Gov't Mule Feeling 'High And Mighty'
Gov't Mule has finished recording its seventh studio album at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio near Austin, Texas.Gov't Mule has finished recording its seventh studio album at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio near Austin, Texas. According to frontman Warren Haynes, the set is tentatively titled "High and Mighty" and slated for an Aug. 22 release on ATO Records.
"It's shaping up to be, I think, the best thing we've ever done," says Haynes, who co-founded the group in 1994 with the late bassist Allen Woody as a side project to their regular gig with the Allman Brothers Band. "We've recorded 18 songs. We're gonna have to narrow it down to 11 or something. There's just a lot of diversity. It covers a lot of ground, a lot of our influences. We're going in some new directions, but it still sounds like Mule."
Haynes says fans will hear reggae overtones in some of the new songs, along with "a little more alt.country" and "a lot of just real groove-oriented stuff, a lot of rockers." Produced by Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar, it's Gov't Mule's first studio release since 2005's "Deja Voodoo" and the second to feature the current lineup of Haynes, founding drummer Matt Abts, bassist Andy Hess and keyboardist Danny Louis.
Gov't Mule has tour dates booked into September, including an after-hours performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. But Haynes says he's not sure how much of the new material the band is likely to preview at concerts prior to the release of "High and Mighty."
"I don't really want to give 'em away that much," says Haynes, who will also be on the road with the Allmans this summer. "It's a tough spot to be in because we're dying to play the new songs, but with today's technology -- especially since we let people record the shows and every show is downloadable from our web site -- the hardcore audience basically would have all the stuff before the record ever comes out. So it's hard to say how much of it will get road-tested, but August will be here before you know it."