Labor Day means we are unofficially in the final days of summer and in the homestretch of the Red Butte summer concert series, but the season is finishing with a flurry, with seven concerts in the next three weeks.
First up is something of a throwback, with Gov’t Mule returning Wednesday night to the amphitheater they last visited in 2017.
Mule is a band that has exhibited surprising staying power, with more than 25 years in the business, springing up in the early days of the ’90s jam-band craze.
Don’t be confused, we’re not talking psychedelic jam-bands like Grateful Dead or Phish, or even the radio-friendly iterations like Dave Matthews — although there is a fair amount of that. These guys are cut from more traditional rock-and-roll denim, with the thick guitar riffs punctuated by heavy drums and Warren Haynes’ deep raspy vocals.
They got their start essentially as a spin-off to The Allman Brothers Band, and there are noticeable influences of the southern rock roots throughout, especially with the virtuoso guitar work of Haynes, who filled in for Duane Allman in The Allman Brothers Band.
They have released 22 albums since their debut in 1995 and toured relentlessly. Indeed, as with all good live acts, if you are unfamiliar with their music and would like a taste, the best place to start is one of the countless concert recordings bouncing around on the Internet.
The standard Mule show is often split in half, front-loaded with the straight-ahead rock-and-roll, followed by a journey into something a little more experimental and unstructured, feeding off the vibe of the venue.
Maybe it’s Labor Day recovery or kids back in school, but there are still tickets available for the show and you can find out more at the Red Butte website. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the music starts at 7 p.m. and, if their past is any predictor, will go late into the night.
A pair of guitar greats round out the Red Butte week, with Gary Clark Jr. on Friday and Mark Knopfler on Sept. 11.