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Shout! – Gov’t Mule’s first studio album in four years – will feature 11 tracks recorded by the band in Los Angeles and Stamford, CT plus a bonus album download featuring an all-star lineup of vocalists interpreting The Mule’s new songs. Special guests Elvis Costello, Ben Harper, Dr. John, Toots Hibbert, Glenn Hughes, Jim James, Myles Kennedy, Dave Matthews, Grace Potter, Vintage Trouble’s Ty Taylor and Steve Winwood appear on the bonus download of Shout! The double album – which marks Gov’t Mule’s Blue Note Records debut – will be released on September 24.
“No one’s done this before, which is exciting,” says singer-guitarist Warren Haynes, who co-founded Gov’t Mule with drummer Matt Abts. The band also features keyboardist-guitarist Danny Louis and bassist Jorgen Carlsson. “But it’s even more exciting actually listening to these artists sing our songs. Their performances bring new ideas, energy and sometimes even different meanings to every number.”
The concept for the two-disc collection emerged organically as the band members considered how to best approach the songs. Haynes wasn’t even certain “Funny Little Tragedy” belonged on a Gov’t Mule album. “Not only is it different from anything Gov’t Mule’s ever done, it kind of reminded me of The Attractions or The Clash.” With that in mind, he asked Elvis Costello for guidance on what kind of vocal mic he should use to get the late ‘70s-early ‘80s garage rock sound he was after.
“Elvis sent me a very elaborate response explaining how he recorded this vocal and how he recorded that vocal, going all the way back to My Aim is True,” recalls Warren. “I was really happy to get his response and I wound up using the Shure SM58, which is about a $100 microphone, and it turned out great. That was the first seed that was planted for Shout! because from that point forward I started thinking it would be cool to hear Elvis sing this tune.”
Haynes and Danny Louis had written “Scared to Live” as a Beatles-esque ballad, but Gordie Johnson, who co-produced four of the tracks with Haynes, suggested they approach it as a reggae song. They even added a new section towards the end of the track, which on playback seemed very reminiscent of Toots and the Maytals.
Warren considered asking Toots, who is a friend of his, to sing a part on the song; then was struck by the notion that tilted The Mule towards a two-disc set: What if he went through the new songs and made a list of artists he’d like to hear singing each song? After receiving a resounding “yes” from his band mates, he reached out to the singers, to see if they connected to the material and would consider participating. Haynes went into a New York studio with several of the vocalists and others contributed from afar.
“We’ve always taken a nontraditional 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.”
1. World Boss
2. No Reward
3. Whisper In Your Soul
5. Scared to Live
6. Stoop So Low
7. Forsaken Savior
8. Done Got Wise
9. When The World Gets Small
10. Funny Little Tragedy
11. Bring on the Music
1. Funny Little Tragedy w/ Elvis Costello
2. Stoop So Low w/ Dr. John
3. World Boss w/ Ben Harper
4. Captured w/ Jim James
5. Whisper In Your Soul w/ Grace Potter
6. Scared to Live w/ Toots Hibbert
7. No Reward w/ Glen Hughes
8. Bring on The Music w/ Ty Taylor
9. Forsaken Savior w/ Dave Matthews
10. Done Got Wise w/ Myles Kennedy
11. When The World Gets Small w/ Steve Winwood
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