Earlier this month, Gov’t Mule announced that it was parting ways with longtime bassist Jorgen Carlsson. In a social media post, the Warren Haynes-led group revealed that Kevin Scott would be joining the Mule lineup in Carlsson’s place beginning on June 9th, 2023, in Jacksonville, OR. The band at the time did not specify a reason for the lineup change.

In a subsequent interview with Rock & Blues Muse, Haynes shed some light on the situation that led to the shift in personnel, reflecting on Carlsson’s tenure in the band and indicating that things had been moving in this direction for some time. “Jorgen did an amazing job,” Haynes explained. “His role in Gov’t Mule got better and better year after year. He sounds fantastic on the new record. I’ve always said with any chemistry, it’s great if you have a great chemistry in the beginning, but it’s where you take it if you give it time, that really matters. The fact that we were able to do this for 15 years has really allowed the band to reach a point where there’s a lot of borderline telepathy going on on stage. We’re so familiar with each other’s musical vocabulary and mindsets that we’re able to communicate in a really heavy dimensional way.”

“I can’t say enough about his contribution to the band the last 15 years. Having said that,” Warren continued, “he’s been quiet-quitting the last few years. We all knew it was coming, but it is heartbreaking.”

In response to a question about whether Scott’s appointment was temporary, Haynes added, “Kevin is fantastic and we’re hoping it will be more than temporary. We’ve hired him to complete everything that we have on the books at the moment, but I have a really good feeling about him for the future of this band, and I think he shares that feeling as well. Even though it’s announced it’s like he’s here for the summer, we’re all hoping that he’s here for a new chapter.”

Gov’t Mule’s lineup has featured various bass players since the sudden passing of founding member Allen Woody in 2000. A revolving cast of bassists including Dave SchoolsOteil BurbridgeLes ClaypoolVictor WootenGeorge Porter Jr., and more filled in during the years following Woody’s passing before Andy Hess officially took up the mantle for five years beginning in 2003. Carlsson took over for Hess in 2008.

Kevin Scott was excited for the opportunity to join the esteemed lineage of Gov’t Mule bassists when he spoke to Live For Live Music following the announcement. “Getting the opportunity to play bass with Gov’t Mule is an honor,” Scott explained. “I have been a huge fan since I was in my early 20s. Mule is one of the rare bands that have amazing songs and that can also stretch/improvise at any moment. I’m very excited for the future—to develop my own take on the catalog [while] also taking HUGE inspiration from Woody, Andy, and Jorgen’s amazing bass work over the years.”

Scott began his new gig in Gov’t Mule this past month with a run of shows alongside The Avett Brothers. Later this summer, the band will mount a number of Dark Side of the Mule performances featuring support from Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening and head out on a stretch of dates with Willie Nelson‘s traveling Outlaw Music Festival. For a complete list of 2023 Gov’t Mule tour dates, head here.

[h/t Rock & Blues Muse]