exodus 2022 In Jamaica With Ron Holloway

The setlist featured a handful of songs the band hadn't played in years.

By Scott Bernstein Jan 17, 2022 7:54 am PST

Gov’t Mule took the stage at Jewel Paradise Cove in Runaway Bay, Jamaica on Sunday to get the 2022 installment of their Island Exodus destination event underway. The quartet’s first of three Island Exodus 12 performances featured saxophonist Ron Holloway contributing to the end of both sets as well as the evening’s encore.

The band launched Sunday’s first set with a rare cover of Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain.” Gov’t Mule last played the title track from Funkadelic’s 1971 studio album at Island Exodus 2020 with the previous rendition coming at Telluride Blues & Brews in September of 2018. “Maggot Brain” gave way to a reggae-tinged “Back In The Saddle.” Next came the beloved “Rocking Horse.”

Guitarist Warren Haynes and his bandmates then focused on material from their 2021 blues album Heavy Load Blues. A take on Junior Wells’ “Snatch It Back and Hold It” featured the “Hold It Back” jam developed in the studio within. The group’s third live “Wake Up Dead” followed along with “Make It Rain,” a Tom Waits cover.

Ron Holloway made his first appearance of the event towards the end of opening stanza. Holloway added saxophone to the staple “Trane,” while bled into covers of Link Wray’s “Rumble” and James Brown’s “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine.” The longtime Mule collaborator also lent a hand on the ensuing “Devil Likes It Slow,” complete with a “Slow Devil” into, and the set-closing “32-20 Blues.”

Gov’t Mule started last night’s second set by performing “Game Face” featuring “Mountain Jam” within. Next came Déjà Voodoo gem “My Separate Reality,” which had been shelved since April 14, 2019. Fan-favorite “Banks Of The Deep End” followed before the band worked Band of Gypsys’ “Machine Gun” into “I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline),” a Howlin’ Wolf cover Mule recorded for Heavy Load Blues. “Machine Gun” was last played at Haynes’ Christmas Jam 2018 as per Setlist.FM.

Ron Holloway came back on stage to help Gov’t Mule cap the second set with The J.B.’s “Doing It To Death” and the Ann Peebles-popularized “Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home.” Holloway and Gov’t Mule ended the first night of Island Exodus 12 with an encore featuring “Jesus Just Left Chicago” and “Brown Sugar.” Two more Gov’t Mule shows as well as performances from Warren Haynes, Dawes and The War And Treaty will take place at the destination event over the next four days.

Setlist (via Gov’t Mule FB)

Set One: Maggot Brain > Back in the Saddle (reggae), Rocking Horse Snatch it Back and Hold It > Hold It Back > Snatch It Back and Hold It, Wake Up Dead, Make It Rain, Trane > Rumble > Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine > Slow Devil > Devil Likes It Slow, 32-20 Blues

Set Two: Game Face > Mountain Jam > Game Face, My Separate Reality, Banks of the Deep End, I Asked Her For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline) > Machine Gun > I Asked Her For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline), Doing It To Death, Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home

Encore: Jesus Just Left Chicago, Brown Sugar

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