Gov’t Mule returned to The Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California on August 27, 2019. It was a balmy evening at the beautiful, intimate venue high in the hills above San Jose, California which only seats 2400 patrons. Originally the home of legendary wine maker, Paul Masson, the venue has been hosting concerts since the 70s with an impressive list of past performers like Ray Charles, Santana, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Crosby Still and Nash and many others. With great sightlines and pristine sound at any place within the concert bowl, the Tuesday night crowd was treated to a well-played show.
The mood was somber as Warren Haynes, Matt Abts, Danny Lewis and Jorgen Carlsson ran through old classic Mule compositons as well as newer material. Wondering if the recent passing of friend Neal Casal was weighing heavily upon the band, as the music was very moving but with decidedly darker tones all night. With a few rockers Rocking Horse, Devil Likes It Slow, Soulshine and the encore Going Out West sprinkled in, Warren’s singing was expressive and playing was exquisite especially on “Banks of the Deep End” and “Blind Man In the Dark.”
Photos by Susan Weiand