Three years after the death of founding member Allen Woody, Andy Hess has been named permanent bass player for Gov't Mule. The new lineup begins a fall tour Oct. 3 in Austin, Texas. Hess, who has reco

Three years after the death of founding member Allen Woody, Andy Hess has been named permanent bass player for Gov't Mule. The new lineup will begin a fall tour Oct. 3 at the Backyard in Austin, Texas.

Hess, who has recorded and toured with John Scofield, the Black Crowes, Joan Osborne and Freedy Johnston, among others, is one of many musicians who has performed with the band since Woody's passing, touring briefly with the group in 2002.

Hess tells Billboard.com that he is excited about signing on to Mule's notoriously frenzied touring schedule. "I'm kind of a road warrior, so I can do it," he says.

Gov't Mule's "Deep End" projects -- which found the band collaborating with a host of legendary bassists -- were special, Hess adds, "but I think those guys are also really psyched to have a unit again, to be a group just coming together and playing music, maybe doing some recording -- becoming a band again."

As previously reported, ATO will on Oct. 7 release "The Deepest End" CD and DVD, chronicling a six-hour, all-star Gov't Mule concert held May 3 at New Orleans' Saenger Theatre. The group will appear the following evening on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien."