Gov’t Mule tried something different for their upcoming 10th studio album. The blue-rock veterans’ first release for Blue Note Records “Shout!” will be a double-album — one set collecting 11 new tracks, and the other featuring an all-star line-up of artists interpreting those songs.
The likes of Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Ben Harper, Toots Hibbert, Glenn Hughes, Jim James, Myles Kennedy, Dave Matthews, Grace Potter, Vintage Trouble’s Ty Taylor and Steve Winwood will guest on the second disc of “Shout!”
“No one’s done this before, which is exciting,” says Gov’t Mule’s singer, guitarist and co-founder Warren Haynes in a statement. “But it’s even more exciting actually listening to these artists sing our songs,” he continues. “Their performances bring new ideas, energy and sometimes even different meanings to every number.”
“Shout!” is Gov’t Mule’s first studio set in four years. It’s due Sept. 24 in North America and is available for pre-order at mule.net. The “Prepare To Shout Tour” will roll out this summer in support of the album.
The second-side of the project came about on a whim, and a prayer. Haynes drew-up a wishlist and put to his band the idea of pursuing singers to see if they connected with the material. The group agreed, and it was set in motion. Haynes entered a New York studio with several of the vocalists and others contributed their parts from elsewhere.
One of those tracks, “Funny Little Tragedy”, which is performed by Elvis Costello on the “all-star” disc, is not only “different from anything Gov’t Mule’s ever done,” explains Haynes, “it kind of reminded me of The Attractions or The Clash.”
Gordie Johnson co-produced four of the tracks with Haynes, including “Scared To Live,” a track that began life as a Beatles-esque ballad and evolved as a reggae song.
“We’ve always taken a non-traditional approach to everything we’ve done, and it works for us,” says Haynes. “One of things we’re very proud of about this record is that all the songs stand up for themselves and have their own personality. Hopefully, hearing another singer interpret them helps shine even more of a light on the songs and somewhere in that picture people get a glimpse of what Gov’t Mule does.”
The group — comprising Haynes, Matt Abts (drums), Danny Louis (keyboards/guitar) and Jorgen Carlsson (bass) — have sold more than three million song downloads through their site MuleTracks, according to a spokesperson.
Haynes himself has been dubbed rock ‘n roll’s Iron Man. He’ll reaffirm that nickname when he hits the road with the Allman Brothers Band in August and September and for dates with Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration, from July 30.
“Shout!” disc two track listing:
1. “World Boss” with Ben Harper
2. “Funny Little Tragedy” with Elvis Costello
3. “Stoop So Low” with Dr. John
4. “Captured” with Jim James
5. “Whisper In Your Soul” with Grace Potter
6. “Scared To Live” with Toots Hibbert
7. “No Reward” with Glenn Hughes
8. “Bring On The Music” with Ty Taylor (Vintage Trouble)
9. “Forsaken Savior” with Dave Matthews
10. “Done Got Wise” with Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge)
11. “When The World Gets Small” with Steve Winwood
Gov’t Mule Tour Dates:
July 27 Bridgeport, CT Gathering of the Vibes
Aug. 17 Scranton, PA Peach Festival
Sept. 5 Arrington, VA Interlocken Festival
Sept. 13 Fredericton, NB Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival
Sept. 15 Burlington, VT Grand Point North