Tag Archives: Matt Abts

Birth of the Mule in Memphis

Gov’t Mule with Eric Krasno Band
Minglewood Hall
Memphis, Tennessee
April 26, 2017
photos/words by Josh Mintz

Gov’t Mule has come a long way from its inception, the power trio brain-child of Warren Haynes and Allen Woody. While the band has long been a four-piece, the band that arrived in Memphis was every bit as down and dirty as the original trio. Continue reading Birth of the Mule in Memphis

Gov’t Mule (with Dr. John), 6/9/12


Gov’t Mule (with Dr. John)
Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre
Charlotte, NC
June 9, 2012



Gov’t Mule is back! Making their way across the country, it is as though Warren and company (Matt Abts on drums, Danny Louis on keys and Jorgen Carlsson on keys) never left the road, playing as tight as ever. On this night, the band welcomed legendary zydeco/boogie-woogie ivory man, Dr. John, a gentleman that can never be referred to as an “opener.”

To say that the folks in The Queen City of Charlotte were graced with a hell of a night of music would be quite the understatement.


Gov’t Mule Setlist


Hammer and Nails, Banks of the Deep End, Thorazine Shuffle, Don’t Step on the Grass Sam, Forevermore, Beautifully Broken, Is It My Body, Devil Likes It Slow, Bad Little Doggie, Red House, Slackjaw Jezebel, Goin’ Out West, Soulshine, Mule > Whole Lotta Love > Mule

Encore: Planet of the Ram Jam > Im a Ram > Love Me Do > I’m a Ram


Click HERE to download an audience recording of this set.


Dr. John Setlist


Lie Down, Ice Age, I Walk On Guilded Splinters, Right Place, Wrong Time, Save Our Wetlands, Big Shot, Food for Thot, Revolution, Indian Red > Down By The Riverside > Indian Red,  It Ain’t My Fault


Click HERE to download an audience recording of this set.


Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Brad Kuntz




Planet of the Abts, 12/7/11

Planet of the Abts
Mexicali Live
Teaneck, NJ
December 7, 2011


While Gov’t Mule has  been off the road while Warren Haynes strolls the country promoting his newest project, Warren Haynes Band, and the ensemble’s 2011 release, Man in Motion, the Mule percussive section haven’t just been sitting idly by waiting on the next round of Mule. Rather, Mule drummer Matt Abts and bassist Jorgen Carlsson have joined  up with frequent Mule collaborator,  guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist T-Bone Andersson, to lay down a self-titled album (Planet of the Abts, released June, 2011) and hit the road in support.


On this night, the trio made a stop in Teaneck, NJ and photographer Vernon Webb was on hand to bring back some images.


Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Vernon Webb


New Mule dates; Grace Potter to open

Gov't Mule has announced some new October dates on their Mighty High Fall Tour.  Grace Potter and The Nocturnals will be opening all of these shows.  

10/3: Kool Haus, Toronto, Canada

10/4: House of Blues, Cleveland, OH

10/5: Proctor's Theatre, Schenectady, NY

10/10: Center For The Arts, Buffalo, NY

10/11: Magic City Music Hall, Binghamton, NY

10/12-23: 9:30 Club, Washington DC

10/14: Toad's Place, Richmond, VA

Reminiscing at 10KLF

10,000 Lakes Festival

Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

July 18-21, 2007


Minnesota is known for many things, with lakes among the most popular.  Celebrating summer with good music has always been the way I like to remember my home state best, so heading back for 10,000 Lakes Festival is always a treat.  

This year marked the fifth 10KLF, with ticket sales at an all-time high.  I attended inaugural festival, so it was fun to come back four years later to see how the event had matured.  It was evident that plenty of progress has been made in developing and fine-tuning the grounds, an integral part of what makes the event special.  Surrounded by mature oak trees, green grass, and water, the temperature generally stays cool, making 10KLF an ideal summer fest respite for bands and fans alike.

This year the weather was warmer, but certainly not hot enough to slow the attendees down.  The festival grounds buzzed with seemingly non-stop activity that flowed through the huge festival field and the five campgrounds surrounding it and into the vending area, which was packed with a plethora of great food and craft vendors.

The four main stages were a good length apart, but not far enough that you get exhausted just thinking about moving to the next show.  But if a fest guest were too tired to walk back to their campground, a golf cart cabbie was readily available to give their dogs a rest.

The line-ups at 10KLF consistently provide something for everyone to enjoy.  I managed to take in 18 bands this year without seeing one mediocre performance; not a single show was even close to lackluster.  

I pulled in at dusk on Wednesday to the bluegrass-meets-rock sounds of Blueground Undergrass.  The first evening was mellow but very uplifting, and as the venue began to fill, it rippled with anticipation.

During the afternoons, the shows were played with plenty of verve under the blue and sunny skies.  Galactic, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Outformation, Everyone Orchestra, Keller Williams, Little Feat, and Toubab Krewe all brought an infectious enthusiasm to the midday settings. Crowds gathered early in front of all stages, and sheer ecstasy and rowdy applause could be found at every turn.  Even by day four, when you would expect partiers to show signs of fest weariness, the crowd’s energy remained surprisingly high.




The schedule for every evening was thoughtfully planned.  If someone truly wanted to see all of the evening bands, it was possible – providing, of course, you had the stamina to get you through it.  There was very little overlap of headliners, so you never really had to choose one over another.  Over nine hours of top notch performances were flowing every night

On Thursday evening Zappa Plays Zappa contributed two and a half hours of Frank’s tunes, played to perfection.  This delightful din, fronted by Frank's son Dweezil was followed by a very rambunctious two and a half hour set from Umphrey’s McGee. The Disco Biscuits finished out the night and provided a sort of pulsating electronic lullaby to those who went back to their camps to rest off the well danced day. 

moe. supplied just the right amount of Friday night spunk to prepare adoring String Cheese Incident fans for an emotional three and a half hour set. The usual celebratory weirdness you expect at a SCI show was present in full-force, and it was interesting to witness, knowing that the end of an era for both band and fans was unfolding right in front of me.

There was a sentimental vibe emanating from the audience, and the band was clearly enjoying the warm, err, fuzzies.  Anyone who wasn’t feeling too sentimental to continue rocking out went on to enjoy a riveting high energy performance by The Tragically Hip, but if pure stings strummed heavily in a foot stomping, front porch manner was more your style, the choice to see MN’s own Trampled by Turtles was also available.  TBT was extraordinary and it was pure pleasure to witness their exuberant fans enjoying the heck out of the show.  


Saturday night was definitely set up to be a grand finale.  Gov’t Mule started the evening off with every bit of force they are capable of.  The wind picked up and blew a refreshing breeze over the rhythmically warmed.  Just when I thought the show couldn’t get any better, Derek Trucks emerged on stage to add his slide on "32-20 Blues."  The band was in a rockin’ good mood and did not hold back as they prepared the crowd to embrace Bob Weir and Ratdog.  

Ratdog kicked off their set with "Help On The Way > Slipknot," and never looked back.  An absolutley unforgettable guest appearance by Warren Haynes on "Big Railroad Blues" closed out the first set, working the audience into a massive dancing frenzy in the process.  The second set saw Weir's playful side surface.  No Minnesota performance by any Grateful Dead member would be complete without a Bob Dylan tune, and "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" quickly turned into an enormous feel good sing along.  Ratdog has been on the road with Keller Williams for several weeks, and the one-man band joined his tourmates to close out the second set on "Bird Song," "Cassidy," and "One More Saturday Night." 

A 30 min fireworks display was launched after Ratdog’s last note and revved the audience into gear for a phenomenal midnight set from The Derek Trucks Band. The music sounded fantastic under the starry sky, and the band was in great form, smiles beaming from the stage for the entire show.  

The raw and raunchy funk of Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk was also available during the same midnight time slot to assure that all dancers with even an once of energy left could set their souls afire in front of any active stage.  And if one last set was what a lingering guest needed, a great late night/early Sunday morning set came from The Lee Boys.  Nothing is quite as satisfying as a dose of sacred steel in the wee morning hours to close out a phenomenal weekend.  

I left 10KLF feeling tired, yet rejuvenated all the same.  The mind set of the staff who run the show definitely contributed to the culture of the event, and I didn’t meet a single employee who was not glad to be there or enjoying their job.  If there really is such a thing as “Midwestern nice” the people who put on 10KLF fit the definition.  No details were overlooked at this party, and my, what a party it was!


All photos by Candise Kola



Mule covers steal High and Mighty Taft show

Gov't Mule
Taft Theatre
Cincinnati, Ohio
November 18, 2006
Unveiling a good chunk of their High and Mighty recording was the task at hand for Gov't Mule's November 18 show at Cincinnati's Taft Theatre.
Slamming into "Blind Man in the Dark" to start the evening, Mule founders Warren Haynes on guitar and Matt Abts on drums combined their rhythms in perfect, synchronized solos, adding drama and tension. Bassist Andy Hess' rumblings and Danny Louis' linear keyboard lines provided a skanking flow to Haynes' and Abts' dub grooves on the reggae flavored and politically charged "Unring The Bell." High and Mighty's "Million Miles From Yesterday" proved to be the first set's crown jewel as GM tore through the leisurely paced number with tightly bound reverberation and sound effects.
"So Weak, So Strong" deceptively set a pattern for set two, which soon morphed into a pseudo Phil and friends-like session that had the band ranging from covers of Bob Marley's "Lively Up Yourself" to the Box Tops' "The Letter" and a swirling, rapid paced version of The Grateful Dead's "The Other One," before succumbing to the pounding, percussion laden extended solo of drummer Abts. Haynes, Louis and Hess then took the stage to add final touches to the jam by ripping through a reverential take on The Beatles' "The End" from Abbey Road.
To end the concert, Gov't Mule burned through the hard rocking title track of High and Mighty, "Mr. High and Mighty," enabling the denizens on the floor to revel in Haynes' forceful, stinging guitar leads and booming vocals.
After returning to encore with "Child of the Earth," the group again chose another artist's composition to end one of their best performances in the Queen City by extending their diverse improvisational abilities with surgical skill on Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."

Gov’t Mule’s new release is High & Mighty indeed

In a world where record charts are dominated by compilations (NOW 22 has recently dominated the charts) and cliched pop garbage, jambands generally don't fare well when it comes to sales numbers.  These bands make their money by constant touring, and Warren Haynes is renowned as a work horse.
Gov't Mule is currently supporting its ATO Records release High & Mighty.  The album debuted this week on Billboard's Top 200 at #62, an all-time weekly high in the band's history with sales of 13,576 – 5,130 of which were bought on the internet, earning Gov't Mule #1 on the Internet chart.
Gov't Mule 
Gov't Mule is finishing its tour with the Allman Brothers Band this week and will headline ROCKIN' THE BURRO on September 9th at the McCarren Pool in Brookyn, NY with special guests Wolfmother.  Gov't Mule will appear on Fox's morning show "Fox & Friends" at 8:45AM EDT September 8th.
The band has added November dates for its HIGH & MIGHTY fall tour:
8/30/06         Rosemont Theatre                 Rosemont, IL  (with The Allman  Brothers Band)
8/31/06         Rococo Theatre                   Lincoln, NE
9/2/06          Red Rocks Amphitheatre           Morrison, CO
9/3/06          Belly Up, Aspen                  Aspen, CO
9/9/06          McCarren Park Pool               Brooklyn, NY  (with Wolfmother and Two Gallants)
9/15/06         Warner Theatre                   Washington, D.C.
9/16/06         Charlottesville Pavilion         Charlottesville, VA
10/5/06         Wiltern Theatre                     Los Angeles, CA
10/6/06         Lake Havasu RockFest 2006         Lake Havasu City, AZ (no Donavon)
10/7/06         Open Air Theatre                 San Diego CA
10/8/06         Arlington Theatre                Santa Barbara, CA
10/10/06        The Grove of Anaheim             Anaheim, CA
10/11/06        Civic Center                     Santa Cruz, CA
10/12/06        Senator Theatre                  Chico, CA
10/13/06        Reno Hilton Theatre              Reno, NV
10/14/06        Warfield Theatre                 San Francisco, CA
10/15/06        Pozo Saloon                      Santa Margarita, CA
10/17/06        Commodore Ballroom               Vancouver, BC
10/18/06        Commodore Ballroom               Vancouver, BC
10/20/06        Moore Theatre                    Seattle, WA
10/21/06        The Big Easy                     Spokane, WA
10/22/06        Roseland Theatre                 Portland, OR
10/31/06        Uptown Theatre                   Kansas City, MO
11/2/06         Carolina Theatre                 Greensboro, NC
11/3/06         The Tabernacle                   Atlanta, GA
11/4/06         The Tabernacle                   Atlanta, GA
11/5/06         Tampa Theatre                    Tampa, FL
11/7/06         The Venue                        Gainesville, FL
11/8/06         House of Blues – Orlando         Lake Buena Vista, FL
11/10/06        Pompano Beach Amphitheatre       Pompano Beach, FL
11/11/06        Alabama Theatre                  Birmingham, AL
11/12/06        Ryman Auditorium                 Nashville, TN
11/14/06        Saenger Theatre                  Mobile, AL
11/15/06        Neighborhood Theatre             Charlotte, NC
11/16/06        Charleston Music Hall            Charleston, SC
11/17/06        Louisville Palace Theatre        Louisville KY
11/18/06        Taft Theatre                     Cincinnati, OH
11/19/06        House of Blues                   Cleveland, OH
11/24/06        Tower Theatre                    Philadelphia, PA
11/25/06        Chevrolet Theatre                Wallingford, CT
11/30/06        Palace Theatre                   Albany, NY

Dave Matthews Band with Gov’t Mule

Riverbend Music Center

Cincinnati, Ohio

August 1, 2006 

Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule entertained a wilting, sold out crowd at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, Ohio on August 1 while opening for the Dave Matthews Band. Combined heat and humidity levels topped out at around the 98-100 degree mark, and water became the preferred drink of choice. Haynes took the stifling weather in stride, delivering an inspiring set of Mule standards that kept the crowd engaged.

Continue reading Dave Matthews Band with Gov’t Mule