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. Aint 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 Somebodys Home (short version)
11. If Heartaches Were Nickels
12. I Asked Her For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)
13. Black Horizon
Renowned quartet Govt Mule - led by GRAMMY® Award-winning vocalist, songwriter, guitar legend, and producer Warren Haynes - has announced their first-ever blues album, Heavy Load Blues, due out November 12th via Fantasy Records. The album encompasses an even mix of Haynes originals and revered covers originally made famous by the likes of Howlin Wolf, Elmore James, Junior Wells, Ann Peebles, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Read more [...] even Tom Waits and the Animals.
"For me, personally, it's kind of been on my list of things to do for years," shares Haynes. "I didn't know if it was gonna be a solo album or a Govt Mule record. We play some traditional blues on stage from time to time and although its usually never more than a few songs per show, our approach to the blues is unique and based on our collective chemistry as a band." He adds, "This album gave us a mission. Although in some way it was ...anything goes, we wanted to stay true to the spirit of the blues in a traditional sense. Its not a blues/rock record - it's a blues record. We wanted it sonically to sound different from a normal Govt Mule record."
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. The 13-track album was produced by Haynes alongside engineer and co-producer John Paterno (Michael Landau, Robbie Williams, The Steve Gadd Band).
One of the many standout tracks is the Junior Wells standard "Snatch It Back and Hold It," which allowed the band to freely cover a classic while sandwiching a spontaneous jam called "Hold It Back" in the middle of a soulful, stirring interpretation that was given a decidedly funky groove. In that regard, while several titles may sound familiar to blues enthusiasts, the band - Haynes, Matt Abts [drums], Danny Louis [keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals], and Jorgen Carlsson [bass] - often opted to put its own spin on them. "I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebodys Home," originally recorded by Ann Peebles, is one of the few songs on the record the band has previously played live. On their version, Haynes nimble guitar riffs are played out over a solid foundation of organ and rhythm, resulting in a kind of funk-like finesse. For the Howlin Wolf song, "I Asked Her For Water, She Gave Me Gasoline," Govt 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, opted for a heavy, up-tempo and funky version that is a far cry from the original.