So yeah, Danny is most certainly looking forward to this coming weekend, when Gov’t Mule is set to take the stage in New Haven, Connecticut, for three shows at the Westville Music Bowl, on the grounds of the Yale University Athletic Complex.
“Getting together with the guys and doing a show and playing our music and sharing our music,” said Danny, a resident of Ulster County, New York, “it’s a 10 out of 10.”
Uncertainty remains regarding the COVID-19 pandemic at large, the science behind it all and how it will continue to impact the live music industry. But Danny is fully vaccinated. And concert organizers have joined with the Mule to implement safety measures for the show, including seats sold in sets of two and four, with a minimum of six-feet social distance between clusters. Adding momentum to everything is the fact that Gov’t Mule is currently working in the recording studio.
The greatest health crisis in generations shuttered the concert industry in March 2020. Since then, restrictions on public gatherings have forced venues to close permanently, severely hobbled others and kept bands off the road as everyone waits to see what happens next.
But Gov’t Mule beginning Friday night will offer us all hope that brighter days lie ahead. And that starts with the certainty the band is delivering in these most uncertain times. For starters, Gov’t Mule will deliver its re-assuring, high-octane brand of improvisational rock and sweet-spot songwriting to an audience that is certain to go gangbusters for this actual, genuine, live music experience.
The Friday and Saturday night shows are sold out. The entire run will be live streamed on fans.live. And tickets remain for Sunday, which will feature Ann Wilson of Heart as a special guest. Sunday’s show will also serve as a reunion of sorts, as Wilson performed with Gov’t Mule at the LOCK’N Festival in 2017, and then later that year at the Christmas Jam benefit concert.
“What can I say, it’s a real special thing and the connection that we forged when we first got together was very, very special, at LOCK’N and also at Christmas Jam after that,” Danny said. “It’s a really neat connection from a musical standpoint. For me, personally, I’m thrilled.”
This weekend’s shows will also build upon the 18 years that Danny has been a member of Gov’t Mule. A founding member of The Cars, he has also performed with Gregg Allman, Levon Helm, UB40, Joe Cocker and Cheap Trick, among many others.
And although it’s been more than 12 months since the four took to the stage to perform together for their loyal fans, these musicians, and their audience, could likely feel like no time has passed once that first note is struck on Friday night.
Danny said that, in spite of the broad implications of the pandemic and being forced off the road, remaining in close contact over the last year with Warren, Matt and Jorgen has been reaffirming. The seven sold-out duo shows that Danny and Warren played together in the fall, at South Farms in Morris, Connecticut, surely played a role in cementing these bonds as well
Now, on the cusp of Gov’t Mule returning to the stage, Danny said, “I look forward more than ever to playing music with the band and I can’t wait to get out and do it.”
At the same time, the year Danny has spent off the road has been re-affirming at home, most notably in his home studio. Danny and his wife, Machan Taylor, who has performed with Pink Floyd, Sting and Foreigner, released a song together.
Performing as Gratus Corde, Danny and Machan released “Burn Down Babylon,” an epic, sweeping, steamroller-of-a-more-than-seven-minute-song that combines world music and rock as it forces us all to look at the world’s excesses, divisions and options for saving ourselves from ourselves.
Proceeds from downloads of “Burn Down Babylon” benefit Feeding America and the UN World Food Programme. The song is available for download on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music. And it offers one more perspective on Danny and his keyboard, horn and guitar playing, all of which will shape this weekend’s Gov’t Mule shows, as well as our outlook on dark days hopefully turning bright.