Gov’t Mule Welcomes Banjoist Ryan Cavanaugh In Tucson

The versatile five-string player joined Warren Haynes and company for the jazz-fusion, “Devil Likes It Slow.”

By Nate Todd Feb 22, 2024 2:47 pm PST

Gov’t Mule brought their 30 Years Strong Tour to the Fox Tucson Theatre in Tucson, Arizona on Tuesday. Along with the return of drummer Matt Abts — who missed the past weekend’s shows due to illness with John Molo filling in — Mule welcomed banjo player Ryan Cavanaugh for “Devil Likes It Slow.”

Gov’t Mule got things underway with “Bad Little Doggie” off the band’s 2000 album, Life Before Insanity. The quartet then took it even further back to their 1998 album Dose with “Blind Man in the Dark” before returning to Insanity for “Lay Your Burden Down.”


Dose’s “Game Face” was then a vessel for The Allman Brothers Band’s “Mountain Jam” ahead of fan favorite “Which Way Do We Run?” Following “Same As It Ever Was,” off Mule’s latest studio album Peace… Like A River, the band brought out Ryan Cavanaugh for “Devil Likes It Slow.”

The jazz-fusion number composed by guitarist Warren Haynes is right in the versatile banjo player’s wheelhouse as he played for nine years in renowned jazz saxophonist and longtime Mule collaborator Bill Evans’ SoulGrass band. Next, Gov’t Mule went it alone to close the first set with “Time To Confess.”

Set two launched with a pair of tracks, “Unring The Bell” and “Endless Parade,” off Gov’t Mule’s 2006 album High & Mighty. The second set also contained a four song medley of original “Trane” followed by Link Wray’s “Rumble,” James Brown’s “Sex Machine” and a jam on the Grateful Dead’s “St. Stephen.”

The quartet wrapped the second set with “Mule” before returning to encore with the Warren Haynes-penned, latter-day Allman Brothers classic, “Soulshine.” Find official audio of the Tucson show below via

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