Gov’t Mule Debuts Tom Waits Cover In Bethlehem

Listen to the band's first ever take on Waits' "Make It Rain."

By Scott Bernstein Sep 15, 2021 7:42 am PDT

Gov’t Mule fit a pair of debuts into their Tuesday night concert at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The band premiered their take on Tom Waits’ “Make It Rain” and the instrumental “Hold It Back” jam last night. Both tunes appear on Heavy Load Blues, a new blues-focused Gov’t Mule studio album set for release via Fantasy Records on November 12.

Warren Haynes and his bandmates went with “Railroad Boy” to open in Bethlehem. Beloved classic “Thorazine Shuffle” came next along with Revolution Come…Revolution Go rocker “Stone Cold Rage.” The pairing of “Which Way Do We Run?” and “Fools Moon” was followed by an instrumental cover of Bob Marley’s “Lively Up Yourself.” Gov’t Mule ended last night’s first set with Kenny Neal’s “If Heartaches Were Nickels” and the title track from Revolution Come…Revolution Go.

Tuesday’s second set began with “Traveling Tune.” Next up was the band’s first cover of Junior Wells’ “Snatch It Back And Hold It” since November 11, 2003 as per Setlist.FM. Gov’t Mule came up with the spontaneous improvisation “Hold It Back” while recording “Snatch It Back And Hold It” for Heavy Load Blues and debuted the jam live last night within the cover in the same sequence found on the forthcoming LP. From there, the quartet offered their first ever “Make It Rain.” Waits originally released the song on 2004’s Real Gone.

The set rolled on with Howlin’ Wolf’s “I Asked Her For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline),” another tune featured on Heavy Load Blues. Gov’t Mule then fit “Message In A Bottle” teases in “Funny Little Tragedy” and “I’ve Been Working” within “Mule.” Last night’s second set ended with “Soulshine.” The quartet went back to the Tom Waits songbook in capping the night with a “Get Behind The Mule” encore.

In other Gov’t Mule news, the band postponed a concert originally scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday, September 16) in Columbia, South Carolina until a date to be announced in Spring 2022. The co-bill with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue was rescheduled, “in consideration of rising COVID levels in the Columbia, South Carolina area.” Tickets for the show will be honored on the new date.

Check out audio from last night’s show shared by Borrowed Tune:

Make It Rain

Snatch It Back And Hold It, Hold It Back, Snatch It Back And Hold It

Setlist (via Gov’t Mule FB)

Set One: Railroad Boy, Thorazine Shuffle, Stone Cold Rage, Which Way Do We Run?, Fool’s Moon, Lively Up Yourself, If Heartaches Were Nickels, Revolution Come, Revolution Go

Set Two: Traveling Tune, Snatch It Back And Hold It > Hold It Back% > Snatch It Back And Hold It, Make It Rain%, I Asked Her For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline), Funny Little Tragedy, Mule > I’ve Been Working > Mule, Soulshine

Encore: Get Behind The Mule

% – First Time Played

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