Warren Haynes On How Gov't Mule Turned To The Blues In The Pandemic

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

December 21, 2021

Gov't Mule returned this fall with the band's Heavy Load Blues, an inspired record of tributes to blues artists of bygone eras.

Guitarist and frontman Warren Haynes tells Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke that his band made the most of the COVID pandemic downtime by actually recording two new albums side-by-side.

Whereas Heavy Load Blues is a bit of a departure for the Mule, the second LP will be a more familiar sounding album when it arrives next year.

The band set up equipment in two different rooms at Power Station New England. After working on new music all day, they'd take to the smaller of the two rooms and record the more raw-sounding Heavy Load Blues.

"We would go in around 1 o'clock in the afternoon and work on new Gov't Mule material till about 9 p.m." Warren says. "Then we'd take a little break and play blues the rest of the night.

While it was a massive workload each day, Warren believes it paid off for both records. After all, the blues sounds and feels truer, when you're tired.

"I think you've got to play the blues at night [laughs] ... and the other [reason] is that after thinking too much all day long [about new Mule material], it was great to just shut our brains off and play blues," he recalls. "It was like cleansing your palette. When you're playing the blues, you've just got to quit thinking and turn your brain off."

Watch the full conversation via the player above, including Warren's in-studio performance of "If Heartaches Were Nickels."

For details on Heavy Load Blues and all of Gov't Mule's upcoming shows, go here.

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Photo: Nicholas Ciofalo
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Photo: Jay Sansone

Here's the official music video for Gov't Mule's "Make It Rain":

Warren HaynesGov't Mule
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