Gov't Mule To Release First Ever Blues Album
Renowned quartet Gov’t Mule – led by GRAMMY® Award-winning vocalist, songwriter, guitar legend, and producer Warren Haynes – has announced their first-ever blues album, Heavy Load Blues, and released the first original track off the forthcoming collection, “Heavy Load.” The ominous acoustic blues number is highlighted by Haynes’ mournful vocal and supple yet deliberate riffing Heavy Load Blues, due November 12th via Fantasy Records, encompasses an even mix of Haynes’ originals and revered covers originally made famous by the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Junior Wells, Ann Peebles, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and even Tom Waits and the Animals. To coincide with the album’s announcement, Gov’t Mule has released a behind-the-scenes video of the making of Heavy Load Blues.
Heavy Load Blues is available for pre-order now Physical CDs and vinyl are also available for pre-order now from the band’s webstore, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and local record stores. A deluxe edition featuring additional studio and live tracks, including another Haynes original and covers originally by Savoy Brown, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush and more, will also be available.
“For me, personally, it's kind of been on my list of things to do for years,” shares Haynes. “I didn't know if it was gonna be a solo album or a Gov’t Mule record. We play some traditional blues on stage from time to time and although it’s usually never more than a few songs per show, our approach to the blues is unique and based on our collective chemistry as a band.” He adds, “This album gave us a mission. Although in some way it was ‘anything goes,’ we wanted to stay true to the spirit of the blues in a traditional sense. It’s not a blues/rock record – it's a blues record. We wanted it sonically to sound different from a normal Gov’t Mule record.”
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. The 13-track album was produced by Haynes alongside engineer and co-producer John Paterno (Michael Landau, Robbie Williams, The Steve Gadd Band).
One of the many standout tracks is the Junior Wells standard “Snatch It Back and Hold It,” which allowed the band to freely cover a classic while sandwiching a spontaneous jam called “Hold It Back” in the middle of a soulful, stirring interpretation that was given a decidedly funky groove. In that regard, while several titles may sound familiar to blues enthusiasts, the band – Haynes, Matt Abts [drums], Danny Louis [keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals], and Jorgen Carlsson [bass] – often opted to put its own spin on them. “I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home,” originally recorded by Ann Peebles, is one of the few songs on the record the band has previously played live. On their version, Haynes’ nimble guitar riffs are played out over a solid foundation of organ and rhythm, resulting in a kind of funk-like finesse. For the Howlin’ Wolf song, “I Asked Her For Water, She Gave Me Gasoline,” Gov’t Mule, who are known for pushing the parameters while melding a variety of genres — rock, R&B, jam, funk, jazz, and practically everything in-between, opted for a heavy, up-tempo and funky version that is a far cry from the original. See below for full track listing.
Leading up to the release of Heavy Load Blues, Gov’t Mule will continue with their 2021 tour dates. The in-progress outing offers fans a variety of options to catch the road warriors, including co-headlining shows with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and dates on Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour alongside Nelson, Sturgill Simpson, The Avett Brothers, and more, as well as headlining shows and other festival appearances.
Coming up later this winter, the band returns to Jewel Paradise Cove Resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica for Island Exodus 12, the ultimate “concert-cation” experience from January 16-20, 2022. Hosted by Gov’t Mule, who will perform three full two-set shows, and Warren Haynes, offering his unique, interactive “Q and Play” set, a hybrid concert performance and storytelling session, the multi-day experience will also feature intimate beachfront concerts from Dawes and The War and Treaty, who will perform multiple sets, and special guest Ron Holloway, who will present an extended afternoon “Sax On The Beach” set. Attendees arriving early for Exodus Eve on January 15th will see “RoHo” part of Melvin Seals & JGB + Ron Holloway’s “Legion of Melvin” show.
Heavy Load Blues Track Listing:
1. Blues Before Sunrise
2. Hole In My Soul
3. Wake Up Dead
4. Love Is A Mean Old World
5. Snatch It Back and Hold It – Hold It Back – Snatch It Back and Hold It
6. Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
7. (Brother Bill) Last Clean Shirt
8. Make It Rain
9. Heavy Load
10. Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home (short version)
11. If Heartaches Were Nickels
12. I Asked Her For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)
13. Black Horizon
Deluxe Version – Bonus Tracks:
1. Hiding Place
2. You Know My Love
3. Street Corner Talking
4. Have Mercy On The Criminal
5. Long Distance Call
6. Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home
7. Need Your Love So Bad
8. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
GOV’T MULE TOUR DATES
September 9 – Boston, MA @ Leader Bank Pavilion *
September 10 – Gilford, NH @ Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion #
September 11 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Mann Center # September 12 – Saratoga, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center #
September 14 – Bethlehem, PA @ Levitt Pavilion Steelstacks
September 16 – Columbia, SC @ Columbia Speedway Amphitheater %
September 17 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater #
September 18 – Raleigh, NC @ Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek # September 19 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion #
September 23 – Wilmington, NC @ Live Oak Bank Pavilion %
September 24 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion #
September 25 – Winston-Salem, NC @ Gears and Guitars Festival
October 1-3 – Tampa, FL @ Gasparilla Music Festival
October 15 – Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion #
October 16 – Irvine, CA @ FivePoint Amphitheatre #
October 21-24 – Placerville, CA @ Hangtown Music Festival
October 23 – Mountainview, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheater #
October 24 – Wheatland, CA @ Toyota Amphitheatre #
January 16-20 – Runaway Bay, Jamaica @ Island Exodus 12
% co-headlining w/ Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave * w/ Special Guest Margo Price # Outlaw Music Festival
Gov’t Mule – Warren Haynes [vocals, guitar], Matt Abts [drums], Danny Louis [keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals], and Jorgen Carlsson [bass] – 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 amongst rock titans remains unshakable.
Led by visionary GRAMMY 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, Haynes has become one of music’s most treasured storytellers.