Gov’t Mule is almost finished with a new release that we’re hoping to have out in September. The upcoming tour is called ‘Prepare To Shout,’ the record is called Shout. I also think–at the risk of sounding cliche–this is possibly the best record we’ve ever done. The band feels great, sounds great. The significance of the title, Shout, is that we are going to create a bonus disc with alternate versions of the same songs with a bunch of different singers. The alternate versions will be someone other than myself singing.”
When Gov’t Mule frontman Warren Haynes told us this a few weeks back, we were certainly curious over the identities of said guests. If a band could pick any artists to cover them, who would they pick?
Not that Haynes would reveal his big secret — and for good reason. The guest list, as Gov’t Mule just recently revealed, is a formidable one, including: classic rock legends Elvis Costello and Steve Winwood, reggae icon Toots Hibbert of Toots & The Maytals, New Orleans royalty Dr. John, along with Ben Harper, former Deep Purple member Glenn Hughes, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge and also Slash‘s band, Dave Matthews, Grace Potter and Ty Taylor of Vintage Trouble.
The unconventional concept apparently began when Haynes asked Costello for microphone advice. One of the new songs, “Funny Little Tragedy,” reminded him of the Clash or Elvis from his Attractions era. So he asked Costello what kind of mic he should use to get the late ’70s/early ’80s vocal sound.
“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,” Haynes said in a statement. “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.”
After that, Haynes mulled over the idea of asking Toots Hibbert to sing on the reggae-tinged “Scared To Live,” and from there got the idea to release the album as a two disc set, with other singers “covering” the new songs.
Shout! is due out September 24 on Blue Note Records.
Watch Radio.com‘s recent sit-down with Haynes, in which he discusses the upcoming Gov’t Mule album and tour, his symphonic Jerry Garcia tribute tour and of course, the Allman Brothers Band.
– Brian Ives, Radio.com