Watch Gov’t Mule Recruit Mickey Raphael For Tom Waits & Allman Brothers Covers In Alabama

Willie Nelson’s longtime harmonica player sat-in on Waits’ “Make It Rain” and ABB classic “Melissa” during the Outlaw Music Festival stop on Sunday.

By Nate Todd Oct 9, 2023 10:44 am PDT

Gov’t Mule hopped back on Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour over the weekend. Mule’s final 2023 appearance at the traveling event took place at The Wharf Amphitheatre in Orange Beach, Alabama on Sunday and saw them welcoming longtime Nelson harmonica player Mickey Raphael for Allman Brothers Band and Tom Waits covers.

Three songs into their set, Gov’t Mule — guitarist Warren Haynes, drummer Matt Abts, multi-instrumentalist Danny Louis and bassist Kevin Scott — brought out Raphael beginning with Tom Waits’ “Make It Rain.” Mickey added complimentary harp work alongside a characteristically strong vocal performance from Warren as well as a wailing solo on the song off Waits’ 2004 album Real Gone. Haynes also reeled off a tasty run to close out the tune. Watch a clip of the performance below:


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Blake Jefferson (See 2 videos)
Gov’t Mule (See 190 videos) and Mickey Raphael (See 12 videos)

Raphael stuck around for Allman Brothers classic “Melissa” off their 1972 album Eat A Peach. “Melissa” is somewhat of a rarity for the former Allman Brothers guitarist and the hard touring Gov’t Mule, clocking about three or four plays a year since it was debuted by Mule at Red Rocks in 2017, as per Setlist.FM stats. Mickey’s forlorn harmonica work paired well with the road/love song.


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Blake Jefferson (See 2 videos)
Gov’t Mule (See 190 videos) and Mickey Raphael (See 12 videos)

Gov’t Mule’s 2023 Outlaw Music Festival finale also saw the band performing ABB’s “Dreams.” Additionally, Warren and company delivered a pair of cuts, “Shake Our Way Out” and “Dreaming Out Loud,” off their new record Peace…Like A River, the tour for which continues in Shreveport, Louisiana on Tuesday. Check out Mule’s itinerary below including their newly announced 2024 30th anniversary tour dates.

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