With over 10 studio albums, another 10 plus live albums, and having consistently toured over the last two decades, Gov’t Mule are one of the most consistent and revered names in Southern Rock. Since their 1994 debut, the band has built a cult-like following with Mule fans across the globe and in all reaches of life.
With their upcoming release “Heavy Load Blues”, the band reveals their first ever through and through Blues album. One beauty of having Warren and the rest of the band (Matt Abts, Danny Louis, and Jorge Carlsson) curate the songs chosen for the album, is that we are left with a record with absolutely no filler. The record is available in both standard and deluxe editions digitally and on CD and vinyl. You can also experience the album live on their upcoming New Year’s run of shows in Philadelphia and NYC.
Variant Pictured Below: Heavy Load Blues (Blue Smoke Vinyl) Indie Exclusive 2LP
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. In the inner gatefold artwork you can see the space where they recorded the record and see a selection of the roughly 17 different guitars and countless amps peppered throughout the room. For this album, the atmosphere was a just as much a factor in the outcome of the entire record as choosing each tone was.
Heavy Load Blues is an impressive showcase of Gov’t Mules ability to effortlessly produce a blues album while still leaving you knowing you just listened to a Mule album when it’s over. It’s easy to get drawn into the storytelling within these songs, Gov’t Mule brings new life into some of these iconic blues classics that paved the way for the artists who have come since.
The cover songs within the record include “Blues Before Sunrise” by Elmore James, "Mean Old World" by T-Bone Walker, “Snatch It Back and Hold It” by Junior Wells, "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" by Bobby “Blue” Bland, "Brother Bill (Last Clean Shirt)" by The Animals, “Make It Rain” written by Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan, "(I Feel Like) Breaking Up Somebody's Home" by Timothy Matthews and Al Jackson Jr., and “I Asked For Water” by Chester Arthur “Howlin' Wolf” Burnett.
In the above video "Making Of Heavy Load Blues", Warren Haynes speaks on the project by saying "We needed to make a record that sounds like Gov't Mule but also different, and sounds like us interpreting what has been a major influence on our music". The documentary style behind the scenes video goes on to show John Paterno who co-produced and engineered the album who said "The great thing about the blues record is that they're doing it live on floor. So no one has headphones on, it's all an interactive experience. They are setting their volumes based on how they hear each other, so the approach is a more intimate band setup. It's what these guys do best".
"I Asked Her For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)" is a high point of the record, which appears in the form of a 9 minute long epic, showcasing Gov't Mules ability to take a classic song, recreate it using the base elements, and essentially put out a homage to the original song in full Mule style. On the flip side is "Heavy Load" the acoustic blues song that shows all you need is a guitar and your voice to create a powerfully gritty blues song.
"Hole In My Soul" and "Wake Up Dead" may have to be our favorite tracks from the album though, featuring harrowing lyrics that circle above while Warren and the crew rip through the tracks in full jam band style.The live recording setting gives the rhythm section a real kick. Drums hit harder and bass tones ring deeper. When spinning the vinyl you're brought there, it elevates everything to the next level.
If you're not familiar with Gov't Mule prior to this but are still looking for another reason to dive headfirst into the bands deep discography, you may already be a Mule fan without realizing it. Before Warren Haynes solo career and work in Gov't Mule, he was best known for his work as longtime guitarist with the Allman Brothers Band and time performing and touring with The Dead.
Heavy Load Blues the new album by Gov’t Mule is out November 12 via Fantasy Records, stream "Make It Rain", "Snatch It Back and Hold It – Hold It Back – Snatch It Back and Hold It", and "Heavy Load" now, and pre-order the vinyl out Friday.
Heavy Load Blues Track Listing:
Blues Before Sunrise
Hole In My Soul
Wake Up Dead
Love Is A Mean Old World
Snatch It Back and Hold It – Hold It Back – Snatch It Back and Hold It
Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
(Brother Bill) Last Clean Shirt
Make It Rain
Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home
If Heartaches Were Nickels
I Asked Her For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)
Deluxe Version – Bonus Tracks:
You Know My Love
Street Corner Talking
Have Mercy On The Criminal
Long Distance Call
Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home (Extended Version)
Need Your Love So Bad (Live)
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl with Hook Herrera (Live)
Upcoming Gov’t Mule Tour Dates 2021-2022
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
Gov’t Mule is:
Warren Haynes: guitar & vocals
Matt Abts: drums
Danny Louis: keyboards, guitar, background vocals
Jorge Carlsson: bass
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