Gov’t Mule has announced details of a new studio album, Heavy Load Blues, and released the lead single “Heavy Load”. The new LP is due out on November 12th via Fantasy Records.

Per the band’s announcement, this marks its “first-ever blues album.” Though frontman Warren Haynes is highly regarded as a bluesman of the modern era, the group’s special blend of electric blues has always been steeped in numerous musical traditions. With Heavy Load Blues, however, Gov’t Mule has taken a traditionalist approach to pay homage to the Delta blues and other styles. In addition to a number of Haynes-penned originals, the 13-track LP—in addition to the eight-track bonus disc—will host covers from Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Junior Wells, Ann Peebles, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Tom Waits, and The Animals.

“For me, personally, it’s kind of been on my list of things to do for years,” Haynes said in a statement. “I didn’t know if it was gonna be a solo album or a Gov’t Mule record. We play some traditional blues on stage from time to time and although it’s 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. 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. It’s not a blues/rock record – it’s a blues record. We wanted it sonically to sound different from a normal Gov’t Mule record.”

Related: Phil Lesh Reveals Lineup For Capitol Theatre Halloween Run With “The Q”, Members Of Dawes, More

The band’s traditional blues approach is undeniable on the album’s lead single, “Heavy Load”. The sparing seven-minute track features only Haynes’ voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar. From the moment the song starts, listeners immediately understand the band’s statement that Heavy Load Blues is its “first-ever blues album” due to its stark differences from the rest of Mule’s catalog.

“‘Heavy Load’ is the last song we recorded for the album. It’s a song I started working on a few years ago and just finished shortly before going in to the studio,” Warren told Brooklyn Vegan. “The lyric is a pretty universal message about life’s hardships which we can all relate to, especially right now. The music and the way the recording was captured are very much in the tradition of old Delta style blues.”

Listen to “Heavy Load”, the lead single from the new Gov’t Mule album Heavy Load Blues. Click here to pre-order and scroll down to see a full tracklist and album artwork. The band has also shared a behind-the-scenes video on the making of the album.

Gov’t Mule – “Heavy Load”

[Video: Gov’t Mule]

Making of Heavy Load Blues

[Video: The VR Sessions]

Heavy Load Blues Tracklist

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. Ain’t 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 Somebody’s Home
11. If Heartaches Were Nickels
12. I Asked Her For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)
13. Black Horizon

Deluxe Version Bonus Tracks
1. Hiding Place
2. You Know My Love
3. Street Corner Talking
4. Have Mercy On The Criminal
5. Long Distance Call
6. Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home (Extended Version)
7. Need Your Love So Bad (Live)
8. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl with Hook Herrera (Live)

View Tracklist

gov't mule heavy load blues

[H/T Brooklyn Vegan]