Photo Credit: Dino Perrucci

On Saturday, April 20, Gov’t Mule headlined the truncated SweetWater Music Festival at Pullman Yards in Atlanta. During the band’s set, they paid tribute to the late Dickey Betts with classic pulls from the Allman Brothers Band archive, including “Blue Sky” and teases of beloved instrumentals, “Mountain Jam” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.” Grace Potter sat in during the show’s latter half before the band closed their frame with Warren Haynes’ signature, “Soulshine,” a song recorded by ABB and Gov’t Mule. 

Before the group’s ascent into Allman originals, they started with The Staples Singers’ “Hammer and Nails,” a Gov’t Mule live show standard since its 1998 debut. As a follow-up, the band ran through fan favorites “Mule” and “Thorazine Shuffle” before arriving at their initial Allman Brothers instrumental, the Betts’ composed “Blue Sky.” The Eat A Peach originator was teased and flowed into a secondary ode to the deceased, “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.”

Notably, Haynes and Matt Abts met through their shared experience as co-members in the Dickey Betts Band, making their choice selections all the more meaningful given the context of their former bandleader’s passing. The festival stand continued with the high-energy fueled “Trane / Rumble / Sex Machine / St. Stephen Jam,” which took the players into Al Green’s “Take Me To The River” with help from fellow event participant Potter. 

Sans guest, Gov’t Mule unleashed another jam catalyst, “I’m a Ram / Reblow Your Mind / I’m a Ram,” before the final number of their SweetWater 420 Festival frame, “Soulshine,” a number that was written by Haynes, and recorded on ABB’s 1994 LP, Where It All Begins, featuring Gregg Allman on vocals. Later, the number also appeared on Gov’t Mule live sets, Live… With a Little Help from Our Friends, The Deep End, Volume 1 and The Deepest End, Live in Concert. 

The concert ode was Haynes’s latest public move after the passing of friend and collaborator Betts on Thursday, April 18. Read the Haynes’ penned memorial for Betts here

Gov’t Mule 

SweetWater 420 Festival – Atlanta 

April 20, 2024 

Set: Hammer and Nails, Mule, Thorazine Shuffle, Blue Sky, Mountain Jam+, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed+, Trane / Rumble / Sex Machine / St. Stephen Jam, Take Me to the River&, I’m a Ram / Reblow Your Mind / I’m a Ram, Soulshine 


+ Tease, not full play 

& With Grace Potter