NEPA Scene Staff

Iconic jam band Gov’t Mule plays the ‘Blues’ at F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on April 13

Iconic jam band Gov’t Mule plays the ‘Blues’ at F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on April 13
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From a press release:

Today, renowned Southern rock jam band Gov’t Mule – led by Grammy Award-winning vocalist, songwriter, guitar legend, and producer Warren Haynes – has announced a run of headlining spring tour dates supporting their critically acclaimed, chart-topping blues album “Heavy Load Blues,” including a stop at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, April 13.

Commencing on April 6 in Syracuse, the month-long outing includes their rescheduled New Year’s shows in Philadelphia and New York City, the latter of which are now set for April 8-9 at the Beacon Theatre, the band’s unofficial home-court venue. Other stops along the tour include Albany, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Memphis, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, and New Orleans, where Gov’t Mule will return on April 29 for a very special show during the first weekend of Jazz Fest. Additionally, the road warriors will be performing at select festivals this year, including SweetWater 420 Festival in Atlanta and Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga.

“We’ve really been looking forward to getting back out on the road and doing a ‘proper’ tour to play all these new songs,” Haynes shared.

“I don’t know who’s more excited – the fans or the band. We can’t wait to get back to playing every night. Most of these venues are ones we’ve played before and love, but there are a few new places we’re eager to visit. We’re also thrilled to reschedule our New Year’s shows and continue our ‘Black and Blue’ theme, which I think is different from what people may have expected. See you out there!”

Doors at the Kirby Center (71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre) open at 7 p.m., and the music starts at 8 p.m.

Tickets, which are $39.50, $49.50, $59.50, and $79.50, plus applicable fees, go on sale this Friday, Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. and will be available at the F.M. Kirby Center box office, online at and, and by phone at 570-826-1100. A Kirby Member pre-sale begins Wednesday, Feb. 2 at 10 a.m.

“Heavy Load Blues” (Fantasy Records), the band’s first-ever blues album, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Blues Albums chart upon its November 2021 release, marking Gov’t Mule’s third album to enter the Billboard charts at the top spot in their storied career. The record, which has amassed 3.4 million total global streams, also peaked on the Amazon Best Sellers in Blues chart and Music Connect’s Blues Albums chart, among many other charting positions.

The 13-track album, produced by Haynes alongside engineer and co-producer John Paterno (Elvis Costello, Michael Landau, Bonnie Raitt, Robbie Williams, Los Lobos), encompasses an even mix of Haynes’ originals, such as “Heavy Load,” and revered covers, including their rendition of the Tom Waits classic “Make It Rain,” a groovy arrangement of the Junior Wells standard “Snatch It Back and Hold It,” and more originally made famous by the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Ann Peebles, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and The Animals. A deluxe edition featuring additional studio and live tracks, including another Haynes original and covers of songs originally by Savoy Brown, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, and more, is also available now. Though technically considered a studio album, “Heavy Load Blues” was recorded live in the studio at The Power Station New England on analog tape, utilizing vintage guitars, amps, and other equipment to capture an authentic sound.

Worldwide, “Heavy Load Blues” has received critical praise and acclaim from the likes of Consequence, Guitar World, Brooklyn Vegan, No Depression, Ultimate Classic Rock, Pop Matters, Downbeat, Classic Rock, Relix, Guitar Magazine, Paste, and many more, including numerous 9- and 8-out-of-10-star reviews. Additionally, Haynes was a recent guest on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” for an in-depth discussion on the new album.

Gov’t Mule – Haynes (vocals, guitar), Matt Abts (drums), Danny Louis (keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals), and Jorgen Carlsson (bass) – returned to the stage earlier this month for their first shows of 2022 at Island Exodus 12, the band’s annual destination “concert-cation” event at Jewel Paradise Cove Resort in Jamaica. The five-day extravaganza (Jan. 16-20) saw Mule perform three full shows, along with performances from Dawes, The War and Treaty, and Ron Holloway for a truly memorable experience.

The quartet, a regular main stage act at the Peach Music Festival in Scranton, has galvanized a global fan base with their honest, organic, and daring music and improvisational virtuosity, leading them to be recognized as one of the most timeless, revered, and active bands in the world whose spot among rock titans remains unshakable. Led by visionary award-winning artist and guitar legend Warren Haynes - a cornerstone of the American music landscape – the enduring, globally revered group has showcased its intelligence and breadth over the course of 20+ studio and live albums, thousands of memorable performances, and millions of album and track sales.

Gov’t Mule has become a human encyclopedia of great American music while adding to that canon with their signature sound. The band’s flexible interplay in the studio and on stage makes them a true living, breathing ensemble, and Haynes is lauded as one of the most formidable guitarists and vocalists of the modern era and a prolific songwriter and producer. Throughout his prolific career as part of three of the greatest live groups in rock history – Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, and the Dead – and an acclaimed solo artist, he has become one of music’s most treasured storytellers.

“Warren Haynes is a meaty and masterful player, as well as a soulful singer and songwriter – an all-star,” Rolling Stone wrote.

“Gov’t Mule is an essential, iconic American band,” Guitar World said.

See NEPA Scene’s photos from the 2017 Peach Music Festival, including Gov’t Mule’s set, here.