The Sound Cafe
Gov’t Mule Release Single ‘Dreaming Out Loud (Ft Ivan Neville & Ruthie Foster) From Upcoming Album
By Stevie Connor.
Peace…Like A River, Gov’t Mule’s 12th studio album and follow-up to their chart-topping, Grammy-nominated blues album, Heavy Load Blues, will be released on June 16th, 2023, via Fantasy Records. The 12-song rock collection also features guest appearances from Billy Bob Thornton, Celisse, and Billy F Gibbons, the latter of whom performed with Haynes this past Sunday night at the CMT Music Awards for an incredible tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd.
“Peace…Like A River is very ambitious from a musical arrangement standpoint in the way that a lot of the songs take twists and turns that is not common in today’s pop music world,” shared Haynes. “At the same time, it’s very much a song record and covers a lot of ground, stylistically speaking. Song for song maybe my favourite one.”
The tracks on Peace…Like A River explore the many sides of Gov’t Mule and bring together all the qualities that have earned the four-piece - Haynes [guitar, vocals], Matt Abts [drums], Danny Louis [keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals], and Jorgen Carlsson [bass] – the beloved stature they enjoy today. Concise songcraft coexists seamlessly with the band’s trademark instrumental journeys. Songs longer than pop convention are somehow still compact: they’re explorative but never meandering; the tunes are at once both wide-ranging and tightly focused. Thematically, the new album explores the seismic changes the world has gone through over the past few years. Influenced both in his songwriting and playing by what Haynes calls “the golden era of rock, soul, jazz and blues,” Gov’t Mule combines the best and most enduring qualities from all those musical strains to create a timeless piece of art on Peace…Like A River that could have easily been released during rock ‘n roll’s classic 70’s classic.
Peace…Like A River was recorded during the same sessions as Heavy Load Blues at The Power Station New England with co-producer John Paterno (Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos) alongside Haynes. The albums, however, were created in different rooms, with no shared gear or instruments, keeping the two concurrent projects with their own unique identity and character.
One distinguishing difference on Peace…Like A River is the presence of talented friends in important guest roles. Billy F Gibbons’ trademark vocals underscore the tasty ZZ Top textures that inform the humour-infused “Shake Our Way Out,” while Billy Bob Thornton adds his distinctive vocals to “The River Only Flows One Way.” For introductory track “Dreaming Out Loud,” Haynes wanted a Sly and the Family Stone vocal style where different singers take different sections of the song, so he called upon previous collaborators blues great Ruthie Foster, whose backing vocals graced Mule’s 2006 album High & Mighty, and longtime friend, New Orleans soul legend, Ivan Neville. Lastly, rising soul artist Celisse adds her incredible vocals to “Just Across The River.” Full track list is below.
Gov’t Mule will be out on the road this year in support of Peace…Like A River. First up, the band heads out on a 10-date spring headlining tour, which kicks off May 5th in New Orleans during Jazz Fest, stops at The Ryman in Nashville on May 12th and wraps in Haynes’ hometown of Asheville, NC with back-to-back shows at Salvage Station’s Outdoor Stage on May 19th and 20th. Then, this summer, Gov’t Mule is bringing back their extremely rare Pink Floyd tribute Dark Side of the Mule tour for a 12-date summer amphitheater run that includes a stop at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre on August 7th. The Dark Side of the Mule Tour, produced by Live Nation, will feature a full Gov’t Mule set leading into DSOTM, as well as special guest Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening, and will mark the final time Mule will perform the acclaimed set, which first debuted in 2008 and has only been performed live 10 times in total. Additionally, Gov’t Mule will perform select dates with The Avett Brothers and on Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour this summer as well as various festival appearances. The band’s New Year’s Run from last year has also been rescheduled for December 29th in Philadelphia and December 30th and 31st in New York City.