Renowned quartet Gov’t Mule – led by GRAMMY® Award-winning vocalist, songwriter, guitar legend, and producer Warren Haynes – have released their first-ever blues album, ‘Heavy Load Blues‘, via Fantasy Records.
Listen to it:here
The 13-track album, produced by Haynes alongside engineer and co-producer John Paterno (Michael Landau, Robbie Williams, The Steve Gadd Band), 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Waits classic ‘Make It Rain’, a groovy arrangement of the Junior Wells standard ‘Snatch It Back and Hold It’, and more originally made famous by the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Ann Peebles, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, and the Animals.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 originally by Savoy Brown, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush and more, is also available now.
Gov’t Mule have released a new animated video for ‘Make It Rain’, produced and directed by Stefano Bertelli/Seenfilm (Bryce Vine, Barenaked Ladies, Counting Crows), and click here to check out Consequence’s Origins feature as they explore the inspiration behind ‘Heavy Load Blues‘.
“I’m really glad that we made the decision as a band to make a blues record,” Haynes shares. “Every one of us was excited about the concept and the change in direction. It forced us to do things completely differently than we’ve ever done in the past. When we were recording, we were just kind of shutting our brains off, letting go, and playing the blues. And it turned out to be music that only Gov’t Mule could make.”
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. Ominous acoustic blues number, and first original track, ‘Heavy Load’, highlighted by Haynes’ mournful vocal and supple yet deliberate riffing, has been featured on a variety of playlists including Spotify’s Backporch Blues, Morning Blues, Acoustic Blues, Blues & Roots Rock, and The Pulse of Americana as well as Apple Music’s Roadhouse.
On their version of the Junior Wells standard, ‘Snatch It Back and Hold It’, the band – Haynes, Matt Abts [drums], Danny Louis [keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals], and Jorgen Carlsson [bass] – covered the classic track while sandwiching a spontaneous original jam called ‘Hold It Back’ in the middle for a soulful, stirring interpretation. The scuzzy blues-rock arrangement of Tom Waits’ ‘Make It Rain’ has been featured on Spotify’s Blues on the Rocks and In The Name of the Blues (recently taken over by Jon Bonamassa) along with Apple Music’s New In Rock playlists.
While several titles on the collection may sound familiar to blues enthusiasts, 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 — often opted to put their own spin on them. Click here to watch a behind-the-scenes video of the making of ‘Heavy Load Blues‘ and see below for the full track listing.
Last month, Gov’t Mule performed ‘Heavy Load Blues‘ in its entirety for the first time at their annual Mule-O-Ween shows in Atlanta, part of two very special Halloween weekend shows where they also celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Allman Brothers Band’s first live album, At Fillmore East, one of the most influential records in Haynes’ life as both a musician and member of the famed band. The celebrated four-piece also recently wrapped their run on Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour as well as various headlining festival sets.
Coming up next for the road warriors is their annual New Year’s Run, the band’s longstanding commitment of bringing together the Mule community to ring in the new year since 2002. The three-night stand kicks off on December 29 at The Met in Philadelphia before heading to the friendly confines of The Beacon Theatre in New York City, the band’s unofficial home-court venue, for back-to-back shows on December 30 and December 31 to close out the year and ring in 2022 with a very special Black ‘n’ Blue New Year’s Show. Visit www.mule.net for more details and click here for limited VIP packages.
At the top of the new year, Gov’t Mule will return to Jewel Paradise Cove Resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica from January 16-20, 2022 for Island Exodus 12, the ultimate ‘concert-cation’ experience hosted by the band and Haynes. The multi-daily experience, highlighted by multiple full two-set Mule shows and an interactive ‘Q and Play’ set from Haynes, will also feature intimate beachfront concerts from Dawes and The War and Treaty as well as special guest Ron Holloway. Visit islandexodus.com for more info and ticketing details.
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
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 (Extended Version)
7. Need Your Love So Bad (Live)
8. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl with Hook Herrera (Live)
Gov’t Mule US Tour Dates
December 29 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Met
December 30 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
December 31 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
January 16-20 – Runaway Bay, Jamaica @ Island Exodus 12