The Mule and the Smoke take over Vina Robles

The Mule and the Smoke take over Vina Robles

Aug 30, 2016

Gov't Mule brought their Smokin' Mule Tour to the beautiful Vina Robles Amphitheatre on Sunday night (August 28) and it truly was a night to remember. Upon arrival, it was announced that it was going to be a general admission show, meaning everyone had access to the floor section and had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the amazing music ready to be delivered on this night. Obviously The Mule has some seriously dedicated fans, and that announcement made everyone even more jacked up, excited and ready to get into the night.

Sometimes there are shows that you leave saying, "That was really great," and then there are those shows that make you feel fully connected with the music, that from beginning to end you are completely and totally into the experience. A show that you will think about in the days to follow, relive, and understand that you will be seeing this band every time they roll through town. This Gov't Mule show truly was one of those nights of music.

I was ready to see opening act Blackberry Smoke for the first time, as I had missed them in a prior headlining show on the Central Coast at the Chumash Casino Resort this past April. There really couldn't be a better pairing for an opener with Mule than Blackberry Smoke. From start to finish the boys from Atlanta delivered their fantastic blend of Rock, Country, Bluegrass, Gospel and R&B. With influences all over the board, their appeal (just as Gov't Mule's) hits all different kinds of music lovers. I saw people with a Volbeat shirts on, a Pantera hat, tatoos, cowboy hats and denim, and plenty of tie-dye and flowing skirts. Positive vibes flowed throughout the house and besides the Smoke onstage, I smelled some other smoke in the air as well, and I suppose it probably was a Blackberry Kush, helping blend in with that other rockin' Smoke. The talented band consists of Charlie Starr (lead vocals, guitar), Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals) and Brandon Still (keyboards). All of their releases were well represented in the set, with the opening track 'Fire in the Hole,' from the 'Holding All the Roses' 2015 release, followed by 'Six Ways to Sunday' from 2012's 'The Whippoorwill' and cuts from 2009's 'Little Piece of Dixie' and their EP 'Wood, Wire & Roses.' Blackberry Smoke rocked some new tracks from their upcoming album 'Like An Arrow' as well, which you can pre-order now at 

The guys even threw in some Zeppelin with an awesome cover of 'You Time Is Gonna Come' and an amazing rendition of Black Sabbath's 'Fairies Were Boots.' Really glad I had an opportunity to see this band and it won't be the last time.

Blackberry Smoke set list:
1. Fire in the Hole
2. Six Ways to Sunday
3. Let Me Help You (Find the Door)
4. Rollin' and Tumblin' / Rock and Roll Again
5. Good One Comin' On
6. Sanctified Woman
7. Sleeping Dogs / Your Time Is Gonna Come (Led Zeppelin cover)
8. Ain't Got the Blues
9. Waiting for the Thunder
10. Fairies Wear Boots (Black Sabbath cover)
11. Ain't Much Left of Me

The party vibe was in full effect after the Blackberry Smoke set, as everyone in the house was ready for the great Warren Hayes and Gov't Mule. Hayes formed the band while still in the Allman Brothers back in 1994, and they are truly one of the definitive and extremely talented jam bands in the business. You name the artist, Warren has probably jammed with them at some point. The list is endless as is this legendary American guitarist's talent.

The band hit the stage with an amazing rendition of 'World Boss,' continuing into 'Lay Your Burden Down,' 'Steppin’ Lightly' and 'World Of Difference.' That was followed by some great covers, including The Band's 'The Shape I'm In,' Bob Marley's 'Lively Up Yourself' and Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Long As I Can See the Light' wrapped around the band's 'Temporary Saint.'

The musicianship could just not get any better, with original band member Matt Abts on the drums, the amazing Danny Louis on guitar and keys and Jorgen Carlsson bringing the Swedish Bass fuel for the Mule.

After the CCR cover, Jimmy Kimmel Live guitar player Yoshi Yanagi came out to join the band for a truly next level version of 'Sco-Mule,' trading riffs with Warren and just blowing everyone away. This is what I'm talking about when I say some shows are great and others are just so fantastic you are awestruck. It was just amazing.

The band wasn't nearly done with their over 2 1/2 hour set, continuing with 'Monday Morning Countdown,' followed by 'Frozen Fear' that included an interlude of Led Zeppelin's 'D'yer Maker.' That was the first of two Zep tunes Mule jammed on this night, later tossing in 'Whole Lotta Love' with Bo Diddley's 'Who Do You Love' during 'Mule.'

The evening concluded with Blackberry Smoke's Charlie Starr joining in on the encore (as he has every night on this tour) for versions of Bob Dylan's 'It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry,' which was the first time they have played that together, and Bob Seger's 'Ramblin' Gamblin' Man,' with a little signature jam of Mountain's 'Mississippi Queen' tossed in for good measure. After feeling the positive vibes on the floor for most all of the show, a friend who attended with me and I watched the Dylan/Seger encore from a couple of levels up when one of the hospitable concessionaire's from the venue came walking around with a huge platter of baked goods, giving them out to anyone who wanted them. I grabbed a bacon maple twist and a couple of cookies to chow down on while the show wrapped up, feeling the contact high from not only what was in the air, but from the wrap up of one hell of a night of just amazing music. Truly a night to remember.

1. World Boss
2. Lay Your Burden Down
3. Steppin' Lightly
4. World Of Difference
5. The Shape I'm In (The Band cover)
6. Lively Up Yourself (Bob Marley cover)
7. Temporary Saint
8. Long As I Can See The Light (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
9. Sco-Mule (with Toshi Yanagi)
10. Monday Mourning Meltdown
11. Frozen Fear/D'yer Mak'er (Led Zep cover)/Frozen Fear
12. King's Highway/K.H. Jam
13. When The World Gets Small
14. Slackjaw Jezebel
15. Mule (with Les Brers In A Minor tease)/Who Do You Love?/Whole Lotta Love/Who Do You Love?/Mule
16. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry (Bob Dylan cover with Charlie Starr; first time played)
17. Ramblin' Gamblin' Man/Mississippi Queen tease (Bob Seger/Mountain cover with Charlie Starr)

For more photos from the show check out Marshall of Rock on Facebook.

For all Gov't Mule news and upcoming tour dates, hit

For all upcoming shows at the beautiful Vina Robles Amphitheatre, check out

Special Thanks to Vanessa Kromer and Jennifer Anderson of Nederlander

Govt Mule Blackberry Smoke Vina Robles

Van Halen shut down Hollywood with performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, David Lee Roth injured (video)

Van Halen shut down Hollywood with performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, David Lee Roth injured  (video)

Mar 31, 2015

David Lee Roth first ever U.S. television performance with Van Halen happened on Jimmy Kimmel Live! as the band shut down Hollywood Boulevard for a concert before a crowd of about 6,000. The first part of that aired last night, and will continue with taped performances tonight. Dave has grown some hair since his cleanly shaven dome performance for Dave Grohl's birthday bash a couple of months ago, and came away from this show with a nice gash on his nose during their first attempt on "Panama." Watch the mishap and performances below.

Diamond Dave cut himself in the face with a microphone soon after hitting the stage, then pausing the show until he was bandaged up. “I f—ed my nose up with the microphone here,” Roth said. “So we’re gonna start the whole thing over, and give you a little extra for your patience.”

Van Halen with Jimmy Kimmel 3-30-15
photo from Jimmy Kimmel Live

Live renditions of “Panama” and “Runnin’ With the Devil,”

Van Halen's 2015 North American summer and fall tour will kick off July 5 in Seattle, with tickets going on sale April 4. The new live album, Tokyo Dome Live in Concert is out now and includes 23 songs that from all seven of the band’s albums with Roth. It's available in a variety of formats, including as a double CD, digitally and as a four-LP set on 180-gram vinyl.

The group will also be reissuing their first six albums, starting with Van Halen and 1984, which are also out now. Re issues continue later this year with Van Halen II, Diver Down, Fair Warning, and Women and Children First. Van Halen will next perform live on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this Thursday April 2nd.

Van Halen on Jimmy Kimmel promo logo 3-30-15Van Halen Jimmy Kimmel show 2015 aerial view
photo from KABC Los Angeles

Rock On the Talks: June 2-13

Rock On the Talks: June 2-13

Jun 2, 2014

Rock On the Talks June 2-13:
June 2: Birds Of Satan - Last Call With Carson Daly
June 3: Soundgarden - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
June 4: Bob Mould - Conan
June 4: Chrissy Hynde - The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon
June 4: Afghan Whigs - Late Show With David Letterman
June 5: Chrissy Hynde - The Colbert Report
June 5: Daughtry - Live With Kelly & Michael
June 5: Damon Alban - The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon
June 6: War featuring Cheech & Chong - The Arsenio Show (R-5/19/14)
June 6: Birds Of Satan - Jimmy Kimmel Live (R-5/14/14)
June 6: Keb 'Mo - Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson
June 10: Fall Out Boy - The Ellen DeGeneres Show (R-10/10/13)
June 13: Jack Osbourne - The Ellen DeGeneres Show (R-10/4/13)
June 13 - Ben & Ellen Harper - Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Soundgarden 2014Chrissy Hyndedaughtry[1]Cheech and Chong War tour 2014

Rock On the Talks: May 12-May 22

Rock On the Talks: May 12-May 22

May 12, 2014

May 12 - Jack White with Neil Young - The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
May 12 - The Black Keys - Late Show With David Letterman
May 13 - Blondie - Good Morning America
May 13 - The Black Keys - The Colbert Report
May 14 - Santana - Live With Kelly & Micheal
May 14 - Blondie - The Daily Show
May 14 - Birds Of Satan - Jimmy Kimmel Live
May 14 - Keb Mo' - Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson
May 16 - Royal Blood - Jimmy Kimmel Live
May 19 - Blondie - Live With Kelly & Micheal
May 19 - Adam Duritz & Counting Crows - Late Night With Seth Myers
May 22 - 2 Cellos - Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Neil Young A Letter Hiome album cover

Jack White Lazaretto album cover

Black Keys Live on Letterman

Santana Corazon album cover

Blondie 2014

Rock On The Talks: March 20-March 31

Rock On The Talks: March 20-March 31

Mar 20, 2014

Rock On The Talks: March 25 - March 31
March 20 - Billy Joel - The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon
March 20 - Band Of Skulls - Late Night With Seth Myers
March 21 - Ann Wilson - The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon
March 21 - Kongos - Jimmy Kimmel Live (R-3/5/14)
March 25 - A musical tribute to Johnny Cash - Late Show With David Letterman
March 31 - Joan Jett & the Blackhearts - Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Joan Jett